While there is no universal regulation to define the term “renewable,” Lumi defines it as being sourced from material streams that regenerate consistently on a human time scale and can be sustainably managed. Trees, crops, and other organisms that derive their energy from the sun are considered renewable, and in accordance, paper pulps are also considered renewable. Oil reserves take millions of years to form, and any plastics derived from petroleum are not considered renewable materials1.
Why choose it
Renewable resources follow the model of a circular economy rather than a linear economy. By choosing renewable resources, the source of the materials can be sustained for generations. Some companies choose renewable resources in an effort to avoid depletion of finite resources.
Why not choose it
Often, the economies of scale and inherent design properties of certain non-renewable resources indicate a lower carbon footprint than renewable resources, so companies may opt for these options if the material properties are better for their product and company.
Frequently asked questions
Fossil energy sources (U.S. Department of Energy)
Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation (IPCC, 2011)
The Future of Petrochemicals: Towards more sustainable plastics and fertilisers (IEA, 2018)
Michael Braungart, William McDonough. Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things (North Point Press, 2002)
Tom Szaky. The Future of Packaging: From Linear to Circular (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2019)