Brace yourself for embracing circularity.
By 2030, implementing circular principles could generate up to €1.8 trillion worth of benefit per year for the European economy. Some companies are making the most of the circular momentum to lead the way to a more sustainable future. Let’s look at their revolutionary circular economy products everybody will use soon.
1. Carbon-neutral plastic packaging
By 2050, carbon emissions from plastic production and incinerations will be 50 times those released by all the US coal power plants in a year.
That’s why it’s essential to find more carbon neutral alternatives, like Woodly® plastic packaging. This is made by cellulose obtained from responsibly managed forests. The sustainably sourced trees sequester CO2 from the air while they grow, thus balancing out the CO2 emissions released during production.
The Finnish company’s bioplastic has currently a bio-based content of up to 60%. Yet Woodly is committed to reach a 100% target as soon as possible.
But what is a bioplastic?
In short, plastic produced from renewable resources rather than from fossil fuels. Their product is not only more climate-friendly than conventional plastic, but can also be kept in circulation through recycling.
Woodly® packaging can be processed on the existing infrastructure for plastic manufacture. For this reason, this green packaging is a readily scalable and thus low-cost solution. This makes Woodly innovation one of the most attractive circular economy products of the future.
This bio-packaging is suitable for food, flowers, electronics, clothing and much more.
2. Renewable jeans
Fashion in industry may be responsible for up to 60% of the global carbon emissions by 2030.
Listed as one of the 10 most innovative fashion firms in 2021, Re:newcell is arresting this not-so-fashionable trend.
They’re turning waste cellulose into circular fibers for sustainable textiles. Walking the walk along the circular economy path, this Swedish company is converting worn-out cotton jeans and production scraps into a recycling masterpiece: Circulose®.
Advertised by their creators as more natural and biodegradable than virgin cellulose, Circulose® has already been woven in Levi’s® most sustainable jean ever.
3. Repurposed biomass footwear
The 450 billion pounds of CO2 released every year by shoe production is calling for more eco-conscious footwear alternatives.
The Australian startup EssBs has put its sustainable sandals on to walk the extra mile along the circular economy loop. This eco-friendly footwear brand came up with a smarter and greener design based on the repurposing concept.
What does repurposing mean?
Essentially, EssBs is giving old shoes a new life as they reuse their product components for making new footwear. One can recycle EssBs old shoes by returning them for free to dedicated collection points.
EssBs’ sandals are plastic-free, 100% recyclable and made of renewable resources. Their sustainable recipe is a mixture of wool, biomass (hemp, TENCEL™, sugarcane-derived bioplastic) and recycled tyres.
4. Waste methane-derived plastic products
Using a climate positive technology, Mango materials recover waste methane from local facilities (e.g. landfills) and turn it into a sustainable plastic.
Besides being in line with a circular economy model, this Californian company is a true eco-warrior combatting climate change.
Because methane is 34 times more impactful than CO2!
Mango materials use bacteria to transform the gas by-product into Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) pellets. The name may sound scary, but it’s just another type of bioplastic.
The PHA pellets biodegrade within 6 weeks, even in the ocean, leaving no trace of microplastics. These eco-friendly pellets can be used for a wide variety of applications, ranging from activewear fibers, through 3D printing to cosmetic packaging.
5. Recyclable straws
Last (straw) but not least, Sulapac is breaking the linear economy system.
Billions of disposable plastic straws are consumed every year across Europe. To counter that, the Finnish company offers an eco-conscious alternative to people who enjoy drinking through straws.
Sulapac is using renewable resources (i.e. sustainably sourced and/or waste wood) to design out plastic from straws manufacture.
Being recyclable and biodegradable, their bio-straws are the circular economy products responsible drinkers must look out for.
A circular way forward
Bio-packaging, recyclable straws, waste-based jeans, organic shoes, you name it!
These are only some examples of the circular economy products which will make the world go around over the next decade. Combining recycling and renewable resources, innovative entrepreneurs are closing the loop on the linear economy.
Writer of this blog post is Antonio Salituro, salixwriting.com.