_Our Position

Completely avoiding plastic and switching to biodegradable packaging? Increased use of recycled material, regardless of quality? And what about the use of PVC in construction products?

Finding answers to complex challenges requires interdisciplinary expertise and fundamental discussions. With Cradle to Cradle®, we follow a holistic design principle that not only takes the ingredients used into account, but also their usage scenario. As EPEA, we have positioned ourselves on the following topics:

Mechanical and chemical recycling of plastics

We do not regard the recycling hierarchy of the European Waste Framework Directive as sufficiently differentiated. Only the next material reuse is considered, while the reuse of the same material is neglected. As a result, plastic resins with significantly lower recyclability are preferred in the design phase.

Find out more in our Position paper on mechanical and chemical recycling of plastics.

_Plastic: Which strategy for which scenario?

Plastic is omnipresent in our daily lives. The recent Chinese import ban on plastic waste and the European Commission's plastics strategy paper make it clear that a process of rethinking is necessary and has already been initiated in some cases. But what can strategies look like?

The one on our partner site Fairplanet published article provides insights into the most relevant plastics strategies (including phase-out, substitution, bio-plastics).

_Paper products as valuable resources

Magazines, packaging, printing inks and office paper enrich our everyday lives. But how good are these products for people and the environment? What about recyclability? The joint report by B.A.U.M. and EPEA as part of the Healthy Printing Initiative shows how you can design healthy printed products in order to achieve a new quality of recycling and make optimal use of the valuable resource paper.

Read more in the report “Making printed products fit for the future” or in Fairplanet toilet paper articles.

_PVC and chlorine management

Around 45 million tons of PVC are produced worldwide every year for a wide variety of applications. PVC is associated with many problems during production, use and after use of products and is therefore critically assessed by various sides, including by us.

Find out more in our position paper.

_Using phosphorus

Phosphorus (P) is an essential element of life. Without phosphorus in the form of phosphate, there would be no bones, no DNA, not even food and the associated transformation into energy. In addition to nitrogen and potassium, phosphorus is often the limiting factor for plant growth.

Current environmental standards restrict the use of sewage sludge and manure in agriculture. As a result, the phosphorus contained cannot be reused, which must therefore be questioned.

Ecological performance profile of processes for the treatment of biogenic residues

Soil, resource and climate protection through composting in Germany

_Recycled doesn't always mean recyclable

As part of the environmental discussion about increasing soil littering and limited resources, the goal of achieving the highest possible recycled content in the product has become increasingly important. Since the chemical composition of the recycled materials used is often largely undefined, this objective should be questioned in various certification systems and in people's minds. Instead of thinking about recycling only after the use phase of a product, product design must focus on a defined and required recyclability.

_Contact us if you have any questions