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Sustainability has become a buzzword with a considerable gap between expectation and reality. Nevertheless, it remains a key topic that is impacting consumer behavior and changing the way companies operate. In this blogpost we want to share more about upcycling and how lignin acts as part of the circular economy.
Circularity in Products – Why it Matters
Consumers are willing to change their habits to reduce their environmental impact. However, they want businesses to do their part as well. When considering physical products an important aspect of sustainability considerations is the concept of circular economy.
In a world where natural resources are depleting at an alarming rate, it becomes increasingly important to adopt sustainable practices in our production and consumption patterns. Therefore, the concept of the circular economy offers a solution by emphasizing the idea of respecting nature. Additionally it ensures that nothing goes to waste. It is a model that promotes sharing, reusing, repairing, recycling, and upcycling existing materials and products as long as possible. By embracing circularity, we can reduce the environmental impact of many products and turn sustainability from a buzzword to reality.
What is Upcycling?
One powerful approach within the concept of circular economy is upcycling. Upcycling involves the recovery of used materials and transforming them into higher quality pieces, hence expanding their lifespan. Unlike recycling, which often involves breaking down materials to their basic components, upcycling focuses on repurposing and enhancing the value of existing materials. It is a creative process that encourages innovation and gives new life to discarded items. Above all, upcycling even helps to reduce CO2 emissions, because it takes less resources to repurpose existing materials than extracting, manufacturing, or recycling new ones.
Circular Economy Approach at Lignovations
Wood is an incredibly valuable resource that is often underutilized. In the pulp and paper industry, cellulose is used for creating paper, but lignin (which makes up 20-30% of wood) is often burnt or goes to waste. However, lignin could instead be used for many high-value applications such as wood coatings, textiles, food, packaging, cosmetics and many more .
Here at Lignovations we want to make sure that every part of the wood is used and not wasted. We approach this by unlocking the power of lignin for industrial applications and consumer products.
But what is lignin actually? Lignin is a complex organic polymer found in the cell walls of plants, particularly in wood. By creating multifunctional ingredients from upcycled lignin, Lignovations prevents lignin from being discarded or burnt and reduces the need for ingredients made from non-renewable resources.
For example, the upcycled lignin we use for our LignoGuard® products is sourced from residues of wood processing and certified local forests.
Lignovations’ contribution to a circular economy
There are many sustainability benefits of incorporating lignin into end products. First and foremost, it reduces the demand for virgin materials. Thus lessening the strain on natural resources. Additionally, lignin’s inherent functional properties make it an ideal ingredient for a wide range of applications. Examples include cosmetics, coatings, and packaging.
Furthermore, Lignovations‘ commitment to the circular economy extends beyond the use of lignin. We actively seek partnerships with other companies to establish closed-loop systems. By collaborating with suppliers and customers, we aim to ensure that their products are not only sustainable but also recyclable and reusable at the end of their life cycle.
Let’s make change happen together
Upcycling and the circular economy offer a path toward a more sustainable future, and we are dedicated to contributing to this goal. We are always on the lookout for new partners, new applications, and inspiring conversations. If you are curious about lignin and would love to work with us, please reach out.