Circular Economy is about ensuring we make the best use of limited natural resources. At Circular Scout we want to help companies and individuals find their way towards circularity.
I have interviewed our Packaging Expert Partner Uwe Melichar from Melichar Bros. and will share his thoughts on circular packaging with you.
Circular Scout: Uwe, can you tell us about your experience in the packaging industry and why circular packaging matters to you?
Uwe Melichar: I'm working in branding and packaging ever since. For more than 20 years I was developing various packaging projects for Gardena, adidas, C&A, Huawei, OMRON, Aesculap and various other big and small companies. I’ve been a partner for packaging at the branding agency FACTOR but at the beginning of this year I left the company and started my new business MELICHAR Bros. I am focussing 100% on sustainable and circular packaging and now I’m already developing sustainable and extraordinary packaging solutions for clients. Taking responsibility for projects, I cooperate with cradle-to-cradle experts, environmental scientists, engineers, marketeers, 3D artists and designated partners from the packaging industry. My extensive network (Bros. = brothers & sisters) is located in Germany but also in Helsinki, Paris, Riga, Istanbul, Budapest, Moscow and Taipei. Sustainability is my major focus. We have to have a holistic circular view on packages from cradle to grave or better from "cradle to cradle"! My motto: »Increase Value, Decrease Waste«
Circular Scout: thanks for letting us know about you, Uwe. I would also add that your packages received multiple awards such as Red Dot, Pentawards, German Design Award and that you are president of the European Brand & Packaging Design Association (epda) since 2018 where you have been advocating for more circular design.
Circular Scout: Uwe, why are many package designs not yet circular & sustainable?
Uwe Melichar: in a packaging process there are various stakeholders involved. Marketing people, designers, logistic experts, sales people and the buyers. All of them have their own agenda and want to save costs, create a bold shelf impression or focus on convenience features. This could mean that they try to find the lowest common denominator and end up in a compromise. Circular packaging needs realistic and clearly defined goals. It doesn't tolerate excuses.
Circular Scout: Uwe, can you suggest what brands can do now to develop more circular packaging?
Uwe Melichar: be brave and be open minded. There is a saying: ‚If you have a hammer in your hand you see nails everywhere‘. So, if a company or brand only talks to a cardboard converter they’ll only get cardboard packages. This platform CircularScout24 and the connected independent sustainability experts will propose and create reliable solutions that suits with the companies´ manufacturing processes.
Here are 3 questions that brands should consider to make their packaging more circular:
1. Can the package become smaller, lighter, more simple? and is the secondary packaging necessary at all?