Responsible end-of-life

Responsible end-of-life is considered the remaining biggest challenge by our members regarding the integration of sustainability in our industry. The large share of single-use products in our industry hampers the development of circular loop systems and minimal waste processes. EDANA is conscious that first of all the waste disposal methods, and secondly the recycling or reuse of products are important challenges to increase responsible end-of-life and to build a more sustainable industry.

In the European Union (EU), it is estimated that absorbent hygiene products (baby diapers, feminine care and incontinence products) represent between 1.5% and 6.3% of municipal solid waste depending on the degree of sorting and recycling achieved at national or regional level. Encouraging the development of more sustainable products, increasing recyclability or biodegradability of products and packaging are key areas of innovation for our industry to develop a circular society.

EDANA believes multilevel interactions with stakeholders will enable our members to transform this main challenge into a key opportunity. The industry’s product responsibility must expand beyond the point of sale. By carefully designing every product and adding after-life value, our industry evolves towards a role of circular economy actor.

Ambition : Engaging with all stakeholders in developing optimal waste and circular economy solution

Consumer awareness campaigns
Partnerships for effective end-of-life management
Implementing circular economy principle

Consumer awareness campaigns

EDANA considers consumer awareness campaigns as an essential part of providing relevant product information on hygiene and health and safety. It is our industry’s responsibility to clearly inform consumers on possible environmental and social impacts of goods and services. The aim is to ensure products are used correctly to minimize unintended social or environmental effects and ensure optimal user quality and value. Through these awareness campaigns we help consumers and communities to anticipate risks related to inappropriate application and seek to improve end-of-life waste management.

Through continuous consumer interaction and education, our members seek to steer behaviour towards a sustainable end-of-life for industry products.

Partnerships for effective end-of-life management

“True sustainability within the supply chain can only be reached through open communication and sustainable partnerships with all actors”, as stated in the first pillar, equally applies for effective end-of-life management. Our industry focuses on synergies and partnerships across the value chain. 66% of our members have established partnerships specifically for sustainability to improve waste management, create closed-loops processes and innovate on circular systems. These improvements can occur both in the biological (green) and industrial (blue) cycle.

Together we create solutions for responsible handling, efficient production and post-consumer waste disposal, thereby increasing the uptake of circular raw materials in our value chain

The chart illustrates the continuous flow of technical (blue) and biological (green) materials through the ‘value circle’. It also shows that within the circular economy there are different possible routes, each with different levels of performance and efficiency. On the biological cycle this ranges from bio-based to biodegradable and compostable. The technological cycle ranges from maintenance to recycling.

the-circular-economy-ellen-macarthur-foundation-2012-p24-reproduced-with-permission

Implementing circular economy principles

Looking beyond the current industrial models of take-make-dispose, we aim to gradually evolve towards a circular economy. With new design innovations, our members expand their market opportunities while moving away from the linear model of consumption. This circular model is displayed in blue on the chart of the previous chapter “Partnerships for effective end-of-life management”.

EDANA stimulates innovation on circular design, material use and regeneration of natural systems by transitioning our industry towards a circular economy.

Circular economy innovation for EDANA is about changing the way business can be done and challenging traditional practices for a better industry. In order to do so, EDANA keeps an eye open on the bigger picture and the key trends in exciting technical innovations. The topic of circular economy is systematically integrated through our various symposiums and conferences.

EDANA sustainability initiatives

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Member sustainability initiatives

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