The virtuous circle - food security, packaging & sustainable development
Home All News PRESS RELEASE – 26 April 2017
PRESS RELEASE – 26 April 2017

PRESS RELEASE – 26 April 2017

DuPont and partners to showcase landmark project on nutrition, packaging and the circular economy at Interpack 2017

Virtuous Circle project report launched ahead of leading global packaging forum

April 26 2017 Is it possible to reduce food waste, improve childhood nutrition and promote the education around environmental sustainability all at the same time? Can multimaterial multilayer film plastic packaging make a positive contribution to the development of a truly circular economy?

A partnership of businesses and NGOs has been looking at these very questions as part of the landmark “The Virtuous Circle” initiative in South Africa. The key learnings from this innovative circular economy project will be showcased during Interpack 2017 from 4-10 May, and are summarised in a report launched today in the lead up to the event.

The project, coordinated by DuPont in close collaboration with Amcor, FUTURELIFE®, EqualTrade4, Wildlands, RWPA Solutions and Wastebuster among others, employs a three pillar approach that addresses the challenge of the sustainability of multimaterial multilayer plastic packaging whilst simultaneously tackling the broader societal objectives around education and childhood nutrition.

The project kicked-off in October 2016 with the delivery of the first wave of FUTURELIFE® Smart food™ pouches to South African schools. These innovative multilayer film pouches are used to provide drinking water and a nutritious meal in one package that can be easily transported over long distances to remote areas and requires no need for refrigeration. Since the launch of the project over half a million meals have been distributed to school children across South Africa.

This has only been the first step of the journey. Once used by the school children, the FUTURELIFE® Smart food™ plastic pouches were collected by the project partner Wildlands and delivered to RWPA Solutions to be converted into durable and sturdy school desks. “The breakthrough from a technical perspective, was the ability to recycle multilayer film packaging waste in an economical way to create highly relevant recyclate products without compromising on performance. The desks not only have a practical purpose as classroom equipment; they also bring a symbolic value as they help children see the benefits of recycling first-hand and understand how the circular economy works.” says Karam Hirji, Managing Director of RWPA Solutions.

At the same time, the educational programme accompanying this project, explains to school children the importance of good nutrition, the need to reduce food waste and conserve precious resources, the benefits of recycling, and the influence they have to reduce food waste and recycle more.

The newly launched report explores how learnings from the project can be applied to other areas of activity. Examples include: humanitarian aid settings where the nutritional value and food preservation attributes of the multilayer film pouches can provide significant advantages, and; also addressing housing shortages where the waste from the pouches combined with waste from saw mills has been tested and approved for use in the creation of quality building materials.

The report shows the real-value of a circular model approach and sets a best practice example for similar initiatives in South Africa and in other countries.” says Gerald Rebitzer, Director of Amcor Flexibles.

A roundtable discussion on the findings of the project and research outcomes will take place on 8 May at 16:00 in the Safe Food Pavilion at Interpack 2017, and participants are invited to visit the DuPont and Virtuous Circle booths in the same location throughout the course of the show.

Sarah Perreard, DuPont Global Packaging Sustainability Value Chain Leader states “We are delighted to present the learnings from the project and to explain the concept and approach. As DuPont we are proud to be part of this project that brings industry, governments and civil society together to work on the solutions that can harness the full potential of packaging to contribute towards sustainable development”.


Notes to the editor:

About the project

The three pillars of the Virtuous Circle project are:

  •     feeding undernourished school children in disadvantaged areas thanks to innovative packaging solutions (the “feeding pillar”)
  •       upcycling the waste packaging into school materials (the “recycling pillar”), and
  •      educating the students about the importance of sustainability and equipping local partners with the tools to maintain a true circular economy approach to nutrition (the “education pillar”)

For additional information please contact:

         Cassandra Biehler, Amcor:

         Sarah Perreard, DuPont:

         Nic Watts, EqualTrade4:

         Karyn Hamilton, Futurelife:

         Julika Falconer, Futurelife Foundation Trust:

         Karam Hirji, RWPA Solutions:

         Katy Newnham, Wastbuster:

         Roelie Kloppers, Wildlands:  

Check out the website  and follow us on Twitter @virtuous_circ

Amcor Limited (ASX: AMC; is a global leader in responsible packaging solutions, focusing on a broad range of flexible and rigid plastic packaging that enhances the products consumers use in everyday life, with 95 percent of its sales into the food, beverage, healthcare and tobacco industries.  The company employs more than 31,000 people worldwide, operating in 40-plus countries and across more than 190 sites.

DuPont (NYSE: DD) has been bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace in the form of innovative products, materials, and services since 1802. The company believes that by collaborating with customers, governments, NGOs, and thought leaders we can help find solutions to such global challenges as providing enough healthy food for people everywhere, decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting life and the environment. For additional information about DuPont and its commitment to inclusive innovation, please visit

DuPont Performance Materials (DPM) DuPont Performance Materials (DPM) is a leading innovator of thermoplastics, elastomers, renewably-sourced polymers, high-performance parts and shapes, as well as resins that act as adhesives, sealants, and modifiers. DPM supports a globally linked network of regional application development experts who work with customers throughout the value chain to develop innovative solutions in automotive, packaging, construction, consumer goods, electrical/electronics and other industries.  For additional information about DuPont Performance Materials, visit

Equaltrade 4 (Pty) Limited is a supply chain management company founded in 1995 and deals with the supply and logistics of food and related products to the mining industries in Sub Saharan Africa. Situated in the mining towns of Rustenburg and Carletonville in South Africa the company is well placed to service these industries. The twin pouch concept was developed as a mid-shift meal supplement for this industry but its application has broadened to the support of communities in distress. The unique middle seal allows for the nutritional powder and purified water to remain separate increasing the shelf life of the product to 6 months – by squeezing the pouch the seal is broken allowing for powder and water to combine into a nutritious meal.

FUTURELIFE® is a functional food company with a mission to improve the health and wellbeing of everyone by helping them to make the right nutritional choices in their daily lives. FUTURELIFE® is South Africa’s first and only scientifically formulated, balanced, nutrient dense food to contain Moducare®. Most FUTURELIFE® products are also high in Energy, Protein and Dietary Fibre, and contain Calcium, Iron, Selenium, Zinc, essential vitamins and minerals, 19 Amino Acids and Omega 3+6.

The FUTURELIFE® Foundation Trust was established as a nonprofit to enhance broad-based community development, particularly for the benefit of children at non fee-paying schools, vulnerable groups in society, and to support projects that promote sustainable livelihoods in areas where such non-fee-paying schools exist.

RWPA Solutions (Pty) Ltd, an advisory consultancy and manufacturer founded in 2012, has devoted its efforts to poverty alleviation in South Africa through initiatives in the recycling, clean energy and affordable housing environments. RWPA is set up to develop: sustainable solutions for difficult to recycle rural and household multilayer and commingled plastic film waste; alternative cooking, heating and lighting solutions to reduce hazardous indoor smoke pollution specifically within informal settlements; and innovative, green and low-cost housing solutions. RWPA works in conjunction with local and international conservation and development organisations towards achieving these unique solutions.

Wildlands is a charitable Non-Government Organisation and one of South Africa’s leading environmental non-profits (, working to improve the livelihood of South Africa’s poorest communities and restoring the ecosystems that support them. The current project footprint includes over 80 poor urban and rural communities in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and Gauteng. Wildlands’ work is focused around 7 core programmes, which contribute significantly to our growing footprint; Trees for Life, Greening your Future, Recycling for Life, Clothes for Life, Ubuntu Earth, Khuthaza Business and Conservation SPACE.

Wastebuster is a not for profit Community Interest Company (CIC) that delivers a school’s education programme designed to foster positive values, attitudes and behaviours that prevent waste and encourage children to carry the messages from curriculum, to campus and into the community. Wastebuster specialise in environmental education, waste reduction and recycling campaigns and initiatives that engage, inform, and empower children to play a direct and active role in shaping their own future. Wastebuster also develop teacher and volunteer training programs to show how changes in the way we learn, live, play, work, and travel can help us live happy and healthy lives – within the resources available to us. Almost all Wastebuster’s work involves partnerships and collaborations. We team up with not-for-profit agencies, NGOs and charities and form relationships with local councils, regional government offices and waste and utility companies. We also work with businesses that would like to activate positive change as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility commitment: