By introducing a labelling / label accreditation system for how circular a product is, consumers would be able to easily identify key features such as the recyclability / GHG emissions associated with the production / disposal of a piece of packaging. We are currently able to use labelling to work out the calorific content / protein / carbohydrate levels of foodstuffs, as well as where the produce has come from, so why are we not able to see where the packaging has come from, how much of it is recycled material and how recyclable it is?
In the UK packaging labels do include information on the recyclability of the packaging, but the information is very vague and it would be helpful to see some industrial average figures around what will actually end up going to landfill.
By using the MCI Circularity indicator scores (or developing a new calculation model which includes GHG emissions to provide a “Circularity” score), and having been provided with a simple explanation as to what the figures mean, consumers would be able to avoid products packaged in unsustainable materials and encourage manufacturers / retailers to improve the “circularity” of their packaging and products.
I have not given much thought to how to present the information but I imagine a colour based system ranging from red – green would be a good way of doing it, with the circularity score highlighted as a superimposed figure.
The stages of this idea would be:
- Research the usability of the Circularity indicator calculator / develop a new calculation tool with assistance from industry leaders and circular economy experts.
- Develop labelling scope and spectrum for scoring, working with industry and consumer groups.
- Seek approval from governmental bodies regarding the labelling system
- Roll out the labelling system for a testing group