The Chemical Industry & Circular Economy

Circular Economy & The Chemical Industry

The chemical industry uses virgin, bio-based and secondary (recycled) materials to produce an array of products crucial to economies. According to a March 2019 report for the ICCA by Oxford Economics, an estimate of over 95% of all manufactured goods rely on some form of chemical industrial process. As such, the importance of a ‘green’ perspective on the chemical industry cannot be overstated. An efficient chemical industry is crucial in ensuring any eco targets are met; considering waste generation, minimising resource use, and maximising outputs are fundamental aspects of this. Pressures on virgin materials and the reduction of carbon mean that embracing a model more focussed on resource circulation is essential to the long term future of our industries.

The Circular Economy is a system aimed at reducing or eliminating waste and the continual use of resources. This is achieved through reuse, sharing, repair, reconditioning, refurbishment, remanufacturing and recycling in order to create a closed loop system, minimising resource inputs and waste outputs such as pollution and carbon emissions.

The joint Government-industry, UK Chemistry Council Strategy, has “identified and prioritised the design of components designed to support the contribution of circularity to sustainability in the years to come.“ (Chemical industries association). Furthermore, in 2015 the European Commission published an action plan to help transition Europe toward a circular economy; as of March 2019, the commission has stated that the 54 actions have either been delivered or are currently being implemented.

Colgate-Palmolive are an example of a company making efforts in moving toward the Circular Economy with respect to their toothpaste tubes. Noting that tubes are one of the most common forms of plastic packaging that cannot be recycled, Chief Executive of Colgate, Noel Wallace, said: “Colgate wants to make tubes a part of the circular economy by keeping this plastic productive and eliminating waste. If we can standardise recyclable tubes among all companies, we all win. We can align on these common standards for tubes and still compete with what’s inside them.” (Guardian, 14/01/20)

Packaging Reuse aim to enable the transition to a Circular Economy, with support to various different industries, helping to reduce footprint & environmental impact while maximising business efficiency. Offering services in recycling, reconditioning, reuse and disposal, we help your business reduce it’s resource inputs and waste outputs, helping companies better integrate into the Circular Economy. For help with your business, get in touch with us today.

With all this in mind, it is clearly more important than ever to become aware of your plastic waste and do what you can to help. Packaging Reuse do our bit by making recycling and reuse easier for your company, providing services that help to reduce our impact on the environment and make the world a cleaner place for everyone.