Circular Economy

Circular Economy

TIPA is pleased to be a signatory to the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment.

Launched in October 2018, the Global Commitment now has over 400 organizations committed to eliminating problematic and unnecessary plastic packaging, and undertaking innovations so that all plastic packaging is 100 percent reusable, recyclable, or compostable, as well as safely and easily circulated without becoming waste or pollution.

From the very beginning our company has been funded on the 3 principles of the circular economy as defined by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation:

1. Design out waste & pollution – By offering a compostable alternative to a non-recycable material we help to address this pollution problem from the design phase, which allows a circular end-of-use to flexible and multi-layered packaging.

2. Keep products & materials at their highest value at all times – TIPA packaging is playing a key role in protecting and keeping 3 essential products and materials at their highest value:

  • Food – in certain cases plastic packaging is essential in order to ensure the safety and hygiene of our food, to prolong life-shelf and prevent food waste, and to maintain the nutritional value of products. Flexible packaging is fulfilling these functions very effectively, however, it’s posing a major challenge in terms of end-of-life, as described above. By eliminating this challenge through material innovation, TIPA compostable packaging helps to keep food safe, fresh, nutritious and reduce the negative impacts of food waste.
  • Organic Waste – Today, although organic waste amounts to over 40% of municipal waste, only about 5% of it is being captured and valorised for organic recycling (composting, AD or biorefineries). The rest is being sent to landfills and incineration much due to the high prevalence of plastic packaging that is too intertwined within our foods to allow effective separation at source. Substituting the packaging material from conventional to compostable packaging will allow to dramatically increase the amount of organic material being captured, kept clean of plastic contamination and being suitable for organic recycling and reuse.
  • Soil – one of the most prominent sources of soil contamination is plastic food packaging, especially the flexible type, often coming from improper disposal at source which leads to the mixing of conventional plastic packaging with organic waste. In geographies that are practicing the usage of compostable bags and packaging at scale, such contamination and impurities have decreased dramatically, leading to a better compost and soil qualities, and more sustainable farming practices.

3. Restoring natural systems- Instead of simply doing less harm, our materials are designed to support the generation of a positive value -rebuilding the global topsoil. Soil around the world is losing organic matter at an unsustainable rate due to land use changes, modern agricultural practices and climate change. It is estimated that almost half of European soil has low organic matter content, which reduces its ability to retain water and nutrients, and to store carbon. Crucially, this reduces the productivity of the land and farmers’ ability to grow crops. Collected bio-waste generates compost, which may be a useful source of stable organic matter. This process results in a mixture of organic carbon compounds that contribute to the soil’s carbon pool. Studies have shown that by including certified compostable plastics and packaging in definitions of biowaste, organic waste collection schemes can collect up to six times more organic waste from households as opposed to without (ZWE Report). This helps to produce more compost that in term will help to replenish soil and contribute to the rebuilding of a healthy ecosystem.

TIPA works together with global bodies to support the transition to a circular economy.