Sustainably in - 10 May 2024

When clothes make the statement

Our article on sustainability which today talks about Sustainable Packaging, Life Cycle Assessment and much more

It's an ordinary Saturday afternoon, the classic afternoon of house cleaning. It's raining outside and the activities I love most, typical of the spring period, are postponed. I'm listening to Francesca Romano's latest podcast (EcoLogica). I open a can of my favorite drink, then open a pack of crackers. I ran out of surface cleaning product as soon as I unwrapped my latest Amazon purchase. Removed the cellophane from the scientific in-depth magazine recovered from the mailbox.

Stop. Stop. 1 2 3 4 5 6…

I can't believe it, in a few minutes I filled the kitchen shelf with packaging, lots of packaging, of any type and often honestly useless or worse, disposable.

But how much waste can we create in a single day?

And I'm not just referring to food packaging, but to every aspect of our daily routine, from the simple shower to the banal gesture of unwrapping a piece of candy.

If you are looking for numbers, here they are. Let's take 2021 as a reference: the average production of packaging waste per individual was approximately 188.7 kg, recording an increase of 10.8 kg compared to the previous year and marking the largest increase in the last ten years! From 2011 to 2021 there was an increase of almost 32 kg. At the end of the decade it is estimated we will reach 200 kg per person.

Europe, no longer able to escape the problem, on 24 April 2024, with a large majority, approved the new Packaging Regulation. The objectives? Reduction of the same by 5% by 2030, 10% by 2035, 15% by 2040, in addition to a stop to single-use plastic starting from 2030.

In fact, you will have noticed, particularly in the world of B2C, the frantic search, some by belief, some by image, for new packaging for their product: sustainable packaging.

And here comes the age-old question: is paper packaging which destroys forests or plastic which pollutes the oceans better?

Aside from the clear provocation, companies should, in order to consciously choose packaging with the best environmental profile, first measure its ecological impact. As? Through a product life cycle analysis, also known as Life Cycle Assessment (or LCA).

[For example, do you know what Marianna and Stefania, the sustainability consultants of Gesteco's Beeability, are engaged in? They are absorbed in entering data into SimaPro, they are evaluating the impact of the second life plastic packaging of the neutralizing product we are studying - ed.]

Denmark leads the way, the Ombudsman directives (similar to our Italian Antitrust), in fact, oblige the use of life cycle analysis to correctly evaluate the sustainability of the product and avoid labeling products or services as generically "sustainable". ", “green”, “eco”, etc. This practice aims to avoid the spread of ambiguous communications, which could look more like misleading advertising.

What if not even LCA resolves our doubts? Well, if we can, let's avoid packaging. As?

Starting to buy without packaging may seem like a real challenge, a radical change in our habits: but that's not the case! You can start gradually, starting from the products you use most often, and slowly eliminate as much packaging as possible from the pantry. Look for the bulk store closest to you, perhaps HERE. And remember that buying in bulk helps reduce costs and waste, you buy what you need, in the right quantity, when you need it. About fifty years ago, if you think about it, it was the most popular way to buy!

Now I'm going back to cleaning, to be precise I want to at least correctly divide all the packaging that I have generated in a few minutes: I want to put it in the correct recycling container. What if I have doubts? I help myself with Junker!... or with Elio and the Storie Tese! 😉

Chiara Pontoni
Sustainability Manager - Gesteco