Circular value chains have been a topic of growing interest in recent years. With new legislation across the globe, companies need to start thinking about where materials come from and where they go – and how to close the loop – more than ever before. California’s SB54, the Plastic Pollution Prevention and Packaging Producer Responsibility Act, creates a range of new requirements for companies, including recordkeeping and disclosure on source reduction and recycled content. The EU’s Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation is a far-reaching piece of legislation that will move the industry towards circularity like never before. Circularity means that the resources we use to create products get reused at end of life, so that new products are made with existing materials. A circular economy requires far more than recycling, although recycling is a big part of the puzzle. Because circularity requires action at every stage of the product lifecycle, sometimes it’s hard to know who is responsible to act and what impact that will have on the bigger picture. For instance, the requirements of the EU Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation include:
- Product durability, reusability, upgradability and reparability
- Reducing the presence of substances that inhibit circularity
- Energy and resource efficiency
- Recycled content; carbon and environmental footprints
- Establish clear goals on materials for each category.
- Make your expectations clear to your supply base.
- Get information from suppliers – for example on recycled content – as well as their ability to source additional recycled materials.
- Track supplier progress over time and incentivize them to meet your goals.