In a circular economy, upstream innovation is about tracing a problem back to its root cause and tackling it there. It means that rather than working out how to deal with a pile of waste, we prevent it from being created in the first place.
It is now widely recognised that a systemic, circular economy approach is the only solution that can match the scale of the plastic pollution problem. More than 850 organisations have united behind the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s vision of a circular economy for plastic, where we eliminate the plastic we don’t need, innovate towards new materials and business models, and circulate all the plastic we use. Businesses accounting for more than 20% of global plastic packaging use have set ambitious 2025 targets towards this vision.
With 2025 just around the corner, it is time to deliver solutions — and these workshop resources are here to help you explore solutions with your colleagues, suppliers, factories and beyond. The workshop has been designed for both people new to the topic of packaging circularity, as well as seasoned circular economy practitioners. It considers upstream innovation for packaging through the lens of plastics, but many of the findings are applicable to other packaging materials.
The workshop is based on the Upstream Innovation Guide, a free resource on how to harness the power of upstream innovation as a root-cause solution to plastic waste.