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WPO releases Position Paper on packaging in circular economy

Under the coordination of its Sustainability Committee, the World Packaging Organisation (WPO) is releasing a Position Paper about packaging in a circular economy.

The author of the paper, Antro Säilä, WPO vice president of sustainability, says, “In order to ensure that the world remains sustainable for the future human generations, we have no other alternative but to learn to live in a circular economy.”

The WPO Position Paper aims to highlight the issue of a circular economy and the role(s) of packaging within it. The document is based on recent data and research carried out by numerous scientists and think-tanks around the world.

“The end of this paper deals with current and envisaged role of WPO in a circular economy context,” Säilä adds.

After passing through the concept of circular economy, based on Ellen McArthur Foundation’s definition – design out waste and pollution; keep products and materials in use; regenerate natural systems – the WPO Position Paper describes the possible roles of packaging in the context as the following:

  • Packaging can contribute to reduce waste, thus making a circular economy more efficient (e.g. by prolonging shelf life or protecting packaged goods);
  • Packaging can be reused (e.g. b2b transport packaging inside and/or between industries and trade or in deposit systems in b2c trade);
  • Packaging materials can be recycled;
  • High energy content packaging (e.g. fibre and plastic) can be used for energy generation when it can no longer be reused or recycled.

Pierre Pienaar, WPO president, says, “Sustainability is most important to the WPO and we are most pleased that this Position Paper has been presented by Säilä. Antro is a passionate advocate for the role that packaging can play in protecting and promoting sustainability.

“He is well connected with global stakeholders, across industries, and often sought after for his opinion on the subject.”

The complete version of the new WPO Position Paper on circular economy will also be available for download, at the WPO website: www.worldpackaging.org.

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