Newsletter – February 2022

recycle friendly carton design

There is more and more interest in sustainability, but it’s not always the best kind.

Unfortunately organisations seem to be getting obsessed with measuring their climate footprint and offsetting. This myopia often pushes genuinely sustainable initiatives off the agenda, particularly if they’re not measurable.

After all, how do you measure the waste you didn’t throw away or the carbon savings of materials you won’t get to reuse in the future?

I’m now deeply suspicious of companies and organisations touting a carbon neutral badge. Sure with enough offsetting even a coal mine can be carbon neutral.

And on that topic here’s a interesting video explaining the pitfalls of carbon offset schemes

Alas, I fear it’s the human weakness for the quick fix.  Let’s hope sense prevails soon.

Now onto this month’s circular economy news …..

This is a very distressing article on the connection between violence and the felling of Romanian’s primary forests for furniture production

Sometimes sustainability isn’t straightforward, a new US study found that corn-based ethanol “is likely at least 24% more carbon-intensive than gasoline”

The world’s governments are spending at least $1.8tn (£1.3tn) every year on subsidies that exacerbate biodiversity loss and global warming

A new packaging design would make it easier to separate paper from plastic

Innocent Drinks TV advert banned in UK over ‘greenwashing’

Global survey suggests three in four want single-use plastics ‘banned’ 

Tesco successfully removes one and a half billion pieces of plastic

Tips on getting sustainability information from suppliers by US company Toxnot (Video)

Excellent interview about design and development at circular furniture company Vepa

Are urban micro-factories the way of the future for circular cities?

A very interesting presentation by a Danish maker of digitally supported reusable kitchens

Design student uses animal bones instead of plastic for minimalist sockets and light switches 

Flow Loop is a shower system that recirculate and purifies your shower water

Sustainable battery supplier Northvolt produces EV battery from recycled metals

Accessible, easy-to-read overview of what motivates Finnish citizens to engage in a sustainable lifestyle

An excellent outline of what we need to do to move from 2.4 degrees of global warming to 1.5 by the organisation Circle Economy

Not new news, but news to me! Ecosia, a Berlin-based search engine, pays the legal fees for their employees who are arrested due to non-violent civil disobedience.

Some short snappy interviews with leaders of Cradle to Cradle businesses

As part of the Waste Action Plan for a Circular Economy, Ireland is considering a French-style ban on fruit & veg plastic packaging

Hong Kong company Ampd Energy helps construction companies avoid diesel generators on site

Sweden’s SSAB, a pioneer in making steel from hydrogen, is bringing forward the closure of its coal-fired furnaces from 2045 to 2030. This will eliminate eight million tonnes of carbon a year, reducing Sweden’s carbon emissions by 10% and Finland’s by 7%.

The Print The Change is a pan-European cooperative of printing companies that produce in accordance with the Cradle to Cradle principle: passionate pioneers in eco-friendly printing.

Apeel is an ingenious coating that extends the life of fruit a veg without any packaging

The Irish government has launched a very easy-to-use tool to help companies measure scope 1 and 2 of their carbon footprint

PepsiCo Europe to use 100% ‘recycled or renewable’ plastic in all packets by 2030

New product grows moss on concrete walls, helping them to trap carbon


Till next time


Published by Elaine Butler

I am a circular design consultant helping manfacturers prepare for the circular economy