WP05 – Closing the Product Cycle

A range of circular strategies fall under the circular economy umbrella. Some of these aim to preserve the product form, such as reuse, but also think of repair and remanufacturing. All of these options can also be combined with an alternative purpose. Another possibility is to recycle the materials contained within the product. With so many options available, how does one choose the best (set of) strategies in a given context? This work package addresses this question by conceptualising, developing, validating and implementing an assessment tool to support the identification of the best circular strategy for your product(s), based on technical, market and sustainability characteristics at its end-of-life or end-of-use. This work package furthermore provides guidance on how to plan and organise the implementation of the identified (set of) strategies.

This work package can affect the following aspects of your business:

• Material selection & product development, packaging, logistics & through life operations,
resource recovery & more value from waste.

Primarily this work package focuses on developing the best circular strategy for existing Products within existing end-of-life/use systems. As such, it involves material use and product design as well as logistics and resource recovery operations. However, this work package will also apply insights from work package 03 ‘Development of Circular Products and Services’.

>> WHAT YOU GET

Through working with our researchers on this work package you gain insight into the key characteristics that influence product circularity. You will be able to identify the benefits of particular circular strategies for your specific requirements and evaluate necessary changes in operations and supply chain collaborations. You will furthermore gain an understanding of how to use this information for product and business model development.

In short, this work package provides you with:

• A clear understanding of how to close product and material cycles for existing products or how to improve existing product end-of-life/use systems;

• Tools that help you understand and evaluate different options and analyse their effects on resource productivity;

• Provide you with guidelines on how to combine insights from end-of-life/use strategies in product and business model development.

>> WHAT YOU GIVE

To benefit from participating in this work package, our researchers need access to information regarding the material constitution of your product, the manufacturing processes used to produce the product, information on how the product is supported throughout its life and what end-of-life systems are in place. Also, your company’s input is required regarding current challenges encountered in closing loops, so that better strategies can be devised.

In other words, our researchers need:

• Access to information about the material requirements of your products and how they are manufactured;

• Insight into how products are supported throughout their life cycle and what end-of-Life systems are in place;

• Your collaboration to develop and evaluate quantitative scenarios for different options;

• Your feedback regarding requirements for decision support, such as the required level of detail and the time-frame for development.