Packaging Operations, Meet Industry 5.0

Industrial upcycling will help save us from drowning in waste, says this zero-waste ambassador. How can your sustainable packaging efforts contribute?

Lisa McTigue Pierce, Executive Editor

February 18, 2021

Remember the apocalyptic movie Soylent Green and its joyless dystopian mood? And its dire warning of a fatal future on an overpopulated planet with limited resources? Are we creeping toward a similar situation now with our overconsumption and the piles of waste that generates?

Yes, says Michael Rada. Well, Rada didn’t make the connection with Soylent Green. I did that after hearing his message in this video of a 2020 keynote delivered at an online sustainable development event. However, Rada, human and president/project father of IBCSD – International Business Center of Sustainable Development, lays out how our “blue marble” planet is in trouble because of the prevalent global make-use-dispose mindset.

But, unlike the shocking and hopeless Soylent Green ending, Rada sees a way out of today’s rampant wastefulness. He calls it Industry 5.0, “the new mindset of people and businesses — from wasteful to wasteless,” says Rada.

Industry 5.0 recognizes and tries to prevent four types of waste:
• Physical
• Social
• Urban
• Process

The basic tenet of Industry 5.0 is quite simple: “It is important that every single person knows that WASTE CAN BE PREVENTED and knows the tools that help him or her to do so,” Rada writes in a blog.

His steps for systematic waste prevention are varied. But industrial upcycling is among them, along with lean principles, Kanban, 5S, and 6R.

“I use the same methodology for design of efficient packaging units or setup of returnable packaging loops for my clients, and much more,” Rada tells me.

Rada says in his blog: “Every single person, who asks to be part of INDUSTRY 5.0 know[s] what INDUSTRY 5.0 represents. He or She knows that firstly the personal change has to happen before changing others. The[y] know the transformation from wasteful to wasteless has to take place…”

Several like-minded people have already joined Rada’s quest as Industry 5.0 Heroes and Industry 5.0 Ambassadors.

“It does not matter that you don’t have money, property, material,” he writes, “if you have THE WILL to change the world you will be able to do so because the INDUSTRY 5.0 network will help…”

Rada is looking for more Industry 5.0 Heroes and Ambassadors. Will you be one of them?

Reach out to Rada or the US Industry 5.0 Ambassador Scott Krauger on LinkedIn.

About the Author(s)

Lisa McTigue Pierce

Executive Editor, Packaging Digest

Lisa McTigue Pierce is Executive Editor of Packaging Digest. She’s been a packaging media journalist since 1982 and tracks emerging trends, new technologies, and best practices across a spectrum of markets for the publication’s global community. Reach her at [email protected] or 630-272-1774.

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