Transparency for package recycling
The challenge: The majority of packaging is mindlessly thrown away after its one-time usage and then ends up in a landfill or burned with other mixed materials. Opaque labelling and waste systems prevent us from fully reclaiming these leftovers as valuable a resource, instead of continuously depleting our limited natural resources. Therefore, this project group seeks to develop a concrete answer on how to address the challenge of proper waste disposal, recycling and product reuse, so that manufacturers, distributors, and consumers are all benefiting. Together, a diverse group of experts is developing an impact-solution that will help to increase the value of recyclable-packaging, in both ecological and financial terms and across all sectors.
The solution: The proposed approach focuses on working toward a sustainable future through a transparency and traceability platform that incentivizes the recyclability of all packaging – from production via supply chain to the consumer. This idea could be realised by building a global database for all packaging products with information such as: what are the standard materials most commonly used and how can they be decomposed in an environmentally safe manner? SAAS (software as a service) and API licenses to manage and research materials and products, as well as recycling instructions could be a lucrative business. Different options to prototype the project exist.
The opportunities: The project group has initially identified several impact and business opportunities which arise for the various stakeholders; these include: innovative players in the raw material industry, product designers who benefit from transparency on raw materials, retailers who collect recyclable packaging, recyclists who can improve their facilities to regain more materials from disposed products, and governments who can tighten their policies based on data.
A critical view on current impact investment practices and what we need to change to improve effectiveness and actually create more impact through investment.