Circular economy on Italy trading commission agenda

Rabobank wants to stimulate national and international discussion about the circular economy and promote circular entrepreneurship. For this reason, we’ll be highlighting this theme during the trade mission to Italy (20 to 23 June).

Both in the Netherlands and Italy, the circular economy is an important social theme as well as an economic driving force for high quality production and export. An important aspect of the circular economy is packaging. ‘The use of packaging comes with various dilemmas,’ says Susan Hansen, Rabobank strategist. ‘We have elaborated upon these dilemmas, in combination with packaging trends, in an infographic and an article. We will be presenting this to mission participants during the trade mission in Italy. The theme was also pivotal during the company visit to Novamont and Pollenzo University. We have a strategic partnership with the university in which circular economy is part of the fixed agenda. Novamont is a good example of a company that sets the tone for using waste for new packaging. They use their own technique to create sustainable packaging out of waste for companies such as coffee producer Lavazza.’

Hansen: ‘Consumers are increasingly critical of packaging, especially plastics, due to the negative effects they can have on the environment and people. At the same time, the demand for and use of packaging is increasing globally. According to GlobalData, the quantity of flexible and plastic packaging will double between 2006 and 2021. This is due to factors such as the growing global population and consumer behaviour (including the increasing demand for convenience foods). The inherent difficulty is that there is no single solution for the problem. During the trade mission, the infographic and article will therefore serve as a talking point for Italian and Dutch entrepreneurs. Both Food & Agri companies and enterprises in industries such as fashion will be represented as they both make heavy use of packaging. Cross-sector discussions and sharing knowledge and experience can give rise to innovative solutions and ideas. After the trade mission, we are also going to enter into discussions with entrepreneurs in the Netherlands about the use of packaging and how this can be made more sustainable.’