Sustainable Packaging in a Circular Economy

It has become almost impossible to imagine what our lives would be like without the many benefits of packaging - just think about the different packaging and single-use items you use on a daily basis. Yet as our global population grows in size and affluence, both our collective demand for packaging materials and the waste we generate as a result will increase dramatically. Currently, large amounts of packaging waste escape formal collection and recycling systems and eventually end up polluting the environment. Moreover, their material value is forever lost to the economy. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation estimates that uncollected plastic packaging waste alone is worth somewhere between 80 to 120 billion dollars a year. So how can we improve packaging systems in order to capture this wasted potential? Clearly, the way we currently design, recover, and reuse packaging urgently needs a rethink!In this course, you will learn about the design of sustainable packaging systems. To do so we will explore the design and business strategies of the circular economy. Contrary to our current industrial model, which extracts, uses and ultimately disposes of resources, a circular economy is regenerative by design. This means that products and services are reimagined from a systems perspective in order to minimize waste, maximize positive economic, environmental and social impacts, and keep resources locked in a cycle of restoration. This course is for you if you are interested in learning about sustainable packaging design. You'll also benefit if you are a professional in the packaging industry and want to learn how to find circular opportunities in your work. Students - particularly in design - will be able to broaden their knowledge of circular design and business strategies.

Created by: Delft University of Technology

Level: Intermediate

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