We know that the world’s growing population is putting increasing pressure on global resources and that the world’s current consumption patterns are simply not sustainable in the longer term. As the world’s finite supply of fossil fuels diminishes, in direct contrast to the increasing demands of a larger population, we will need to move to a circular economy based on renewable resources and optimum efficiency. In contrast to the linear model of take, make, dispose, a circular economy is a framework that takes insights from living systems. It considers that our systems should work like organisms, processing nutrients that can be fed back into the cycle, whether biological or technical, which is where phrases such as “closed loop” or “regenerative” come in.
It’s also why we believe Europe’s paper industry has a very bright future – because it is already a benchmark model of resource efficiency and a perfect fit for the circular economy. It is inherently sustainable by nature: Based on renewable, recyclable raw materials, Europe’s paper industry can produce second-generation biofuels to replace crude oil as well as renewable bio-based products. It provides packaging solutions to avoid food waste and it uses residues from the woodworking industry as its raw materials.
CEPI has just published a folder illustrating resource efficiency examples in the pulp and paper industry. You can download the full publication here.
On the thematic pages included in this folder you’ll find lots of concrete examples of how the pulp and paper industry is already living the circular economy. The 7 themes that compose the publication are listed below and can be downloaded separately: