Circularity for the Greatest Societal and Environmental Benefits

Boy drinking at fountainCircular Economy initiatives should embrace a holistic view of the economy that considers both the environmental and societal impacts of a product or material across its lifecycle.

Approaches that measure circularity based on a single attribute, such as recyclability, rely on an overly simplistic formula, which can ultimately forfeit significant societal or environmental benefits that advance sustainability through use of the currently non-recyclable product.

For example, certain chemistry innovations enable critical applications in health care, personal hygiene, transportation, infrastructure and packaging that are essential to sustainability, even if the products themselves are by nature intended for a single use. Forfeiting those innovations in the short term for the sake of circularity could jeopardize decades of advancements that have led to a healthier, more vibrant society.

Instead, the chemical industry supports pursuit of technological innovations and approaches that improve upon these materials over the long term, to eliminate waste and cycle resources and materials, while maintaining societal and sustainability benefits from chemical products.

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