The Sustainable Packaging Compass


Last week the Netherlands Institute for Sustainable Packaging (KIDV) launched The Sustainable Packaging Compass. With the Compass, companies can determine the sustainability of packaging based on three pillars: recyclability, circularity and environmental impact. Furthermore, it is possible to compare the current product-packaging combination with other alternatives. The Compass helps companies to set their course towards a circular economy.

"With The Sustainable Packaging Compass we want to help companies determine which facet of sustainability can best be tackled," says Niels van Marle, packaging expert at the KIDV. The tool is relatively easy to use. It only takes twenty minutes to run through an entire scenario and obtain the results. Van Marle: "For this, a user only needs the technical data of the packaging and information about the end-of-life scenarios. Each pillar - recyclability, circularity and environmental impact - measures a different aspect of sustainability and this leads to an overall assessment of sustainability in the Dutch packaging chain." In addition to the Compass calculation, it may be useful to have a more detailed life cycle assessment (LCA) performed. For this, more information is needed and the KIDV refers companies to agencies that specialise in this.

The Compass was commissioned by the KIDV and built by RDC Environment. At present, the tool can be used for flexible and rigid plastic packaging. The calculations are based on the current situation of sorting and recycling facilities in the Netherlands, so the tool cannot yet be used to measure the recyclability and circularity of packaging collected and recycled in other countries. The KIDV aims to expand the tool in 2021 to include the packaging materials paper, cardboard and glass. In co-operation with the Dutch Packaging Waste Fund (‘Afvalfonds Verpakkingen’), the KIDV is also looking into the possibility of using the digital module of the Recyclecheck in the future when applying for plastic fee modulation. The Compass is updated annually on the basis of new developments.

A number of companies had the scoop and were allowed to work with The Sustainable Packaging Compass as test users.

deSter: "The Compass is easy to use and the results are clearly presented."
Heineken: "The Compass is a great addition to the tools we use to weigh the sustainability of our packaging. The Compass falls between design rules and detailed LCA, so that for the materials used by Heineken such as glass, metal and plastics, it can make a good comparison on recyclability and CO2 footprint."

To the tool

The tool is only available in English. There are two versions of the tool. It is possible to quickly evaluate a package without creating an account, whereby the data is not stored. If a company wants to store and compare different scenarios, an account has to be created.

Click here to access The Sustainable Packaging Compass.

Note: This is the first version of the Sustainable Packaging Compass. KIDV has extensively tested the tool together with test users. Should you encounter any bugs or have any questions about the results, please contact us at: https://question.kidv.nl/.
 

More infomation about The Sustainable Packaging Compass?

Read the interview with project manager Niels van Marle: Making sustainability measurable - Set your course with The Sustainable Packaging Compass.