Tackling climate change and plastic pollution requires decisive measures at all levels, from international policy coordination to innovation in industry and changes to unsustainable practices in our everyday lives. As one example, the rise of online shopping and food delivery services allows us to order anything to our door, but with low costs and convenience comes significant negative impacts, including plastics-based fast fashion and high volumes of often unrecyclable packaging. Complementing strengthened efforts to reduce our overall use of resources, forests can help to disrupt this “buy, use and dispose” model of linear consumption, as well as being key to achieving global climate change mitigation and adaption goals. Forest based fibres can produce innovative fashion and packaging products to support the transition to more sustainable patterns of production and consumption within a circular bioeconomy.
Within this context, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) will mark the International Day of Forests 2022 on 21 March with an online event that focuses on how leaders in the fashion textile and packaging sectors are shaping sustainable relationships between forests and circular production models to reduce carbon emissions, waste and plastics pollution across the global economy.
The event will open with “In the Forest”, a new sustainable fashion collection presented live from Milan by Tiziano Guardini, fashion designer and winner of a Green Carpet Award, which celebrates the best in sustainable fashion. Leading innovators from intergovernmental bodies, research facilities and associates from the private sector will then discuss how the fashion industry can transition away from water and plastic intensive manufacturing processes to using cellulose-based fibres, which are produced in a closed-loop system to lower the industry’s environmental footprint.
Innovative approaches within the packaging industry to replace plastics with renewable products of organic origin, most of which are recyclable, compostable, or both will be presented by leading organizations from the non-governmental and private sector.
Experts will share innovative approaches to embedding the circular economy into supply chains, discuss new ideas and ask critical questions about (over)consumption and our relationship with the natural world such as:
- What are the innovative uses of wood fibre-based products in our everyday lives?
- How can the sustainable production and consumption of wood products help to decarbonize industries, to transform the way we (re)use resources and to support the transition towards more sustainable lifestyles?
- What are our options for choosing wood wisely while caring for our forests within the context of a rapidly changing climate?
The event will take place virtually on 21 March 2022 between 10:00-12:00 and from 14:00-16:00 CET in English, French and Russian.
Register your interest in attending the event here: https://forms.office.com/r/mXnX2fbxm7
To mark the Day, forests’ contribution to the circular economy will also be the focus of the first episode of UNECE's new podcast series, “One World, Zero Waste? The circular economy explained”.
The Joint UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section supports the development of evidence-based policies for sustainable forest management and communicates about the many products and ecosystem services provided to society while assisting countries of the region to monitor and manage forests. Check out our work on forest products markets, and on sustainable fashion.