They decrease if there is no local material recovery facility (MRF) or glass plant, or if material losses in the recycling loop are high. Environmentalists such as Lester Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute, question the morality of turning a foodstuff into packaging when so many people in the world are hungry. Table 7.3. The cradle-to-cradle concept (imposing zero impact on future generations) builds on life-cycle analysis to also address material and energy recovery (Braungart and McDonough, 2008). In 1991, the EU nitrate guideline was introduced, limiting N applications in manure to 170 kg ha−1 with the objective to reduce the nitrate content of groundwater. A study by the US Department of Energy (Gaines and Mintz 1994) concluded that recycling of glass containers saves some energy, but not a significant quantity compared with reuse. It is also important to consider the cost of the package in relation to the value of the product (Chiellini, 2008). The implementation of cradle-to-cradle means redesign at a system-wide level and requires the vision to creatively re-imagine industrial practices and to conceive a fully sustainable future. According to their media release, one in three households in the United Kingdom now have their own compost bin. The model confirmed the nonlinear nature of the relationship between recycling rates and primary pulp requirements. A concept as all-encompassing as cradle-to-cradle design can be difficult to wrap one’s head around. Source: Pongrácz (2007) with permission from John Wiley. Many consumers as well as packaging professionals were surprised when Hocking (1991) published a detailed comparison of single-use polystyrene (PS) foam cups with paper cups for hot drinks and showed that virtually all primary use factors favoured PS over paper. The “waste” materials in an old product become the “food” for a new product. However, it is important that benefits of innovation for sustainability are clearly communicated, such that consumers can understand and fully appreciate them (refer to Section 7.2.1 for further discussion of this topic). FAB on the scale of agricultural fields or landscapes provides ecosystem services that are inherent to sustainable agricultural production on a regional level, improving regional and global environment as well [5]. Mono-layer recycled bottles are used for detergents, bleach and other household chemical bottles. A final extension of this cancelation was granted until the Spring of 2012 and resulted in interactive research (box 14). In 1998, Dutch researchers devised a mineral accounting system (MINAS) for the government (boxes 6 and 7) to satisfy the nitrate guideline in a major research effort applying K3 level knowledge (box 6). But, as stated, this is not clear yet. Why are things like shoes so difficult to downcycle? If the MRF is 100 miles (160 km) or further away, savings from recycling are negated. This framework seeks to create production techniques that are not just efficient but are essentially waste free. Developing management plans to address wicked problems takes a very long time. Every product is assumed to be divided into these three life processes, or as it is sometimes named from cradle to grave or from cradle to cradle. The phrase ‘cradle-to-cradle’ used by the SPC was first coined by Walter Stahel from the Product-Life Institute in Geneva in the 1970s; it was popularised in 2002 by William McDonough and Michael Braungart in their book Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things. T. Finnigan, ... C. Abbott, in Sustainable Protein Sources, 2017. The PLA production system in 2006 emitted 0.27 kg CO2 eq./kg PLA and used 27.2 MJ/kg PLA of fossil energy, reductions of 85 and 50%, respectively, compared with their 2003 PLA eco-profile data. Material Health: Biological and Technical Metabolisms. (2007) reported that compared with the life cycle of gasoline and diesel, ethanol and biodiesel from corn rotations reduced global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by ~40% and from switch grass and hybrid poplar by ~115%. If you’re looking to manufacture your product, Pivot can help. They also claimed that ‘Where Sainsbury's cannot use compostable material, it uses recyclable’ (J Sainsbury plc, 2006b). And it requires active community attention to the social determinants of health including income, education, living conditions, and the corrosive dynamics of social isolation, racism, inequality, and injustice. While the UK produces plenty of clear glass, much of it is exported as bottles for spirits. The qualities of the landscape and the services they provide were taken as a starting point for the social and economic development of the area. According to the report, biofuels on their own cannot deliver a sustainable transport system and must be developed as part of an integrated package of measures which promotes other low-carbon options and efficiency, as well as moderating the demand and need for transport. Essentially it is a new model which emphasizes on recycling of waste to generate more resources. Instead of buying the cheapest possible packaging, you buy the best possible packaging because you are getting most of it back’. Cradle to Cradle design perceives the safe and productive processes of nature’s ‘biological metabolism’ as a model for developing a ‘technical metabolism’ flow of industrial materials. The main reason for this is that the manufacture of recycled materials produces less solid waste, uses less energy and produces lower air emissions and waterborne wastes than the manufacture of an equivalent amount of virgin material. Here are some strengths and weaknesses of this idea. The paper and paper-based packaging industries are well placed to meet future commercial requirements by responding to evolving marketing, economic, supply chain and sustainability goals. The report suggested that progress towards a sustainable solution for transport requires an integrated approach which combines biofuels with other developments, including vehicle and engine design, the development of hybrid and fuel cell vehicles and supporting infrastructure. The second eco-design principle is design for recovery at end of life. If the package is going to be reprocessed in a commercial composting facility, then it must be able to biodegrade in the required time frame. Putting aside the present limited availability of renewable energy, this criterion is controversial in light of recent reports that raise questions about the ecological impacts of growing crops for biofuels, particularly when rainforests are cut down to plant crops such as palm oil (MacKinnon 2007), as well as the impact on the price of staple food items such as corn, wheat and soy beans when land previously used to grow these crops for food is now used to grow crops for biofuels. This technology enables more glass to be colour-sorted to meet specifications for container manufacture. Each material in a product is designed to be safe and effective, as well as to provide quality resources for subsequent generations of products. Unless recycled or reused, their use in packaging may possibly incur a high carbon footprint, particularly when used as an energy source. Cradle to Cradle® shapes nutrient cycles from the very beginning so that the materials and chemicals used are favourable for the technical or biological cycle. 2007). Waste as we know it today and … This can be used to advantage, as it is in some of the rustic glassware imported from Mexico. By contrast, paper and paperboard materials are annually renewable, readily recyclable, biodegradable and compostable, and can be sourced from sustainably managed forests. It is not necessary, nor is it technically feasible, to recycle everything in the municipal waste stream. This would later become the Cradle to Cradle design framework, which is the practical approach to product 3 The worldwide production of paper and paperboard, including packaging, continues to rise, as reported by the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR, 2011) and indicated in Table 7.1. Table 19.11. A later energy-based evaluation (Hocking 1994) showed that paper cups consumed less energy than PS foam cups. The percentage of recycled cullet that can be utilised in the manufacture of containers differs between manufacturers. Integrative systems research using K5 life cycle analysis (Thomasson et al., 2008, 2009), started in 2010 (box 13) was essential to document the particular advantages of C2C dairy farming including a business plan (B in box 14) and is expected to result in the acceptance by the government of the principle of self-government and therefore, implicitly, in completing connected value development. In the technical cycle, materials are not used up during use, but instead should be seen as service products. As with any concept as far-reaching as this one, however, there are pros and cons to choosing a cradle-to-cradle model for a product. In most products, however, the green colour represents a loss of quality because the desired level of clarity cannot be achieved. In 2001, an interdisciplinary research project was started, ending in 2008, initiated by the Department of Sociology of Wageningen University and joined by other Departments in close cooperation with the farmers to support development of a system-C2C approach (box 8), and this was instrumental in mobilizing broad societal support for the program by KENGi partners in 2005 (box 10) as mentioned above. One of the most widely used of these is Mater-BiTM, which is manufactured from corn starch by Novomont in Italy (Novamont, n.d.). (2013) analysed 69 LCA studies of food and beverage packaging that had been conducted in Europe and the United States, and identified key findings and common outcomes that illustrated the value of an LCA-based approach. The scope of analysis covered both cradle-to-grave and cradle-to-gate investigations for mycoprotein and key Quorn retail products (see Fig. Verghese et al. These solutions involve the development of more efficient manufacturing processes and innovations in technology/materials. All constituents are chemically harmless and recyclable. A recent study (Singh et al. The roles of committed entrepreneurs and knowledge brokers are crucial to keep the process moving and so is long-term financing. Common thermoplastics used in packaging, Hard but still flexible, waxy surface, melts at 145 °C, translucent, withstands solvents, Clear, glassy, rigid, brittle, opaque, semi-tough, melts at 95°C. Modern, ‘sanitary’ landfills are built to avoid or minimise surface and groundwater contamination through careful siting and use of clay and plastic liners. Some things remain prohibitively expensive to recycle, and efforts should be concentrated elsewhere. Thus, packaging materials, which utilise biomass or other forms of renewable energy in their manufacture, can also assist governments in meeting their renewable energy and carbon reduction targets. As the ancients knew, it first requires relatively clean and safe places in which to live, grow, play, learn, and work. G. Wall, in Reference Module in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences, 2013. Recycled HDPE is also being used for packaging, in mono-layer and co-extruded bottles. Ideally, the package should be manufactured from a material that meets the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) definition of recyclable, i.e. With the third criterion (that packaging should be sourced, manufactured, transported, and recycled using renewable energy), the SPC urges a rapid transition from fossil-fuel-based to renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, hydroelectric, tidal, geothermal and biomass energy (including biofuels for transportation). These processes may involve specific materials, plastics and barrier materials, such as aluminium foil, to extend their packaging applications and the shelf life of the products they contain. Materials together with material flows are designed to be beneficial and useful for the regeneration and conservation of biological and technical resources. Robertson, in Handbook of Waste Management and Co-Product Recovery in Food Processing, Volume 2, 2009. All of the materials are designed for the maximum health of the system. For example, materials that are fed into a biological cycle should not be contaminated with substances such as heavy metals which could accumulate in natural systems and damage the health of people or ecosystems (McDonough and Braungart, 2002, Chapter 4). Products optimized for the … The environmental implications of maximising the use of renewable or recycled materials are less clear-cut than might at first appear. All of the materials are designed for the maximum health of the system. In 1994, a law was passed requiring farmers to inject liquid manure into the soil rather than spread it at the surface. Table 7.2. Also, paper and paperboard represents the largest proportion by weight of packaging material used. the separation of plastic from cartonboard in a blister pack). Talk to recyclers early in the product development process to find out whether or not all components can be recycled. In 2005, an agreement was signed, indicating support for the cooperative by provincial and local government (G), environmental NGOs (N), the Ministries of the Environment and Agriculture (G), and researchers of Wageningen University and Research Center (K). We use cookies to help provide and enhance our service and tailor content and ads. Coated fibre-based packaging is expanding into new applications; for example, a coated paperboard butter tub was used by Carrefour, France for its home-brand butter in 2000 (Scandinavia Now, 2000). This is, however, not yet clear at this time. Several workshops were carried out at neutral locations in De Wijers and facilitated by unbiased facilitators. 10.2. Boundaries for product carbon footprint analysis. In 2007 (not shown in Fig. There are many different plastics used in packaging (see Table 10.3) but the most recyclable are PET and HDPE. As with the first criterion, the sixth criterion (ensuring that packaging is made from materials healthy in all probable end-of-life scenarios) is already covered by existing food safety legislation in almost all countries. However, an interview with the cradle-to-cradle authors (Newcorn 2003) gave the following examples of an environmental packaging strategy: Instead of designing with the cheapest materials, design the best package possible, without worrying about per-package cost; ‘What if that ice cream wrapper lying on the side of the road were designed to “melt” into a biosafe liquid in a matter of hours at ambient temperatures? Cradle to Cradle follows the example of nature and considers waste as a resource. The next sequence of workshops focused on provisioning and regulating services. Why are “universal solutions” so counterproductive? Cradle-to-cradle processes include biological and technical cycles: A biological cycle includes materials that can be safely returned to the soil through a degradation process. Cradle to Cradle® Design defines and develops cyclable products. 2006) compared two types of containers that have been designed and are being used to pack and ship fresh fruits and vegetables: reusable plastic containers (RPCs) and single-use display-ready paper corrugated trays (DRCs). By combining innovation with ecology, eco-innovation can meet sustainability goals and enable companies to stay competitive. We created Cradle to Cradle Certified™ to be the world’s most comprehensive product assessment and certification system based on five categories. Consequently, these materials often require treatments such as coatings and laminations. The approach continues to suggest that this should work while maintaining a productive and safe technical metabolism for effective circulation and use of technical and biological nutrient (Braungart, Michael, William McDonough, & Beatrice 34-37). 2: The need for emphasis on comprehensive systems analyses, such as the life cycle assessment. ScienceDirect ® is a registered trademark of Elsevier B.V. ScienceDirect ® is a registered trademark of Elsevier B.V. URL:, URL:, URL:, URL:, URL:, URL:, URL:, URL:, URL:, Environmentally Compatible Food Packaging, If humans are truly going to prosper, we will have to learn to imitate nature's highly effective, Martin Stewardship and Management Strategies (2005), Standards Australia and Standards New Zealand, 2000, p. 9, Handbook of Waste Management and Co-Product Recovery in Food Processing, Volume 2,, Reference Module in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences, Food Processing Technology (Fourth Edition), Integrating Ecosystem Services in Rural Development Projects in Flanders, History of the US Environmental Movement (Revised 10 January 2012), Encyclopedia of Toxicology (Third Edition), with the objective to reduce the nitrate content of groundwater. Nevertheless, rapidly growing recognition of the urgent nature of the problem – and new ways of conceptualizing, understanding, and responding to it – give reason for hope. This shift is reflected in Table 7.3. 103–104, italics in original). In addition to the initial 13 stakeholders, other public and private partners were invited. ‘A characteristic of a product, packaging, or associated component that can be diverted from the waste stream through available processes and programmes and can be collected, processed and returned to use in the form of raw materials or products.’ (ISO, 1999b; italics added) The most recyclable materials at present are glass, aluminium, steel, PET, HDPE, paper and cardboard, although collection programmes vary between countries and regions. The first FDA-compliant recycled HDPE resin was produced by Union Carbide in the United States, for use in multi-layer packages for dry food (Scheirs, 1998, p. 194). Pellerano, in Encyclopedia of Toxicology (Third Edition), 2014. But effective interaction with researchers and with the knowledge broker of TransForum was crucial as was TransForum funding. Among some sections of the community, closed-loop recycling has taken on a special significance and in their eyes ranks much higher than open loop recycling. An OECD paper of a Roundtable on SD (Doornbosch and Steenblik 2007) had the provocative title ‘Biofuels: is the Cure Worse than the Disease?’ A recent report from the Royal Society in the UK (Royal Society 2008) concluded that biofuels have a limited ability to replace fossil fuels and should not be regarded as a ‘silver bullet’ to deal with transport emissions. Although recovery and recycling rates for DRCs are high, the production step (including recycling) introduces a higher level of burdens. When utilized correctly, C2C ensures the smallest possible environmental footprint. Technical and biological nutrients Cradle-to-cradle design means literally designing waste right out of the lifecycle of the package. Technical nutrients can be recycled or reused with no loss of quality and biological nutrients composted or consumed. The use of a mathematical model to determine the optimal recycling rate with regard to energy consumption for waste paper showed 93% for paper produced from chemical pulp and 81% for paper produced from mechanical pulp (Schenk et al. High mandated recycling rates and post-consumer content of finished products will increase the contribution of the transportation sector to the emissions associated with making glass products available to society. When production of starch (the source for the lactic acid) is optimised, the environmental advantages for corn increase. Environmentally oriented Life Cycle Analysis or Assessment (LCA) has become very popular in order to analyze environmental problems associated with the production, use and disposal or recycling of products or product systems, see Figure 11. For 100 years or more, the conservation and public health movements relied almost exclusively on experts to design and implement solutions to problems that were viewed through the twin lenses of engineering and the physical sciences. Scenario I showed a 14% reduction in GWP when the recycling rate was increased from 2 to 22%; a recycling rate of 70% would result in a 48% reduction of GWP. As can be seen from Table 7.1, the overall production in 2010 had recovered to what it was in 2007 before the 2008 economic crisis. This complies with the first principle of Cradle to Cradle ®: Waste = Food (Nutrients are nutrients, or, everything is a resource for something else) in which nutrients remain part of continuous biological or technical cycles. Adler et al. Also, sustainably managed forests promote biodiversity and provide a range of important eco-services. It models human industry on nature's processes in which materials are viewed as nutrients circulating in healthy, safe metabolisms. Plantic's starch-based resins in Australia are only marginally more expensive than PS. More attention should have been paid to connected value development in the early proposition phase of the project. Despite some misconceptions, an environmentally sound production plan doesn’t have to be a more expensive option. Privacy Policy | Sitemap, 11030 Strang Line Road, Lenexa, Kansas, 66215, The Pros and Cons of Cradle-To-Cradle Design, Read about our manufacturing services here, « The 7 Most Popular Tech Projects on Kickstarter Right Now, How the Clean and Alternative Energy Industries are Developing in 2017 ». Note that upward arrows from the upper K line toward G and E are one way. Marketing and commercial considerations should also be reconciled with economy in the use of materials and energy, and the environmental effects of production and use of materials. These substances were selected for inclusion on the Banned Lists due to their tendency to accumulate in the biosphere and lead to irreversible negative human health effects. Increasing international competition between paper and paperboard packaging suppliers and converters who are investing in new materials, energy and water technologies to: mitigate the rising cost of resource inputs; In addition to the basic commercial drivers of profitability, minimising costs and marketing spurring innovation for competitive advantage, a key focus of attention for the future of paper and paperboard packaging suppliers and their customers will be sustainability. The underlying quality and validity of the data compiled to complete this analysis were fundamental and were assessed using the data quality assessment of the Carbon Trust’s product carbon footprinting software package (Footprint Expert). The material is compostable but it also dissolves in water (Fig. A recent application is beverage bottles, for example Biota Brands (US) for their spring water (Biota, n.d.) and Naturally Iowa (2007) for its natural and organic milk. The SPC claims quite correctly that their criteria blend broad sustainability objectives with business considerations and strategies that address the environmental concerns related to the life cycle of packaging and the activities of the SPC membership (now over 180 companies representing most of the large packaging manufacturers and users in the USA). “Cradle to Cradle design (also referred to as Cradle to Cradle, C2C, cradle 2 cradle, or regenerative design) is a biomimetic approach to the design of products and systems. The global economic crisis in 2008 and the financial uncertainty since then have depressed market demand for goods and their packaging in developed countries. ‘closed loop’ recycling, such as recycling PET bottles back into bottles; ‘open loop’ recycling, such as recycling HDPE milk bottles into crates or pipes. Packaging designed for composting should be made from 100% biodegradable materials, and should only use inks, pigments and other additives that do not contaminate the end-product. It is difficult to compare packaging costs without also including, for example, the costs of shipping containers, depreciation costs of packaging machinery, labour requirements, etc. Cradle to Cradle® is a set of design principles which was developed in the 1990s by Prof. Dr. Michael Braungart, William McDonough and EPEA Hamburg. Since much of the transportation takes place by truck, mobile source emissions are likely to increase. The final report, “Challenges for De Wijers,” was the result of the ideas generated by the working groups. As can be seen from Table 7.2, production in Asia has significantly increased by over 10% between 2002 and 2010. Pro: Environmental Concerns This is the obvious and most attractive feature of the cradle-to-cradle design system. Do not use a compostable polymer for products that are similar or identical to those that already have an existing recycling programme, because there is likely to be cross-contamination. The ‘recyclability’ of coated papers and boards will depend on the willingness of local recyclers to accept them; a decision that is likely to be based on the economics of collection and the ability of their process to separate the paper fibres from the polymer coating successfully. This means that after use all products are returned to the cycle of manufacture, consumption and renewal. Corrugated and solid fibreboard account for approximately 30% of the total tonnage. But more importantly, they hated the infringement on their entrepreneurial independence that was particularly evident as farmers refusing to inject manure received substantial fines. Many dairy farmers did not like these (“vertically imposed”) limitations, particularly the second one because they felt that injection would harm their soils. The LCA did not include the transportation, distribution and utilisation stages of the products; the disposal of both packages was considered to be landfill. But more importantly, they hated the infringement on their entrepreneurial independence that was particularly evident as farmers refusing to inject manure received substantial fines. His analysis suggested that PS foam, with an extension to plastics in general, should be given more even-handed consideration relative to paper in packaging applications than is currently the case. As McDonough and Braungart (2002) argued in their influential book, Cradle to Cradle, we need to follow nature's example by eliminating waste: If humans are truly going to prosper, we will have to learn to imitate nature's highly effective cradle-to-cradle system of nutrient flow and metabolism, in which the very concept of waste does not exist. ), the Zero Waste Network (Austin, Tex. Available from Amazon . Opportunities for restoring the relationship between the physical system and human activities were also identified. Products optimized for biological cycle are termed biological nutrients (e.g. Material Health: Biological and Technical Metabolisms . The primary energy saved is about 13% of the energy required to make glass containers from virgin raw materials. Cradle to Cradle. In fact, in a C2C system, since manufacturing resources, or technical nutrients, are often reused, it can often save money. A triple bottom line analysis valued the environmental benefits of recycling at around $A 42 per household per year, or $A 266 million in total (Nolan-ITU, 2001, p. vii). oxo-biodegradable polymers which oxidise and break down in the environment under the influence of ultraviolet light and heat. The net result is a 68% reduction in fossil fuel use in the manufacture of PLA compared with petroleum-based plastics.

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