"How the circular business model can beat the linear one"

Sustainable use of plastics was the focus of the 2024 Plastbubbel event, hosted by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency. The event showcased inspiring examples, including the innovation Gordon Circular – a circular packaging for food e-commerce.

Packaging is our largest waste stream. It protects goods, but the high use of single-use packaging also generates a lot of paper and cardboard waste.

"With Gordon Circular, we offer consumers who buy their food online the option to receive and return their delivery in circular packaging," says Kristina Llijestrand, Head of Business Development at Gordon.

The results so far show a return rate of 98 per cent for the circular packaging. This means that each package can be circulated an average of 50 times before it disappears from the system.

"As well as being good for your wallet, it is also good for the environment. A life cycle analysis that we have carried out in collaboration with Linköping University shows that we only need to loop the Gordon Circular five times for the whole system to have a lower impact on the climate than a paper bag that is only used once," says Kristina Liljestrand.

When it comes to the business model, companies need to move from buying disposable packaging to paying a circular fee. Kristina is confident that the circular model will outperform the linear one, citing the example of a company that, after six months of using circular packaging, saw a 50% increase in retention rates:*

"This alone is enough to make the case for circular packaging. Minimise handling and cleaning costs and see the potential for more loyal customers with circular packaging."

You can watch Plastbubbel in retrospect here:

*BOLD reuse, USA

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