Unified Metrics Library - Recycling in products and packaging

Helper question

If you company operated manufacturing, construction and/or packaging processes during the period, provide the rate of recyclable content in the products and their packaging?


Increasing recyclable content in products and packaging is an ESG priority as it reduces reliance on virgin materials, promotes a circular economy, and contributes to waste reduction.




The use of recyclable content in products and their packaging has a significant impact on the environment, with both positive and negative aspects to consider:

Positive impacts: - Reduced resource extraction: Utilizing recycled materials in place of virgin resources lowers the demand for mining, logging, and other resource extraction activities, minimizing ecological disruption and habitat destruction. - Decreased energy consumption: The recycling process typically requires less energy compared to creating products from virgin materials, ultimately reducing greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating climate change. - Diverted waste from landfills: When products and packaging contain recyclable content, they are less likely to end up in landfills, which reduces land pollution and methane emissions. - Stimulates the circular economy: Increased use of recycled content fosters a circular economy where materials are kept in use for longer periods, promoting resource conservation and sustainability.

Negative impacts: - Downcycling vs. upcycling: Not all recycling processes are created equal. Sometimes, recycled materials are "downcycled" into products of lower quality than the original, ultimately ending up in landfills anyway. - Contamination and sorting challenges: Mixed materials or contaminants in recyclable waste can hinder efficient sorting and processing, potentially reducing the overall environmental benefit. - Limited availability and infrastructure: In certain regions, the availability of recycled materials and robust recycling infrastructure may be limited, hindering the widespread adoption of recycled content. - Food safety concerns: Using recycled materials in certain food packaging applications might raise concerns about potential chemical migration or safety risks. - Overall, the environmental impact of recyclable content in products and packaging depends on various factors, including:

The type of material and its recycling process: Different materials have varying recycling capabilities and environmental impacts associated with their processing. The quality and purity of the recycled content: Higher quality and cleaner recycled materials offer greater environmental benefits. The overall product design and production process: Minimizing packaging and using energy-efficient production methods amplify the positive environmental impact. Therefore, when evaluating the ESG performance of a company, it's crucial to understand the quality and extent of recycled content used, the efficiency of their recycling processes, and their overall commitment to circular economy principles.