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Circular economy Sustainability

ENHANCING SUSTAINABILITY EFFORTS IN ASIA THROUGH CIRCULAR ECONOMY

 2021-12-17       63

With sustainability at the forefront of national and organisation agendas, you may have heard of the term 'Circular Economy' in recent years. But do you know what it means, and specifically for Asia?


Broadly defined as the avoidance of disposing materials after a single use, Circular Economy refers to the act of narrowing loops through the more efficient use of natural resources and goods. It is the exact opposite of 'Linear Economy', where raw materials are collected, transformed into products, used, and then discarded. This "take, make, dispose" attitude of Linear Economy imposes growing costs on our health, environment and economies. 


The shift towards a Circular Economy system allows for a radical decrease in the use of raw materials during manufacturing processes, which means a proportionate reduction in dependency on their volatility. The system safeguards companies from geopolitical crises and forms a layer of 'defence' for their respective supply chains, which climate change may have already affected. Companies that adopt a circularity model would have a higher sense of resistance and preparedness when unexpected changes occur. 


While the concept of Circular Economy has been widely adopted across many European countries, the system, unfortunately, still remains a mere buzzword across most Asia. 


WHY ADOPTION OF CIRCULAR ECONOMY IS IMPORTANT FOR ASIA

With Asian economies experiencing substantial growth, an urgent move towards circularity is imperative to combat the growing environmental impact of the current Linear Economic model adopted by many countries. Due to booming consumerism and less than perfect waste management infrastructures, the region's rapid growth has introduced a significant environmental impact, such as the contribution of over 80% of the world's marine plastic pollution crisis. A study by World Bank valued the potentially recyclable plastic waste in Southeast Asia alone at approximately US$6 billion annually. 


Should Asia not commit to a Circular Economy system, resources will deplete at an unsustainable rate, and mountains of waste will pile up to cause pollution. This is especially alarming considering most of the region is still third-world countries lacking established healthcare systems. Without the necessary infrastructure to support recycling efforts, waste management becomes more challenging, increasing greenhouse gas emissions and pollution and affecting the wellbeing of the general population.


This is why manufacturers have a crucial role to play. As much as possible, they should look at producing materials that are sustainable for the environment while at the same time retaining the productivity of their business operations.  


BOSTIK SUPPORTS YOUR JOURNEY TOWARDS SUSTAINABILITY

At Bostik, we are dedicated to developing sustainable adhesive products and expertise to help you transition into a more sustainable business. We believe adhesive solutions can drastically reduce the environmental impact of many industries by allowing products to last longer, reducing size and weight, or making recycling more manageable. 


While manufacturers should play a key role in ensuring the circularity of packaging materials, the importance of adhesives and sealants used to bind the packaging cannot be undermined. Specifically, the focus should be on the recyclability of products using adhesives and sealants rather than their use alone. Considerations include the extension of a product's use phase, reparability, reusability, and recyclability. 


As part of our commitment to becoming a responsible manufacturer, our research and development efforts consciously explore reducing the usage of material, fossil resources, and energy usage in our solutions. For instance, our flexible, paper and label packaging adhesives enable reduced coating weight and adhesive usage and conserve energy by requiring less heat and decreasing waste production.


In particular, Bostik's Kizen® series, the next generation of hot melt adhesives for case and carton sealing, can yield you up to 30% in material and energy savings. The Kizen® series and other speciality solutions by Bostik contain close to 50% of bio-based raw materials, which allow less usage of fossil-based petrochemicals. 


Separately, other adhesive solutions from Bostik easily integrate into circulating economic processes. For example, our Vitel® coatings resins series improves flexible packaging recyclability by enabling the design of mono-material trays and lids, and the BPI-certified, compostable hot melt technology helps overall package decompose into compost and reduce landfill waste.


To learn more about how our sustainable adhesives can ensure the circularity of your products, please visit us at: www.bostik.com.


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