Circular economy latest sustainability buzzword, analysts find

There has been growing investment from food and personal care companies this year in circular economy, according to Ecovia Intelligence.

The circular economy refers to a system in which materials and products are reused and recycled, rather than entering waste streams. Realising its importance, the EU introduced its circular economy strategy in 2018, which plans to have a 65 per cent target for recycling and reuse by 2035.

According to Ecovia Intelligence, growing consumer opposition to single-use plastics is making the food industry focus on packaging. The move to a circular economy also involves the upcycling of ingredients, with new enterprises creating products using food waste (by-products). In the personal care industry, there is also a shift towards sustainable packaging materials, with ocean plastic becoming established.

Ecovia Intelligence expects to see more such initiatives involving sustainable packaging materials, upcycling and recycling of nutrients, as well as new retail formats. However, consumer behaviour is likely to be a major barrier, the analysts found, with consumers being so accustomed to being able to frequently buy low priced products that are easily disposable.

The circular economy will be featured in upcoming events organised by Ecovia Intelligence.

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