How to increase sustainable food production in a hotter and drier climate for a constantly growing population while soil is protected?

Throughout the past century, advancements in agricultural technology have allowed farmers to feed a human population in constant growth and this has contributed to a huge deterioration of soil quality and health.

A frequently cited definition of soil health comes from Doran et al. (1996): ‘soil health is] the continued capacity of soil to function as a vital living system, within ecosystem and land use boundaries, to sustain biological productivity, maintain the quality of air and water environments, and promote plant, animal, and human health’. This definition represents an integration of biological, physical and chemical domains (Idowu et al., 2008), reflecting a recent emphasis on soil as a living system.

As stated by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) Soil is not an inert growing medium it is a living and life giving natural resource . It is teaming with billions of bacteria, fungi, and other microbes that are the foundation of an elegant symbiotic ecosystem ”. Soil health for a farmer is directly linked to plant yield but it has other advantages. Healthy soils produce more nutritious food and give plants greater resilience to pests and diseases. Healthy soils also hold more water, making this available to plants when rainfall is unreliable, or absorbing more during heavy rains, preventing floods and the run off of vital nutrients from fields.

In most ecosystems, more life and diversity lives underground than above. Soil organisms such as bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes, arthropods, and earthworms play critical roles such as decomposition, mineralization , pollutants degradation, carbon and nitrogen cycling , amongst others. The rhizosphere is the location of much soil biological activity and plant microbe interactions including symbioses, pathogenic infection, and competition. The types of species present and their level of activity depends on micro environmental conditions including temperature, moisture, aeration, pH, pore size, and types of food sources.

Plant pest dynamics depend on the whole mix of organisms in the soil. Some organisms prey on or compete with disease causing organisms. Some bacteria release plant growth factors that directly increase plant growth.

So, how we can increase the food production in a sustainable way for the humans and the environment while we protect the soil health?

  • Measuring soil quality: physical, chemical, and biological properties of the soil.
  • Minimize soil disturbance like tillage and return plant residues to the soil  rebuilding the stock of soil organic matter , preventing loose soil particles, increasing biodiversity and bioactivity, protecting the network created by mycorrhizal fungi.
  • Reduce the use of unnecessary nutrient fertilizers by monitoring regularly the nutrients in soil before making applications.
  • When working with biologicals (living organisms) to control a pest , treat a disease or biostimulants plant physiology, the impact in the existing ecosystem should be analysed. The use of biologicals is different than working with chemicals where actions/effects can be more easily predicted. Interaction occurs in a very complex way, adding species can provoke the increase or decrease on existing species, beneficial or not, so u npredictable effects can occur. Partners in the soil change over the time and plants select each time the best microbiome when it is available , so this should be considered on a case by case basis to allow biologicals to success in the future.
  • When pesticides are needed, the use of less (eco)toxic substances are preferable to avoid impacts on the soil microbiome and the microbially mediated processes that affect soil functioning.

We need urgently awareness of good agricultural practises, as soil health has the power to improve plant, human and animal health (“One Health” concept”) so we can find together the best way to take advantage of this.

If you need more information about all the news related to Plant Health and Nutrition Regulations, please feel free to contact Kaeltia's experts; we will be pleased to assist you.

You have probably heard the term sustainable fashion, which is becoming more and more popular among consumers and entrepreneurs, since the textile sector has a great impact on the environment. Not surprisingly, more and more brands are committing to sustainability in fashion. But, how can your enterprise reach sustainability? Even more important, what is sustainable fashion? In this article, we will give you a detailed explanation of ‘ecofriendly’ fashion and clothing.

What does sustainable fashion mean?

Sustainability in fashion encompasses a set of practices in the design, manufacture and consumption of fashion that are respectful of the environment and all those who work in the textile industry.

For example, hundreds of litres of water and chemical agents are used to manufacture jeans alone. Throughout the production process in the textile industry, various environmental impacts are generated, and all the links in the production chain generate their ecological footprint and environmental impact.

Therefore, the first step in implementing this new concept of sustainable fashion must be to carry out a product life cycle analysis, in order to determine which phases have the greatest negative impact on the ecosystem and to focus our sustainable actions on those elements with the greatest pollutant load. Only on the basis of this premise can a textile system based on the production of sustainable clothing be implemented.

Considering this scenario, we at Kaeltia are committed to providing global solutions that have a positive impact on the environment, thanks to our eco-design solutions services for companies. In each of the projects we evaluate, we transcend conventional limits, betting on the implementation of cleaner and more environmentally friendly production processes.

How is sustainable fashion produced? Sustainable materials

According to statistics, 35% of the microplastics found in the sea come from washing machines water. This means that, unlike sustainable clothing, traditional clothing materials have a high environmental impact, unlike sustainable clothing.

Thanks to its manufacturing process, sustainable clothing is produced using vegetable fibres, in a completely natural way, with vegetable fibres and cotton that have been cultivated under organic farming techniques. This means that during the process no pesticides or any other chemical that could make these garments harmful to the environment, have been used.

That is, sustainable materials such as linen, cotton or other types of eco-friendly fabrics bring a wealth of benefits, both for the people who use them and for taking a further step towards conscious development in the textile and clothing industry.

What does it take to be a sustainable fashion company?

Consumer demand for sustainable fashion companies is a growing trend. As a result, more and more companies in the Spanish fashion sector are opting for sustainability in their products. In order to demonstrate this ‘authenticity’ in their materials, they have introduced labels that classify clothing as environmentally friendly, which are known as ‘sustainability’ labels.

But we must go further, and look at other elements that can be found in each garment, such as the place of manufacture and the sustainability of materials. For this, there are a series of relevant certificates that, as a company of the textile sector, it is necessary to take into account:


It has different standards and levels. One of the best known is the Oeko-Tex Standard 100, which guarantees that textile products are free of substances harmful to health.


It is a standard for organic fibres that takes into account both ecological and social criteria. It ensures that a fabric has been created in an environmentally friendly way and with respect for workers’ rights. The standard covers the entire production process, from textile manufacturing to labelling.

FairTrade Cotton:

This certificate identifies garments composed of 100% traceable and fair trade cotton, as well asmulti-fibre garments composed of at least 50% cotton.

For its part, the European Commission (EC) notes that “companies are increasingly responsible for the environmental and social impacts of their processes or supply chains, including inefficient use of resources, loss of biodiversity, risks to workers’ health and safety, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and damage to health and the environment, coming from the use of hazardous materials”.

Trends and choices: embracing sustainable clothing for a responsible future

As we have seen, sustainable fashion involves not only the choice of environmentally friendly materials, but also the adoption of responsible design, manufacturing and consumption practices. In this context, services such as those offered by Kaeltia become indispensable allies in this mission. By integrating sustainable strategies into all aspects of the textile industry, we can help to establish sustainable businesses that are committed to build a world where elegance and environmental responsibility, can coexist.

Nowadays, environmental conservation is at the forefront of global conversations and concerns. That’s why you’ve probably heard the term organic farming. In contrast to conventional agriculture, this farming technique advocates an organic production method to produce top-quality food using natural substances and processes. In this post, we explain in detail what organic farming is, and how it arose.

Organic farming: definition and examples

Also known as organic agriculture or biological agriculture, organic farming is an agricultural system aimed at obtaining products of the highest quality, respecting the environment and conserving the fertility of the land, by an optimal use of natural resources and organic farming methods. Below, we share some examples of this type of agriculture, that has become one of the bases for environment conservation:

  • Crop rotation.
  • Selection of disease-resistant plant and animal species adapted to local conditions.
  • Limited use of synthetic pesticides and fertilisers.
  • Prohibition of the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
  • Use of organic fertilisers such as manure to contribute to soil fertility and plant health.

In summary, once we know what organic farming is, we understand that it employs methods that promote the efficient management of natural resources, eliminating the use of chemical products and genetically modified organisms in the fight against pests. For this reason, at Kaeltia we have developed a Regulatory Affairs service aimed at researching and developing natural products/organisms that control pests, and fertilisers and biostimulants that are compatible with organic farming, thus contributing to placing increasingly safer and environmentally responsible products on the market, all over the world.

What is agroecology and rural development?

Organic farming was born out of agroecology, a discipline that studies agriculture from an ecological and holistic perspective, implementing strategies and systems that are more respectful of the environment.

The pressure to reduce production costs in the food industry has led to an impoverishment of nature, people and products. In most cases, making food cheaper does not take into account the environmental and health costs, which are ultimately passed on to taxpayers. In this respect, modern or traditional agriculture often depletes natural resources, pollutes water, food and air, and destroys ecosystems.

Therefore, a transition to agroecological practices, such as organic farming, is more productive and resilient to climate change. Such practices co-evolve with nature and keep a harmony with the environment, shaping resources in a way that allows for their continuity. Agroecological farms not only produce food, but are also part of local communities, and also contribute to environment self-regulation and rural development.

Advantages of organic farming

Once it is clear what organic farming is, it is also important to understand its benefits. In this respect, the profitability of organic farming can sometimes raise questions due to its holistic approach that covers several aspects, from the management of natural resources, to the quality of the products and its contribution to sustainability. What is certain is that organic farming is a production system that can become a profitable activity as a whole, as it not only has a positive impact on nature, but also on the workers. Although its main benefit is its commitment to the environment, there are other major advantages of organic farming:

  • Seeks to improve the living conditions of farmers.
  • Protects the soil against erosion and degradation, thus increasing its fertility.
  • Guarantees healthier, tastier and more nutritious food for the present and the future.
  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions, mitigating the effects of climate change and protecting biodiversity.

According to the European Commission (EC), around 8.5 % of the European Union’s (EU) agricultural area is dedicated to organic farming, a figure that could rise to 15-18 % by 2030. To boost it further, the EC has an Action Plan for the development of organic production, with which it hopes to raise this figure to 25%.

Organic farming: certifications and seals

As important as to understand organic farming, is to know everything related to certifications and seals. Organic certification guarantees that products have been grown or processed according to organic farming standards, and that the entire process of growing, processing, packaging and marketing is controlled. To achieve this, all organic operators are inspected at least once a year.

This control covers all stages: from the primary production of an organic product, to its storage, processing, transport, sale and supply to the consumer and – when appropriate – labelling, advertising, import, export and subcontracting activities. It should also be noted that the minimum period for converting a plot of land from conventional to organic farming is two years for annual crops, and three years for perennial crops.

As a distinguishing mark for the consumer, organic products must be marked with the EU logo and the code number of the inspection body to which the operator responsible for the organic product belongs, as well as its own brand name and the specific terms of organic production.

The bridge to organic farming

We have already seen that organic farming is a production alternative that can benefit everyone in the long run. Not only that, but more and more consumers are demanding such products in a critical way, checking and verifying the reliability of the labels when they buy them.

If you are a manufacturer, it is very important that you know what is behind each of these labels, which ones are applicable to your production and your crops, and what demands each country in which you are going to market them. If you need help to find out and obtain these certifications, Kaeltia can help you.

Let’s learn more about organic farming, and explore all it has to offer, both for the consumer and the manufacturer… and, for sure, for the environment.

In a world increasingly aware of the importance of taking care of the environment and preserving our planet, the concept of recycling has become a key element in the fight against pollution and the depletion of our natural resources.

This concern is transferred to the purchasing decisions of consumers who, step by step, are prioritising the purchase of products from companies involved in environment care and who reflect this – among other criteria – in the quality of recycling processes and in the recyclability of packaging.

But, do we really know what is recycling, or what is its real importance for our environment and business? In this post, we will try to go deeper into the concept of recycling, its different types and benefits, as well as explaining its relationship with the philosophy of Kaeltia, a company committed to the circular economy and the reuse of materials.

What is recycling?

In a simple definition, we could say that recycling is a process by which materials that are no longer useful in their original form are collected, processed and transformed into new products or materials. Today, this practice has become an essential process to reduce the accumulation of waste in landfills, and to minimise the environmental impact of production and consumption.

The importance of recycling also lies in its ability to help conserve natural resources, reduce pollution and thus combat climate change. By recycling, it is possible to obtain recycled materials that can be used to make new products, which in turn reduces the demand for raw materials such as wood, minerals, or oil.

There are several types of recycling, depending on the material to be reused, such as paper, glass, plastic and metal recycling, among others: each with its own specific benefits and processes. Recycling not only protects valuable resources, but also reduces greenhouse gas emissions and promotes a more circular economy.

However, it should be noted that, despite the importance of recycling, the priority of the measures adopted for environmental care should be aimed at preventing the production of packaging waste, promoting its reuse and, ultimately, its recycling. That is why at Kaeltia we work on eco-design solutions for companies, considering – among other fundamental principles – the use of cleaner production processes, as well as the reduction of natural resources not only in the design of more environmentally friendly packaging, but also prioritising reusable solutions that are fully integrated within circular economy.

In this sense, at Kaeltia we always make clear our firm commitment to sustainability through the reuse of materials. For example, with the transformation of waste – such as that generated by incineration in a funeral parlour – into a source of energy to power a company’s facilities. Another way to contribute to reducing the environmental footprint can also include rescuing textile fibres from used clothing, and giving them a second life by converting them into new garments. It is also possible to promote the reuse of product packaging, giving them an additional purpose once the original product has been consumed. In addition, glass packaging can be reused instead of being sent to the recycling process, boosting resource conservation and waste minimisation.

Why is recycling so important?

As important as to understand what recycling is, it is to know why recycling is so important. Generally speaking, recycling is important because it helps to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills, and to save natural resources. In addition, it is essential to understand that we should preferably focus on reuse before resorting to recycling. Re-use means giving objects and materials a second life, which avoids the need to produce new resources and further reduces waste generation. From a business point of view, it is essential to bear in mind that waste prevention, waste reduction, reuse and recycling have become the focus of development of multiple regulations, and it also determines the focus of research and innovations in order to achieve a business model based on circular economy.

It’s such its relevance, that the correct management of waste – as well as its recycling, or materials recovery – is one of the integral points of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, an action plan signed by the Government of Spain in favour of people, the planet and prosperity. In line with the Sustainable Development 17 Goals and 169 targets (SDGs), this plan aligns several measures and regulations for their achievement, such as the Royal Decree 1055/2022 on packaging and packaging waste. However, there is a different perspective that goes beyond recycling, and that Kaeltia embraces with enthusiasm: reusing.

The importance of recycling and reusing

Those who know what recycling is, are well aware of how necessary reuse is. This process, in which a second life is given to a product or material without the need to transform it significantly, is the cornerstone of the circular economy. At Kaeltia we support and promote this philosophy. Instead of recycling product packaging, why not reusing it? This would reduce the need to produce new packaging and, therefore, reduce the pollution related to its manufacture and recycling.

Circular economy: beyond recycling

At Kaeltia, we believe that we can help companies to go a step further in the concept of recycling, towards what we know as “circular economy“. Circular economy focuses on the idea that, instead of recycling as the first premise, we should seek to reuse materials in the first place. Why? Because reusing does not involve the transformation of materials, which often has a significant ecological footprint; when we recycle, it often requires an intensive process to turn materials into something new, which can lead to more pollution.

We know what recycling is, and we are in favour of it, but we believe it should be the last option when there are no viable alternatives for reusing. Therefore, at Kaeltia, we are committed to reuse materials in their current state, or with minimal transformation.

Our philosophy is based on the concept of circular economy, where we take advantage of all waste and incorporate it into other processes, either within the same company or in collaboration with others, without excessive transformation. In this way, we reduce pollution to a minimum and contribute to the care of our planet.

In summary, we believe that the integration of eco-design within the usual company management system is the path towards a more environmentally friendly future, where reusing materials is the first option without neglecting the many possibilities of recycling, as well as compliance with its regulations. It is never too late to review your business processes and commit to a greener future. Together, we can make a difference and work towards a cleaner and healthier world.

Sustainability is an increasingly important concept for companies, which more and more are seeking to become sustainable not only for corporate social responsibility (CSR), but also to improve their image among consumers, who are increasingly concerned about the environment and who value more than ever a sustainable business, and choose to buy its products or contract its services.

Many companies of all types and sizes nowadays turn to consultancies specialised in eco-design services such as Kaeltia to adapt their production, marketing or management processes, and make them more sustainable. But do we really know what is sustainability? Let’s take a closer look at what this concept means, why it is so important, and how to apply it to companies today.

What is a sustainable business?

We define a sustainable company as one whose priorities include not only the economy, but also social commitment or concern for the environment, in order to generate not only short-term economic benefit, but also long-term well-being and progress without neglecting its direct and indirect impacts. An environmentally sustainable business is committed – among other measures – to:

  • use sustainable materials
  • reduce the use of raw materials, and also waste generation
  • properly manage the waste it generates
  • adopt energy saving measures, and use renewable energies
  • encourage recycling
  • minimise the use of fossil fuels and travel

A good way to prove that a company’s practices are sustainable and respectful with its environment, is precisely by obtaining a sustainable business certification. ISO standards are a good way to guarantee that companies and organisations meet certain criteria, including sustainability standards.

This is the case, for example, with the ISO 14001 certificate, which establishes environment management systems in companies and is currently one of the most demanded, as it helps to achieve a more efficient use of resources, improving at the same time both profitability and corporate image. ISO 5001, which promotes a more efficient use of energy, is also a good example of a sustainability certificate with high demand among enterprises.

What are the benefits of sustainability for business?

Although sustainability is a consumers’ demand, from an entrepreneur’s point of view it is logical to ask what are the advantages of being a sustainable company, especially considering that, in the short or medium term, achieving that objective may require an investment that – obviously – is expected to pay off.

The truth is that sustainability, by itself, not only provides a corporate and brand image that consumers value and demand; but also, this concept itself brings a number of benefits – beyond the obvious environmental ones – when implemented in companies:

  • increases productivity
  • reduces operating costs
  • improves competitiveness
  • increases attractiveness to potential investors
  • improves company image among shareholders and consumers
  • makes tax benefits available

Proof of the many benefits of applying sustainability criteria to businesses is that more and more big companies see it as a key factor for their future. According to latest studies, more than 80% of the executives of the most leading companies believe that following a sustainability strategy is essential to ensure the competitiveness of their business, today or in the near future.

Examples of sustainable companies in Spain

Proof of what we have just have said is that more and more well-known companies are committed to sustainability, as a key to their present and future viability. Let’s look at some examples of sustainable companies in Spain:


Esveva is a Spanish company dedicated to manufacturing vegetable sponges made of luffa through a 100% handmade process; these sponges can be used for everything: from skin care to domestic cleaning, in a totally environmentally friendly way.

La Flor de Limón:

Thanks to their 100% organic production, lemons from Novales (Cantabria) claim to have a unique flavour and are a product that makes the difference, as they have a thick, fleshy skin that keeps them in good condition for longer time.

Eco Basics:

This Girona-based company promotes organic, certified and eco-designed packaging, and is committed to incorporate organic products into the daily diet of people to improve health and wellbeing.


Naturbrush is a Spanish company that, under the premise of turning everyday gestures into sustainable gestures, focuses on the manufacture of biodegradable toothbrushes made from bamboo wood to reduce their environmental impact. The idea, they say, came about in response to the worrying problem of the accumulation of plastic waste in our oceans.


This company claims to have created a revolutionary and innovative product that transforms used cooking oil into a practical all-purpose cleaner. It also uses a sustainable container made from recycled paper and newspaper scraps.

How to make a business sustainable

There are many sustainable actions that companies can take to apply sustainability criteria and improve their corporate and brand image; here are some examples that are not difficult to implement:

  • Reduce paper consumption: digital formats and documents can be used instead, and printing on paper can be limited to strictly necessary cases.
  • Save energy: encourage simple habits such as turning off lights or equipment that is not in use, adjust the air conditioning, making the most of natural light, etc.
  • Environmental education: environmental training for employees is increasingly important to create ecological awareness, and to change habits.
  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: the amount of waste generated by a company can be enormous, hence the need to promote the famous 3Rs.
  • Seek sustainable suppliers: opting for suppliers who are also committed to sustainability, or who are local, can make a big change.
  • Apply eco-design: that is, design environmentally friendly products, from production to the end of their useful life.
  • Use sustainable transport: encourage the use of car-sharing or non-polluting means of transport, such as bicycles, electric scooters, public transport, etc.
  • Raise awareness: creating environmental awareness campaigns among customers contributes significantly to improving the company corporate image.
  • Help: companies can collaborate financially – or even in other ways – with NGOs that carry out actions to care for the environment, for example.

The most important thing when implementing these and other policies is to adopt the values of a sustainable company as one’s own, so that they do not become one-off changes or limited to some kind of greenwashing: most customers are educated and aware enough to be able to identify when a company is really committed to sustainability, and when it is just pretending to change wrong practices but just for show… And this is something that the average consumer ends up penalising.

In any case, it is important to stress once again that sustainability goes far beyond respect for the environment: it is a philosophy that brings numerous benefits to companies, which are not only limited to corporate image but also include much more, from efficiency in the use of resources, to cost savings. That is why more and more enterprises that want to be a sustainable business are turning to consultancies such as Kaeltia, which offers tailor-made advice and consultancy services for companies seeking to change their products or services through sustainable practices, such as eco-design.

We often hear about biodegradable products without knowing exactly what they are, what benefits they have, or even what the difference is between a product that is biodegradable, and one that is not. The truth is that, with all the challenges that our environment is facing, many companies are looking to improve their products or services to make them more environmentally friendly: that is why many of them ask us for advice on eco-design at Kaeltia. But, what does biodegradable mean, and why is it so important nowadays for the planet… but also for all sorts of enterprises?

What is a biodegradable product?

Biodegradation is defined as the capacity of certain materials to decompose in nature into the chemical elements that form them, by the action of biological and/or environmental agents, in a relatively short time, thus integrating into the natural cycle without leaving toxic residues or polluting the environment, and even contributing with nutrients to the soil.

In this definition, it is important to talk about timeframes: that is, materials can normally decompose over time by various means, but while some take only weeks and produce a biodegradable (environmentally non-toxic) waste, others take years or even centuries, and in the process release substances that are toxic to the nature.

What is biodegradable plastic, also known as bioplastic?

Among the biodegradable products or materials, one that has been gaining importance in recent years due to its many, many advantages for the environment, is bioplastic: this is a material similar to conventional plastic, but in this case it is composed of polymers of natural origin, which means that it decomposes in a short time in the environment.

The traditional plastic that we usually use, since it is made from petroleum derivatives or other hydrocarbons (fossil fuels), causes a great harm to the environment as it does not decompose in nature by the action of microorganisms, taking centuries or even thousands of years: therefore, these plastics end up accumulating and causing all kinds of problems.

Although – in theory – conventional plastic can be recycled, in practice recycling plastic remains difficult and expensive (more expensive than making new plastic): worldwide, it is estimated that only 9% of plastic is recycled, while more than 50% accumulates in landfills and more than 20% ends up polluting the environment. Incineration of plastic, on the other hand, solves the problem of non-biodegradation… but it is equally expensive, produces various toxins that are hazardous to human health and the environment, and is a waste of resources.

Bioplastics are biodegradable products that have come as a solution to all the problems of conventional plastic; a field in which they are having great success is in rubbish bags and other types of disposable materials, especially in the field of medicine (prostheses, sutures, gloves, etc.). Thus, if these materials end up in a landfill or in nature, since they are biodegradable, they decompose in a matter of months. Bioplastics are also one of the most useful materials when it comes to manufacturing all kinds of biodegradable packaging to wrap products.

Why is it important to use biodegradable materials?

It is not just bioplastic bags: in general, we increasingly find products produced from biodegradable materials in everyday single-use objects; the use of these materials – which can range from soybean oil or corn, to potato starch – is increasing especially to manufacture compostable food packaging: starch plates, cutlery made from seed paste, cups and food wrappings made from recycled sugar cane…

We often are not aware of the impact that some actions that apparently seem simple and harmless, can have on the environment just because of not using biodegradable materials. Let’s take a look at the time it takes to degrade for some of the materials we use or see every day:

  • cigarette butts: 2 years
  • chewing gum: 5 years
  • lighters: up to 100 years
  • plastic bags or packages: 150 years
  • plastic can rings: 450 years
  • plastic bottles: up to 1,000 years
  • batteries: 1,000 years (also release highly toxic substances)
  • glass bottles: 4,000 years

It’s quite impressive to see these figures, isn’t it? That is why it is so important to use products that are biodegradable, because thus we avoid all the pollution and environmental impact generated by the disposable products we often use. Among all the benefits of biodegradable materials, we can mention the following:

Less impact on the environment:

as they decompose in a short time, they have less impact on the environment and cause fewer problems (e.g. animals trapped by plastics, or choking when swallowed).

Low CO2 emissions:

biodegradable products generate during their production and decomposition less CO2 emissions, the main gas causing climate change.

Nourish the earth:

many of these biodegradable materials are made from completely natural elements, so when they decompose they generate nutrients and fertilise the soil.

No pollution:

since they do not generate toxic waste and decompose rapidly, these materials prevent the pollution of land, rivers and seas.

Prevent landfills saturation:
due to their rapid biodegradation, they do not accumulate for years or centuries, clogging up landfills and forcing to open new ones.

No allergies:

as they are made from natural elements, products with biodegradable materials generate fewer allergies among humans compared to synthetic materials.

Save money:

both their production and cost are cheaper in the long run, thus saving money.

What biodegradable materials can you find in the market or at home?

Actually, it’s not very difficult to easily find such biodegradable materials; although it is only in recent years that many companies have started to use them in their products, examples of biodegradable materials such as branches, dry leaves, wood, wool, paper, cardboard, etc., which decompose easily without leaving toxic residues, can be found in any home.

In addition, it is increasingly common to find people buying biodegradable products, such as some cleaning products and detergents (usually free of phosphates), paints based on natural pigments, sun creams, nappies, coffee capsules, bioplastic or paper bags, packaging made from natural raw materials… So, as you can see, they are more common than you might think before.

As you can see, nowadays companies have more and more alternatives available to them to reduce the negative impact they cause on the environment; now, they can adopt better practices that care for the planet and are more sustainable, thanks to the eco-design of their products and production processes. And this is where Kaeltia Consulting comes in, advising companies to optimise their resources, improve their costs and adopt solutions – such as using biodegradable products – that are more respectful of our environment.

If you are concerned about the environment, you have probably heard about circular economy. It is estimated that each inhabitant of the UK generates around half a tonne of waste per year: this is one of the most significant impacts of the current linear economy model, which we are used to, and which has a high impact on our planet generating high amounts of pollution, and consuming lots of non-renewable resources. But, what is circular economy?

Circular economy introduces a new economic model that is becoming more and more imperative to implement; it’s a more environmentally sustainable model of production and consumption. So, in order to understand the principles of the circular economy, in the following lines we are going to explain how the circular economy works, and why it is so important for our common future.

Definition of circular economy

We can define the circular economy – also called simply as CE – as a new economic model of production and consumption that is committed to sustainable growth, promoting the optimisation of resources and lowering consumption of raw materials, also maximising the use of waste to extend its useful life and provide it with an added value.

Circular economy, therefore, seeks to “imitate” the processes that occur in nature, where everything – absolutely everything – is useful and there is no such thing as “waste”, but rather every single element is reintegrated into the system. In this way, the linear system of the current economic model, which is based on “use and throw away”, is avoided, preventing the generation of waste, reusing as far as possible, and recycling at the end of the product’s useful life, but always as the last step in the whole process.

The 7 R’s of the circular economy

Those who know concepts about circular economy, will surely have heard of the famous 3 Rs (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle). In recent years, these principles have been complemented with new useful concepts: e.g., why not make products more durable from the beginning? Why not repair products, instead of throwing them away? This is precisely what the 7 R’s concept of the circular economy is about:

  • Redesign: this is about making products with the environment and sustainability in mind, based on eco-design.
  • Reduce: we must seek not only to reduce what we consume, but also the waste we generate, so that we can prevent additional damage to our planet.
  • Reuse: we can extend the useful life of products by giving them a new use or, for example, by selling them as second-hand items.
  • Repair: when a product breaks down, we quickly think of buying a new one. But, have you ever thought about how this affects our planet?
  • Renovate: instead of throwing away an outdated product or object, we can think about updating or renovating it, so that it becomes useful again.
  • Recover: we can collect products or materials that have been discarded, and reintroduce them into the production chain.
  • Recycle: when it is no longer possible to continue using them, we can collect products and raw materials to generate new ones. But remember, this is the last option!

Differences between linear and circular economy

For those who do not know what the circular economy is and how it differs from the linear economy, we must underline that human economies have until today opted for linear production models, based on the extraction of raw materials, the production of consumer goods, and their final disposal in a landfill. However, with a growing population that consumes more and more, this resource-intensive model has become more unsustainable, endangering all forms of life (including us, humans).

In contrast, circular economy seeks to implement a much more sustainable production model, in which raw materials are not discarded so quickly, thus reducing the rate at which they are extracted, and generating less amounts of waste. Therefore, a fundamental principle of the circular economy is that resources are kept in the production process for as long as possible, and this makes a big difference when we compare it with our current linear model of economy.

Examples of circular economy

OK then, now we know what the circular economy is, what its principles are… But, how can the circular economy be applied? How can companies implement a circular economy? A simple and very effective way to apply the circular economy is to reduce waste generation as much as possible, both during the production process and during a product life: for example, fighting against planned obsolescence, or designing more sustainable products, something that has become possible thanks to Kaeltia’s eco-design.

Other ways in which companies can implement a circular economy or a circular trade, are the following:

  • Collecting and recycling materials to produce new products.
  • Reusing products, for example, by offering buy-back schemes for used products.
  • Giving value to waste, considering it as a resource and not as “rubbish”, and seeking to make the most of it.
  • Committing to sharing, as carsharing companies are already doing in many cities, for example.
  • Improving product designs to make them more efficient and more sustainable, from their origin, to the end of their useful life.
  • Products as a service: that is, offering access to a product, depending on the need, instead of selling it as property. This is what the so-called service economy is about.

What are the benefits of circular economy?

We have already seen all the changes that a green and circular economy can bring to our planet. However, the benefits of the circular economy are not just for the environment, but also for humans, benefiting us in many ways. Let’s take a look at its main advantages:

Protects the environment:

By focusing on reducing the use of raw materials and natural resources, the circular economy reduces the impact of their extraction on the environment, helping to prevent the destruction of ecosystems and the loss of biodiversity.

Reduces the use of resources:

Linear economy requires a high demand of raw materials, which are often scarce, and usually highly dependent on certain countries. Circular economy seeks to break this dependence by reducing the use of resources, reusing them and opting for locally sourced raw materials.

Stimulates employment and innovation:

Focusing on a circular economy implies investment in innovation and new technologies: this means an increase in competitiveness, and fosters the creation of new jobs. It is estimated that the circular economy could generate 700,000 jobs by 2030, just in the EU.

Reduces greenhouse gasses:

Industrial processes account for more than 9% of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions. By focusing on extending the life of existing products, we are able to reduce the demand for raw materials and energy required by industry to generate new products, so we can reduce the emissions that trigger climate change.

Supports local economies:

The circular economy stimulates models based on the production and use of local resources, promoting local economy and employment.

In summary: now you know the answer to questions such as “What is circular economy”, as well as all the benefits it brings to us and the environment… So, don’t you think it’s time to start applying it? Help us to save our planet!