Research suggests 80% of the damage done to the environment from waste products could be avoided if more thoughtful decisions about their design, choice of materials and chemicals used, distribution and sales process were made at the production stage.
That’s why, at PALLITE®, we design all our products with end-of-life considerations in mind.
We do this for a simple reason: we care about the world we live in. As a business founded with the sole aim of providing businesses with environmentally-friendly protective packaging solutions, we are committed to the circular economy, to keeping products and materials in use for as long as possible and designing waste out of the system.
There can be no doubt that this is the only way forward for a protective packaging industry that is currently heavily reliant on single-use plastics like expanded polystyrene (EPS) and polyethylene (PE) foam – products that are polluting our oceans, destroying habitats and eco-systems and killing wildlife. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation estimates around eight million tonnes of plastic leak into the ocean each year – the equivalent of dumping a lorryload full every minute. This is staggering, and simply cannot continue.
Circular design encourages consideration of a wider context at the outset and throughout all stages of the design process. Most traditional designs are created with the needs of an end user in mind, but circular design requires businesses to constantly balance these needs against their knowledge and understanding of the impact of the design on other stakeholders.
There is no single way to design a “zero-waste” or “zero-pollution” product or service, but there are countless opportunities for innovation, and a small number of strategies that have proven to be effective.
One of these is to look at the choice of materials used to create a product – and that is where PALLITE® concentrates its efforts. Not all materials are fit for a circular economy: some contain materials or chemicals that are harmful to humans or to the environment. But the good news is that is possible to design these out, and to choose to work with materials that are safe and fit within a circular economy model.
Introducing EcoLITE by PALLITE®: circular by design
Created as a viable, eco-friendly alternative to polystyrene, Stratocell, blue foam and other polyethylene (PE) protective packaging products, EcoLITE was designed from the very beginning to empower businesses to combat the plastic pollution epidemic by choosing a product designed to impact the environment as little as possible.
Virgin fibres used to make paper come either from young trees removed to support forest growth, or from wood chips produced as waste from sawmills, both of which are sustainable sources. EcoLITE is made from 90% recycled paper, which is even better for the environment, requiring 65% less energy to manufacture, reducing water pollution by 35%, and reducing air pollution by 74%.
What’s more, as with all PALLITE® products, EcoLITE is itself 100% recyclable after use, at the kerbside. By contrast, the majority of plastic packaging is at best down-cycled and most is either sent to landfill, littered or illegally dumped.
Towards a circular solution
At PALLITE®, we have set ourselves an ambitious target of ensuring EcoLITE is made from 100% recycled content in 2021, making it a truly circular solution. This target is part of our three promises to our world: to lower our CO2 footprint, to reduce single-use plastics, and to become more circular. As well as constantly striving to improve our operations against these promises, the nature of the products we manufacture allows us to help our clients with their own journey towards these goals – goals that will help us to preserve and protect our beautiful planet for the generations to come.
 Source: TechUK report (2018) Reuse, Repair, Remanufacture in the ICT Sector