Almost all municipal waste consists of packaging. The solution? Rationality and a lot of research work (serious)

The objectives of Ikea are always one step ahead, a little more incisive and ambitious than those of other brands. The latest announcement is that by 2025 all new products placed on the market will be in plastic-free packaging.

Once again, the furniture giant manages to anticipate the sector in terms of green transition. But above all, Ikea has the energy, economic and logistical, to apply as the furniture brand that decides the pace of the ecological transition. The goal is to become carbon positive by 2030, which means emitting less greenhouse gases than that produced by the entire production chain. In short: also eliminate part of the carbon imprint of others.

Plastic producers participate in the green transition

When we talk about plastic we touch on a very sensitive topic. The green transition, as urgent as it requires time and investment, requires serious reasoning and, above all, based on facts and investments. This was confirmed by Antonello Ciotti, president of CPME (the consortium that brings together European Pet producers) during the press conference that he announced last week the victory of the first Italian appeal against greenwashing.

The European production chain, which last year produced 58 million tons of plastic materials (3% less than the year before), is alert and aware. But it underlines the need for rational reasoning and the uselessness of demonizing a material that, at the moment, is irreplaceable.

Italian law does its part in terms of sustainable packaging

The numbers speak for themselves: 40% of plastics is used for packaging. I 94% of municipal waste is made up of packaging. Large-scale distribution is the main responsible, obviously followed by digital marketplaces. Europe has been dealing with the issue since 2018, the year in which it set (ambitious) targets for the next few years.

Achieve the recycling of 50% of plastic packaging by 2025 and 55% by 2030. Italy has translated these objectives into decree 118/2020, which establishes criteria for manufacturing companies. The composition of the packaging must respect human health, as well as reduce the ecological impact.

Design brands think about sustainability, including packaging

Design firms are doing rigorous reasoning in this regard. For some years now, many have been publishing their own sustainability reports, which attest to the certification of a constant commitment to ecology.

The reflection on logistics, packaging and the sensible use of materials is endemic, fortunately. And exciting, both for designers and entrepreneurs. Awareness is growing and it is now clear that "There is no sustainability without science", as stated by Elena Stoppioni, president by Save The Planet.

Scientists, engineers and designers: here's what it takes to solve

There is still a lack of specialized professionals within companies. Useful not only to “transition” towards a less impactful design system, but above all to do it in a rational way. First of all, engineers and scientists, says Elena Stoppioni. However, you do not mention the fundamental contribution of design in integrating the human variable (aesthetic, formal, interaction) in the process. Without an upstream philosophy, without a useful reasoning to give a moral and value sense to the green transition, the risk is not to involve people who, with their choices and their desires, are an important needle in the ecological balance. And this is a designer's job.