Included in the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's Upstream Innovation plastic pollution guide outlines three circular economy innovation strategies 


The guide is designed to help businesses develop upstream solutions that prevent plastic waste and pollution (Credit: Pixabay)

Circular economy charity the Ellen MacArthur Foundation has published a packaging solutions guide outlining ways to eliminate plastic pollution through circular economy solutions.

It’s accompanied by a host of assets including a case study database, a workshop toolkit and videos created by the New Plastics Economy innovation team to help anyone involved in packaging creation to develop upstream solutions that prevent plastic waste and pollution.

The Upstream Innovation guide’s release comes just weeks after the Foundation, alongside the UN Environment Programme, published the second New Plastics Economy Global Commitment Progress report.

This made it clear that businesses would need to step up their elimination and reuse efforts if they were to meet their 2025 targets to address plastic pollution.

By focusing more of their efforts on upstream innovation – rather than just downstream activity such as waste management – businesses can prevent waste from ever being created.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s innovation programme manager Sara Wingstranda said: “We cannot recycle our way out of the plastic pollution crisis, we need to move upstream and look at what is put on the market in the first place, so we can eliminate waste, not simply manage it better.

“The circular economy allows us to redesign the entire plastics system to not only overcome the global challenge of plastic pollution, but to do so in a way that allows us to build better growth and create solutions at speed and scale.

“Designers and businesses are at the heart of this transition and we hope this guide will help them on that journey.”


Ellen MacArthur Foundation plastic pollution guide outlines three circular economy innovation strategies

The Upstream Innovation guide provides examples and guidance on applying upstream innovation to achieve three circular economy strategies – elimination, reuse, and material circulation.

It also outlines how to support and make decisions throughout the upstream innovation process.

Alongside this, it provides more than 110 examples – including from Tesco, Lush, Walmart, and Abel & Cole – to demonstrate how businesses around the world are using circular economy solutions across a range of sectors.