About Ecodesign, Circular Economy and Our Project

Circular Economy - what do we mean? 

 

In its first Action Plan (2015) on the circular economy, the European Commission refers to a

"circular economy, where the value of products, materials and resources is maintained in the economy for as long as possible, and the generation of waste minimised."

 A recent Swedish-Finnish academic study by Journi Korhonen and colleagues (2018) defines Circular Economy as follows:

"Circular economy is an economy constructed from societal production-consumption systems that maximises the service produced from the linear nature-society-nature material and energy throughput flow. This is done by using cyclical materials flows, renewable energy sources and cascading-type energy flows. Successful circular economy contributes to all the three dimensions of sustainable development. Circular economy limits the throughput flow to a level that nature tolerates and utilises ecosystem cycles in economic cycles by respecting their natural reproduction rates."

 

Strategies for Circularity or: The World of RE's

based on Potting et al., 2017 and Reike et al., 2018

RE-FUSE
RE-THINK / RE-SERVITISE
RE-DUCE
RE-USE
RE-PAIR
RE-FURBISH
RE-MANUFACTURE
RE-PURPOSE
RE-CYCLE
RE-COVER
RE-MINE
  • RE-FUSE
  • RE-THINK / RE-SERVITISE
  • RE-DUCE
  • RE-USE
  • RE-PAIR
  • RE-FURBISH
  • RE-MANUFACTURE
  • RE-PURPOSE
  • RE-CYCLE
  • RE-COVER
  • RE-MINE
  • RE-FUSE

    … RE-frain from buying

    … make product abundant by abandoning its function or by offering the same function with a radically different product

    … shift towards a postmaterial lifestyle

    … avoid waste, RE-ject packaging

    Purpose:
    change lifestyle, manufacture smartly

    Circularity level:
    very high

  • RE-THINK / RE-SERVITISE

    … make product use more intensive, e.g. share the use of the product

    … more effective product use

    … RE-think and adapt services and the development of product service systems as part of circular economy business models (may overlap with the term ‚RE-use‘)

    Purpose:
    smart product use and manufacture

    Circularity level:
    very high

  • RE-DUCE

    … increase efficiency in product manufacture and use by consuming fewer natural resources, materials and energy

    … use less, use longer

    … use less natural resources, materials and energy per unit of production

    Purpose:
    smart product use and manufacture

    Circularity level:
    high

  • RE-USE

    … other consumers RE-use a discarded product which is still in good condition and fulfills its original function

    … second hand use

    Purpose:
    extended lifespan of a product and its parts

    Circularity level:
    high

  • RE-PAIR

    … make the product work again by RE-pairing and RE-placing detoriated parts so it can be used with its original function

    … plan RE-pair as part of a longer lasting maintenance plan or RE-pair ad-hoc

    Purpose:
    extended lifespan of a product and its parts

    Circularity level:
    high-medium

  • RE-FURBISH

    … RE-store an old product and bring it up to date

    … overall upgrade of an product

    … overall structure of a large multi-component product RE-mains intact while many components are RE-placed or RE-paired

    Purpose:
    extended lifespan of a product and its parts

    Circularity level:
    medium

  • RE-MANUFACTURE

    … use parts of a discarded product in a new product with the same function

    … decompose, RE-compose

    … full structure of a product is disassembled and RE-processed

    Purpose:
    extended lifespan of product parts

    Circularity level:
    medium

  • RE-PURPOSE

    … use parts of a discarded product in a new product with a different function

    … popular in industrial design & artist communities (e.g., transform textile wastes into a quilt or plastic sheeting into a handbag …)

    Purpose:
    extended lifespan of product parts

    Circularity level:
    medium

  • RE-CYCLE

    … process materials to get the same or lower quality

    … RE-apply RE-cycled materials anywhere (RE-cycled materials do not maintain any of the original product structure)

    … either process mixed streams of end of life products (secondary RE-cycling) or RE-cycle product wastes in business to business relations (primary RE-cycling)

    … keep in mind: RE-cycling typically RE-quires high energy inputs and expensive technological equipment

    Purpose:
    useful application of materials, avoid /reduce further mining

    Circularity level:
    low

  • RE-COVER

    … capture energy embodied in waste (by incineration or by use of biomass)

    Purpose:
    useful application of materials

    Circularity level:
    very low

  • RE-MINE

    … RE-trieve materials after landfilling phase (landfill mining, urban mining, informal sector)

    … concentration of various minerals is nowadays higher in landfills than in original mines

    Purpose:
    useful application of materials

    Circularity level:
    very low

  • RE-FUSE
  • RE-THINK / RE-SERVITISE
  • RE-DUCE
  • RE-USE
  • RE-PAIR
  • RE-FURBISH
  • RE-MANUFACTURE
  • RE-PURPOSE
  • RE-CYCLE
  • RE-COVER
  • RE-MINE

 

About Circular Business Models