Ellen MacArthur Foundation: Circular economy

APL have sold 100% consumer waste recycled poly carrier bags since September 2009. I think it makes sense to recycle polythene, rather than add chemicals to make it fall apart, as it conserves the raw material.

Imagine Jaguar or Mercedes adding chemicals to their cars to make them degrade after 3 years in sunlight and claim they are thus “more environmentally friendly”? It’s ludicrous. Cars are recycled, which is what should also happen to ALL packaging.

So it is extremely distressing that Nelson Packaging Ltd have gone into liquidation because they supplied APL Packaging’s 100% post consumer waste recycled poly carrier bags. No-one, even the Daily Mail, could knock a poly carrier bag that is made from 100% recycled material.

Recycling doesn’t just “happen”. It has to be made to happen. At the moment APL are unable to source 100% recycled carrier bags, which shows what an early stage recycling is at. (don’t worry, APL shareholders, they were only a tiny part of our turnover) Recycling requires effort at many levels, Media, Academics, Consumers, Supply Chain, Local Authorities, National Government, International Agreements, etc, and it’s not just about materials, it’s about having attitudes and systems in place.

Which is why my eyes popped when I found The Ellen MacArthur Foundation website!

The Foundation aims to promote, and galvanise the recycling of all the “stuff” that is being produced on our planet, and ensure that waste is 100% recycled (just like Nelson’s carrier bags). At a very mundane level, it is about always ensuring that there is a Nelson Packaging around… to recycle everything. Sadly Nelson’s operation was not economic, killed off by the bag tax, imports, and low oil prices for virgin polymers. Which indicates that attitudes and systems, as well as recycling need to be in place, which is what the MacArthur Foundation is about.

Here’s a link to a video from the site: it’s a huge site, and there is vast amount of resource for anyone who is interested, from simplistic to demanding. We not kick off with an easy one?


I’ll be pleased to read any comments back!
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