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  • Ellsworth-Krebs et al Circular Economy Infrastructure (for PURE)

    Rights statement: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Sustainable Production and Consumption. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Sustainable Production and Consumption, 29, 2021 DOI: 10.1016/j.spc.2021.10.007

    Accepted author manuscript, 323 KB, PDF document

    Embargo ends: 13/10/22

    Available under license: CC BY-NC-ND: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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Circular Economy Infrastructure: why we need track and trace for reusable packaging

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>30/01/2022
<mark>Journal</mark>Sustainable Production and Consumption
Volume29
Number of pages10
Pages (from-to)249-258
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date13/10/21
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Information and communication technologies are recognised to be sufficiently mature to support traceability for reusable packaging at large scale, however, issues of data management, data integration, trust and collaboration in this complex ecosystem remain under-explored. We suggest that Digital Passports and mandatory reporting could provide a way to audit and incentivise reuse of packaging, allowing governments to focus on prevention and framing packaging as an asset, rather than inevitably turning into waste after a short single-use cycle. Digital Passports can address business’ concerns (or excuses) for not investing in reusable packaging from helping with determining affordability through measuring packaging lifespans; meeting health and safety standards through batch coding and evidencing cleaning checks; addressing reputational concerns through clear documentation on the environmental impact of reusable items; and making reusable packaging competitive through waste taxation that actually measures reuse and not weight. We explore Digital Passports, not simply as a technical intervention but as boundary objects that are useful in supporting collaboration, identifying points of miscommunication between key actors along the value change, from misconceptions of health and safety regulations to a distinction between retailers and manufacturing brands appetite for investing in reuse. Thus, we provide a solid foundation for future research on Digital Passports, the digital circular economy and reusable packaging to build.

Bibliographic note

This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Sustainable Production and Consumption. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Sustainable Production and Consumption, 29, 2021 DOI: 10.1016/j.spc.2021.10.007