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M-Cubed Diamond: Using Industrial Symbiosis Concepts to Reduce Flexible Packaging Flow to Landfill in Developing Countries


The M-Cubed Diamond Program enables donors, companies, and foundations to invest in research projects that align exactly with their interests. Funders set  the parameters for each project, interact with the University of Michigan to identify faculty experts to lead the research team, and receive compelling updates about the cube’s work through the MCubed website.

Project ID: 1032 M-Cubed Diamond

Sponsored by: Procter & Gamble

Sponsor Description: P&G’s sustainability vision includes zero consumer and manufacturing waste to landfill.

This project seeks to understand the potential to reduce waste from flexible films going to landfill or trash and use that mass to create energy in an economic and symbiotic fashion. The project will study the markets or business districts common in developing countries. These markets often consist of small distribution points at which many products are being sold. It is possible that using the concepts of industrial symbiosis, the research team can determine an appropriate network of collection of the flexible packaging waste that would then be transported to a waste-to-energy facility. The electricity or energy would then be used for benefit of the system or market in productive services. These services can include lighting for extended operation hours, cell phone or other electronic charging, or food processing.

Procter & Gamble
Research Areas
Consumer Products & Packaging