4.2.1 Slowing, Closing and Narrowing Resource Loops

Course subject(s) Module 4. Reuse of packaging

Throughout this course we have explored different ‘cycling’ strategies for packaging. Each of these loops (recycling, renew and reuse) is made possible by different circular design and business strategies. In the first episode, Siem Haffmans already briefly touched upon slowing down loops by making packaging last longer, as well as the business models that can enable the transition to a circular economy.

There are two fundamental approaches to the cycling of resources:

  1. Slowing down resource loops: extending a product’s useful life in order to slow down the overall flow of resources.
  2. Closing resource loops: creating a circular flow through the recycling of resources.

A distinct, third approach is narrowing resource flows: using fewer resources per product. Efficient use of resources (often referred to as reduce) is already applied in linear business models and, by itself, does not affect the speed at which products are cycled in the economy or whether their resources are retrieved through recycling.

Further reading:
Bocken, N. M., de Pauw, I., Bakker, C. (2015). Product design and business model strategies for a circular economy. Sustainable Design & Manufacturing Conference, Seville.

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Sustainable Packaging in a Circular Economy by TU Delft OpenCourseWare is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://online-learning.tudelft.nl/courses/sustainable-packaging-in-a-circular-economy/.
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