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is sustainable packaging beneficial to humans?

Updated: Feb 22, 2019


It is fantastic to see so many communication about innovations for #sustainable packaging. But are we 100% sure that all are good for us, the people, the #humans ?

All the new raw materials, reusable or recycling strategies & processes we see emerging will be fine if, and only if they minimise impact on 3 major needs for humans: fresh water, breathing air (including smog) and available food (including arable land) – when one of these requirements is not possible, we simply die. It seems that sometime we are missing this fact.


All the loop systems, start-up companies, innovation processes and sustainable material must take into consideration these 3 major issues and companies have to evaluate impact of their concept versus current situation to see if there is a benefit for #humans or not .

The sustainable source of the material (recycled, renewable), the use (performance, efficient supply chain) and the end-of-life (collect- bio degrade - technical recycle - reuse) are only part of the equation :


raw material + use + end of life = f (major human impact)

new packaging solution impact ≤ current packaging impact

In Africa, for ex the total of renewable #water resource is 3 930 km3, less than 9 % of water global resource for 1,2 Billion inhabitants in 2017. The population is expected to double in 2050 and with no likely increased water resources …in this case, replacing a current packaging solution with a new one which negatively impact fresh water resource will be irrelevant even if it is "cleaner" for the #planet.

Saying that, I understand it could be choking and people can argue that with no biodiversity, no fish etc., there will be not more Humans … what I would like is to be sure we do not miss putting the human being back at the centre of the innovation and not the planet! We have to adapt to global warming while finding “sustainable” solutions. It doesn’t mean that we should do nothing, it means we have to step back and think about the best solutions for Humans too.


The new solutions must adapt to the human basic needs and be locally compatible: A solution for Europe will not necessarily work in an arid country as most of the solutions I've seen, seems to use more water than those current. Place of packaging production and place of use may have different situation and for ex a biodegrable material manufactured in EU may be useful in Africa if it creates bio-nutriment for the soil when degrading...

But in any case, we should ask ourselves whether this is better or not for human needs?

Ideally we must act #locally and define the best solution/type of country or act #globally and include Humans needs for new packaging development & waste management solutions .

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