When talking about packaging sustainability, the focus is often recycling and recyclability. However, it’s important to think about packaging sustainability and responsible management of resources in terms of the whole waste hierarchy – the three Rs: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. It is known as a “hierarchy” for a reason– REDUCING our use of materials from the start is the most important “R.” Reducing the overall use of material equates to savings: raw materials never extracted, energy and water not used, and decreased transport requirements. It can be challenging to explain the benefits of resources never used in the first place in an impactful way. Also, recycling is such a visual and tangible aspect of sustainability, it often crowds out the REDUCTION message. That’s why I’m excited to share a new infographic we created, based on a presentation from Amcor Flexibles Americas and data from a Flexible Packaging Europe (FPE) study. The presentation, which I first saw at SustPack 2015, included a poignant analogy to illustrate resource efficiency and the trade-offs that are part of sustainable materials management. Check it out and please share it with your networks!