Creating a circular economy within the global automotive industry should be a focus for all involved. The COVID19 global pandemic has given us all reason to pause and think about the ways we operate in this world. Now is the perfect time to consider how the automotive supply chain can contribute to creating a circular economy within the industry. Introducing new packaging materials is a big part of improving supply chain efficiencies and contributing to the circular economy. It is also imperative to consider all areas of inbound and outbound journeys in removing waste and unnecessary trips.

Can the pandemic be a time to implement Circular Economy strategies?

Now is an ideal opportunity to review and reflect on your current packaging solutions to understand exactly where you are creating emissions and impacting the environment. It is no longer solely a cost reduction exercise. When thinking about the types of materials used at each stage of your supply chain there should be a focus on waste reduction and future proofing the sustainability of the operation. OEMs and Tier Suppliers need to think further up the supply chain – how and where is CO2 generated through the lifespan of a packaging solution? What materials are being used to manufacture packaging? Thinking more broadly, how can a packaging solution impact the environment through the additional movements required? For example, how can plastic packaging reduce the number of touchpoints further reducing journeys and emissions created?

Selecting sustainable materials

 In your efforts to creating a circular economy, it all stems from the materials and components used in your packaging. The ability to reuse and recycle items depends on the materials they are made of which can sometimes be overlooked. Naturally the focus tends to be on how a solution helps to reduce carbon footprint whilst in use in the supply chain. It is crucial to consider if items can be reused and recycled at the end of their lifecycle. For example, IPL Macro’s EuroBin is made of polypropylene plastic parts which are 100% recyclable. Old bins can be recycled by IPL Macro through the buy-back program.  Bins that have outlived their usefulness can be purchased back and reprocessed into material used to manufacture new bins.

Design waste out of business

Understanding the waste your packaging solution will create is often overlooked. IPL Macro can help you to remove waste at every available opportunity from inbound and outbound journeys through the supply chain. By removing cardboard, single use plastic and wood from your operation, you immediately reduce waste to landfill and the additional costs and actions associated with the disposal and transport of waste.
Reusable packaging provides optimal protection of components, reducing damage and waste, therefore reducing unnecessary costs and emissions in manufacturing, and transporting replacements. Taking a considered approach to your returnable packaging will help to create Circular Economy.