Speakers September 14, 2022

Lisa Ek

Lisa Ek

Partner and Managing Director of Nordic Strategy Partners | Board Director Lunova AB, Ditwin AB and Brightnest Group


The conference is moderated by Lisa Ek, Managing Director of Nordic Strategy Partners. Lisa has twelve years’ experience as a strategy, innovation and investment expert working mainly for the raw materials sector, space sector and the manufacturing industry. She is leading projects to strengthen Swedish industry’s competitiveness through sustainable and circular strategies and business models.

Evelina Fahlesson

Welcome to the conference

Skellefteå is facing a unique social transformation. The transformation includes, among other things, a focus on the climate, housing construction, more residents, digitization, electrification and the connected society. This is the region in the EU that ranks the highest out of 270 when it comes to social development. Security, trust, access to higher education and healthcare are important assets. There are also world-leading skills and an innovative approach, large assets in renewable energy and other location-bound resources that are valuable for society's transformation.

Evelina Fahlesson
1st Vice Chairman of the Municipal Board, Skellefteå Municipality.
Vice Chairman of Klimatkommunerna and member of Trästad Sverige board.
Former Chairman of the Building and Environment Committee, Skellefteå Municipality.

Pär Larshans_resize

Circular material flows will reduce the risk to overshoot any of our planetary boundaries

As part of the Swedish ministry of industry innovation partnership programme “Climate neutral industry” Larshans has chaired the responsibility as a spokesperson for the working group “material flows”. Summary of the results from the working group will be shared at the conference.

Pär Larshans
Director of Sustainability at Ragn-Sells, family owned, operating in 5 countries with recycling but with potential for a world market for reversed chemical engineering with raw material extraction from different waste streams, primarily nutrients (N-P-K).

In his role as director of Sustainability at Ragn-Sells he is on the group level responsible for:  Sustainability, Innovation, Public Affairs.

Lena Abrahamsson, LTU, 2020

Sustainable material use in a connected and circular economy – challenges for industry and research

“Creaternity” is a future area within Luleå University of Technology. By gathering researchers from 25 different research subjects and working together with several industrial partners, we take a holistic approach to the industry’s sustainability challenges. We study and develop the technology and organisations needed to support a circular material flow, and how humans and society are affected. In a circular economy where resource use decreases but value increases, there is a need for new technology, organisations and business models that do not exist today. One part of this is the latest technology in artificial intelligence, digitalisation, telecommunications, and sensor technology that allows us to connect people, products, and processes.

Lena Abrahamsson
Scientific leader for Creaternity and professor in Human Work Science, Luleå University of Technology


Circular material flows

Research and innovation for a circular economy

John Munthe
Vice President, Research. IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute

Research at IVL is driven by a vision of a sustainable society where circular material flows is a key component. Our research is performed in close collaboration with end-users in industry and authorities which ensures a efficient uptake and implementation of results. IVL was established in 1966 as a joint initiative between industry and government and has since the continued to grow and recently expanded its operations with a new office in Skellefteå.

Ulrika Håkansson

A Swedish source of critical minerals, from mine waste

Phosphorus is a primary nutrient in mineral fertilisers. Without mineral fertilisers, global food production could be halved. Rare Earth Elements (REE’s), a group of 17 metals, are essential for innovation and the green transformation. In the ReeMAP project, LKAB is developing innovative technology and processing capabilities to extract phosphorus and rare earth elements, classed by the EU as Critical Raw Materials, from today’s mine waste.

Ulrika Håkansson,

Business Development Manager & Project Manager ReeMAP, LKAB Minerals

Ulrika Håkansson is a business development manager at LKAB and leading the ReeMAP project. She will present the road from today up until a fully operational, fossil-free, industrial park that produces critical minerals in 2027. Ulrika holds a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering from KTH, Royal Institute of Technology.

Kuusakoski Recycling’s role within circular economy

Kuusakoski Recycling is a major player within the recycling area. The activities performed by us is based on the vision of the company that Kuusakoski shall be the preferred partner for our customers through excellence in recycling and sustainability. Er support the customer in all steps of the recycling chain. With a focused and dedicated work, Kuusakoski Recycling can help to restore the value in the recycled materials to new valuable materials. This has been the business idea from the start of the company since 1914 and it has not been changed since then. The introduction of circular economy and focus on sustainability makes this more important than ever. This required a deep cooperation based on long term relationship, where both parties are engaged in the process. By joined efforts the work will lead to reduced CO2-emissions and a sustainable path for the future. Recycling is more important than ever and will be even more important in the future

Olov Boman
CEO, Kuusakoski Recycling - Sweden (Kuusakoski Sweden AB)

Olov Boman is the CEO of Kuusakoski Recycling´s swedish operations since 2021 and has extensive experience within the recycling area. Prior to his engagement in the recycling area, Olov was working in the energy industry as CEO for Energiservice Skellefteå AB. Before that he was responsible for the sourcing of secondary raw materials to Bolidens smelter operations. Olov has a Master’s degree in Economics from Umeå Business School of Economics. In his spare time, Olov likes to ski, both down-hill and cross country. In the summer, the mountain bike gets the attention.

Ida Tjerngren

Sustainable waste solutions in a circular economy – how to build them?

Boliden Rönnskär produces metals essential for the society. Raw materials come from mines, but Rönnskär is also one of the world’s largest recycling facilities of metals from electronic waste. The part of the materials that can’t be used, becomes waste. The waste requires a final storage that is sustainable, safe and leaves no responsibility to future generations. The final storage at Rönnskär is a deep repository, 300 meters below the smelter. This presentation will tell you the story of Rönnskärs deep repository, including the challenges and benefits.

Ida Tjerngren
Environmental manager, Boliden

Virginie Decottignies

Towards more recycled materials from plastic packaging waste - Current innovation initiatives to support circularity within the plastic material value chain

Facing the rarefaction of the natural resources, the use of recycled or secondary raw materials is becoming a real issue for the plastic industries. Competitiveness and request of “green” products from industrial companies and brand owners are the main goals achieved with the use of recycled plastic materials. To this end, as a waste management company, SUEZ innovates to accelerate the recycling of plastics and to bring appropriate solutions to industrial customers, focusing on the enhancement of recycled plastics properties.

Virginie Decottignies
Head of the Material Recycling & Recovery Dpt
CIRSEE – Material Cluster SUEZ

Virginie Decottignies is working at CIRSEE – One of the Expertise Centres of SUEZ, based near Paris. With 18 years of experience in waste characterization and management, she is currently in charge of the Material Recycling & Recovery department at the Material Cluster of CIRSEE. She is involved, with her team, in internal R&D projects and collaborative projects related to the development of new ways of materials recycling and recovery from waste. This includes End of Life products dismantling, materials sorting and mechanical / chemical processes to recover materials from waste.

She will present current R&D initiatives concerning the collection, sorting and the recycling of plastic packaging waste.

Karin Östman

Fossil-free steel and standardization URSTARK

To support the transition to a fossil-free production system for the Swedish steel industry -a system and methods that describe the products' climate footprint need to be further developed. These can be both standardized calculation systems and different types of labeling and communication systems developed on the initiative of different organizations. In order for the Swedish steel industry to get the full potential out of the low climate footprint of its steel products, it is required that the system that is developed is transparent and competition-neutral in nature.

Karin Östman
Senior Advisor environmental issues
The Swedish iron and steel producers' association

Master of Science in Engineering Master of Science (civ ing). Environmental protection work at authorities 1979-1984. Worked with the steel industry's environmental issues (processes) since 1984 and with the steel industry's product ecology issues since 2010. Employed at Jernkontoret, the Swedish iron and steel producers' association since 2016 and has been responsible for product ecology issues where LCA, eco-labels, environmental declarations, classifications of metals are important issues. Has been the Jernkontoret´s member of Eurofers LCA Expert Group and worldsteel LCA expert group between 2016 - 2022.

Carina Lindholm

CCBuild - collaboration for circularity in the Swedish building sector

Increased supply of building materials, components and products for reuse and material recycling is a key to circularity of buildings. Despite the fact that there is legislation aiming to prevent useful products and materials from going to waste, reuse is still rare. In this session, we will get an update on the transition toward a more circular building sector from the collaboration arena Center for Circular Building, CCBuild.
In this session, we will share insights from CCBuild and corresponding research work. What are the next steps in the transitioning to a more circular building sector, and what are the potential annual savings with resuse in terms of less building waste and less greenhouse gas emissions?

Carina Loh Lindholm
Project Leader, IVL

Carina has more than 20 years of experience in the field of sustainable society and sustainable buildings. Through her work as coordinator in the collaboration arena CCBuild and from related research projects at IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute she has gathered deep knowledge within the area of circularity in the building and real estate sector. During the conference Carina will share insight on the transitioning towards a more circular building sector, and also welcome you to say hi or have discussions at IVL Swedish Environmental Institutes stand in the exhibition area.  

Kratschke, Marcus

Circular Flooring – New Products from Waste PVC Flooring and Safe End-of-Life Treatment of Plasticizers

The EU-funded project Circular Flooring aims to enable circular use of plasticized PVC (PVC-P) from waste flooring by developing recycling processes that eliminate plasticizers including hazardous phthalic acid esters (e.g. DEHP). Results will be demonstrated by producing high quality recycled PVC (at TRL 5-6), reprocessing of eliminated plasticizers to new phthalate-free plasticizers and re-use of recycled polymers and additives in new flooring applications. Waste flooring will be subjected to the CreaSolv® Process, which dissolves PVC-P from the material mix and eliminates undissolved matter as well as co-dissolved plasticizers in an extractive purification step (>99%). As a result, Circular Flooring contributes to a circular European economy and a sustainable, holistic resource recovery at technological scale. It prevents usable resources from being landfilled or incinerated and thus reduce CO2 emissions and possible contamination of soil and underground water.

Marcus Kratschke
Scientific Officer & Project Manager, Circular Flooring, Bavarian Research Alliance (BayFOR)

Marcus Kratschke is working as a Scientific Officer and Project Manager in the BayFOR Unit Environment, Energy and Bioeconomy. He holds a Master’s degree in cultural geography and has 10 years of experience in advising research consortia and applicants in writing successful proposals for R&I projects. Within Circular Flooring he’s responsible for the administrative management of the project and it’s dissemination and communication activities.

Dag Duberg

Recycling in reality – opportunities and challenges

Dag Duberg
Nordic Sustainability Manager at Tarkett with long experience on implementing circular solutions for floor waste fraction in the Nordics.

Tarkett is a major player in the global flooring industry that has set climate goals in line with the Paris agreement. Increased recycling is one of the most powerful tool to reach these ambitions and Tarkett has worked hard to move from theory to practice. Dag Duberg, Nordic Sustainability Manager, will guide us through some of the achievements but also share insight of many of the challenges on the way forward to reach “Recycling in Reality”.

Karin Sandberg
Ylva Sandin

How should we build timber houses today to be able to circulate tomorrow?

Building with wood is a priority in Europe as part of the strategy to move from fossil dependency to a sustainable, bio-based economy. In Sweden, wood is a traditional building material and most houses are today industrially built wooden houses. Multi-family houses of wood are increasing in number, as well as schools, and other public buildings. At the same time the competition on wood resources will increase when wood will also be used for fuels, textiles, packaging to replace fossil products. The InFutUReWood project aimed to answer the question: “How should we build today to be able to circulate tomorrow?” The project investigated how building methods and wooden components should be developed so that new buildings can be reused in the future to assure an increased resource efficiency.

Karin Sandberg & Ylva Sandin
Researchers, RISE


Knowledge from the highest timber building in CLT and glulam

More than half of the world’s population lives in cities. Urban environments with a high human density cause a high consumption of materials and energy. People want to live in a home with high comfort, smart functions, safe and cost-effective. The houses must be built quick, cheap and provide flexibility. Under this circumstances construction sector is creating a huge environmental footprint. Building materials stands for about 30% of global resource and energy consumption. Only 20–30% of the construction and demolition waste is recycled or reused, which is often due to poor design and lack of information on building contents.

Irina Martynyuk

Martina Petranikova

Improved recycling of EV Li-ion batteries via combined metallurgical processing

Thermal pre-treatment of EV Li-ion batteries was tested using oxidative and reductive conditions and the effect of process temperature and process time were investigated. Thermal processing was then followed by hydro-chemical processing with inorganic and organic acids at ambient temperature to determine the leachability of critical metals such as cobalt, manganese, nickel and lithium. Moreover, the effect of treatment on the leachability of the main impurities (copper and aluminum) was determined as well. The pyrolysis was selected as the optimal processing time of the black mass followed by the leaching at ambient temperature. Under these conditions, a full recovery of all metals was reached in less than ten minutes with no need of the additional reduction agents.

Martina Petranikova
Associate professor at Chalmers University of Technology – Industrial Materials Recycling group

She has more than 14 years of the experience in the waste management of spent batteries of all chemistries with focus on the material recycling. Main scope of her work is the development of chemical processes for recovery and reuse of valuable metals. Martina has been leading or been involved in more than 20 projects related to the batteries recycling.


The ELiMINATE project: How can we make battery recycling innovations a reality in future society?

The ELiMINATE (End-of-life Li-ion battery management integration and technology evaluation) project is evaluating innovative hydrometallurgical processes to recycle lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) relying on alternative leaching reagents, pre-treatment steps and novel solution purification technologies.

The evaluation of the technologies is being done through 1) a business analysis and strategy development for the LIB recycling industry (European and South African contexts), 2) comparison of the environmental impacts of the innovative hydrometallurgical recycling processes being studied and 3) mapping and optimizing the flow of LIBs in the contexts of the innovative recycling processes. The evaluation is being applied to innovative recycling processes as well as novel processes being developed in the project.

Alexandra Wu
Circular economy expert at IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute

She is specializing in batteries and electronics. Her area of research and consultancy work focuses on conceptualizing circular economy innovations, strategizing their introduction and upscaling in society and analyzing the resulting impacts at the big-picture level. In the ELiMINATE project, she is responsible for the business analysis and strategy development for innovative battery recycling processes in the European context. Alex has a MSc in Environmental Management and Policy from Lund University and BSc in Environmental Science from the University of Waterloo.

Maritz, Roelof

Towards the Recycling of Permanent Magnets through VALOMAG EU project

Lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) have been commonly used in consumer electronics since the 1990s and have recently gained considerable popularity for usage in electric vehicles (EVs). Along with the market growth, the number of LIBs reaching their end-of-life (EOL) is also growing rapidly. However, the recycling industry for these batteries is still in its infancy with only a small fraction of EOL LIBs being recycled and the remainder ending up on landfill sites. Currently, there is no clear consensus on which recycling technology has the lowest environmental impact. As such, a life cycle assessment (LCA) was performed to compare the environmental impacts of different hydrometallurgical processes for the recovery of metals from EOL LIB cathodes.

Roelof Maritz
Candidate masters student at Stellenbosch University at the faculty of process engineering

Completed undergraduate degree at Stellenbosch University in process engineering with distinction (cum laude) as part of the 2020 graduate class. Research currently being conducted under the guidance of supervisor Prof C Dorfling and co-supervisor Prof G Akdogan.
Current research focused on performing life cycle assessments to compare the environmental performance of different hydrometallurgical treatment options for the recycling of end-of-life lithium-ion batteries. Research performed as a joint venture with the IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.

Elsayed Mousa

Valuable Metals Recovery from End-of-Life Li-ion Batteries: Successful Story from Laboratory Scale to Pilot Scale

Manufacturing of Li-ion batteries (LIBs) is growing drastically to meet the high demand and usage in several vital applications particularly electric vehicles (EVs). Meanwhile, the lifetime of LIBs is quite limited and consequently, the recovery and recycling of valuable and critical components from spent LIBs become essential from economic, geostrategic, environmental, and health aspects. In this context, our battery research team at Swerim has executed several successful trials from lab to large pilot scale for enhancing the valuable metals recovery from spent LIBs. These achievements provide an effective stepwise approach for valorization of valuables from spent LIBs aiming to save virgin natural resources, reduce dependency on imports and secure the sustainability LIBs sector.

Elsayed Mousa
Senior Researcher at Metallurgy Department, Swerim.

Elsayed holds a PhD from Institute of Ferrous Metallurgy at RWTH Aachen University in Germany. He has experience for more than 22 years in ironmaking and he is specialist in agglomeration and recycling of waste and residues with focus on recycling of LIBs and steel mill residue and he is active member in reduction metallurgy and biocarbon utilization in metallurgical applications.

Siri Fygle 2

FREYR Recycling Strategy

Siri Fygle
Project Manager Recycling and Cathode Material
Freyr Battery Norway AS

Siri Fygle holds the position as Project Manager responsible for recycling strategy of anode and cathode material, investigating possibilities for closed loop for battery grade materials in FREYR Battery. Previous to FREYR, she worked in operational excellence of wafer production for PV solar industry, process industry in Norway from raw material to finished product of silicon product in companies as Elkem, REC Wafer Norway and Wacker Chemicals Norway. 

Fygle holds a Master Degree from NTH 1995 in Material Science / Metallurgy. 

Bernd Kopacek_resize

Activating Circular Services for Electrical and Electronic Equipment

C-SERVEES is a European project that aims to boost a resource-efficient circular economy in the electrical and electronic sector (EEE) through the development, testing, validation and transfer of new circular economic business models (CEBMs). These business models are based on systemic eco-innovative solutions that include eco-design, product customization, eco-leasing, improved waste management, together with complementary ICT services to take full advantage of the potential and synergies of two major revolutions of our time: the circular economy and the Industry 4.0.

Dr. Bernd Kopacek

Head of Austrian Society for Systems Engineering and Automation 

Bernd heads the Austrian Society for Systems Engineering and Automation – one of the leading research organisations in electronics and the environment – in Vienna as Managing Director since 1997. Besides that he runs his own small group of companies in Austria and Romania specialising on electronics recycling, recycling precious and rare metals as well as re-use of IT equipment and mobile phones since 1999. Since 2011 Bernd teaches “Resource Efficiency” and “End-of-Life Management” as part-time Lecturer at Vienna University of Technology and as guest lecturer at various other universities.

State of the art - Repair - Reuse - Recycling- Kuusakoski

Olov Boman
CEO, Kuusakoski Recycling - Sweden (Kuusakoski Sweden AB)

Olov Boman is the CEO of Kuusakoski Recycling´s swedish operations since 2021 and has extensive experience within the recycling area. Prior to his engagement in the recycling area, Olov was working in the energy industry as CEO for Energiservice Skellefteå AB. Before that he was responsible for the sourcing of secondary raw materials to Bolidens smelter operations. Olov has a Master’s degree in Economics from Umeå Business School of Economics. In his spare time, Olov likes to ski, both down-hill and cross country. In the summer, the mountain bike gets the attention.

Alessia Accili_

Re-cycling of Epoxies and metals from Nonferrous E-Waste: the RENEW project approach to close the loop of PCBs materials

Printed Circuit Boards (PCB) are fundamental components of Electric and Electronic Equipment (EEE) and contain significant amounts of recoverable valuable metals and critical raw materials (CRM). However, recycling PCBs presents some issues related to their high content of epoxy and bromine, harmful to the environment and health. The project RENEW optimizes the WEEE recycling steps and the CRM recovery operations implemented at the copper smelters facilities: the project will validate a technology for the epoxy separation, facilitating CRM recovery in the recycling furnace.

Alessia Accili
Project and Research Specialist in ERION

Alessia Accili is Project and Research Specialist in ERION. She supports ERION’s research activities in the field of Circular Economy dealing with technological and systemic innovation in the WEEE sector (e.g., investigating new plastic recycling approaches and developing new business models). She earned her Energy Engineering BSc from Politecnico di Torino University. She obtained a KIC InnoEnergy MSc (labelled by the EIT European Institute of Innovation and Technology) in Renewable Energy from Polytechnic University of Catalonia and Royal Institute of Technology.


Circularity and sustainability of green electronics being developed within Digital Cellulose Center

Tatjana will present results of the exploration work performed within the Digital Cellulose Center (DCC) where the circularity and environmental potentials of the three biobased energy storage solutions were analysed: a biobased battery, a biobased printed supercapacitor and an intelligent packaging. Each case study was put into the life cycle context and aspects such as legislation, circularity potential and potential environmental impact were discovered.

Tatjana Karpenja
Project manager in Sustainability & Digitalisation at RISE Research Institutes of Sweden.

She has 15  years of expertise in sustainability and circular economy strategies for biobased materials, and also coaches SME:s in biobased and circular materials in BioLyftet – an initiative of the strategic innovation programme BioInnovation.

Erik Emilsson

Sustainability assessment of MaXycle - A novel circular economy for sustainable RE-based magnets

A novel recycling method Hydrogen Processing of Magnetic Scrap (HPMS) keeps more of the material structure intact than conventional hydrometallurgical recycling methods, leading to a potentially more circular method of recycling. To make HPMS more viable, the methods to manage its main hurdles were evaluated through a sustainability assessment, as well as other assessments. Through the findings and with further research into the integration of HPMS in to the value chain, that more circularity will become possible to meet the demands of the energy transition. This presentation contributes primarily to the CMC focus areas of Metals from Secondary Sources.

Erik Emilsson
Project Manager, IVL

Erik is a project manager of four years at IVL working in research projects and assignments on electrification technologies and products for the entire supply chain, including recycling. Erik is a MSc (civilinjenjör) from the Chalmers programme Engineering Physics with Chemical engineering. In his freetime Erik enjoys rock climbing and running in the woods.

Josef Tapper

Packaging design for recycling, in reality

Designing packaging to enable and simplify recycling sounds easy enough and as a frontline nation within packaging, one could imagine Swedish packaging producers, brand owners, and the recycling industry to be champions. Still, we continuously see and hear that much packaging still can’t be recycled and that the EU uses legislation to change the scene. So, what is the real problem and how can we solve it, together?

Christian Håkansson
Packaging specialist, TMR

Having spent close to 25 years working in the packaging industry, mainly from a global brand owners' perspective, Christian has an in-depth understanding and experience of the entire packaging value chain and is well-known among fellow professionals for his passion to share knowledge and encourage new collaborations across the packaging ecosystem. Within TMR Christian is the main contact in packaging-related questions, such as supporting TMR customers in questions related to design for recycling. 

Christian Håkansson

Josef Tapper
CEO, Omni Polymers

A former professional classical musician, Josef changed his career path 15 years ago and embarked on dynamic entrepreneurial development in sustainable waste management. He established and led a collection and recycling scheme for electronic waste in the Nordic region. More recently, he turned his focus to the difficult-to-recycle WEEE plastic waste, as well as consumer packaging plastic waste. Two types of waste that when not properly and responsibly recycled, cause considerable pollution on the planet. Josef’s expertise lies in financing large-scale projects, as well as future-proofing plastic recycling processes. He is driven to create a future world where the resourcefulness of plastic as reusable material is fully realized across all business sectors.

Gualdoni Agustina

Circularity of flexible packaging: improved recycling and novel design for direct food contact applications

The EU-project CIRCULAR FoodPack (funded under HORIZON 2020 under grant agreement no. 101003806) develops novel mono-material packaging designs that fulfil the design-for-recycling guidelines.
Additionally, recyclates at a very high quality are being produced by optimised sorting techniques, effective separation and purification through innovative pre-treatment processes.
Subsequently, the application of recyclable functional barriers intends to permit the use of these recyclates in food packaging, complying with the strict requirements of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
The developments of this project will enable a transition into a Circular Economy.

Agustina Gualdoni
Scientific Officer, CIRCULAR FoodPack, Bavarian Research Alliance

Agustina Gualdoni is a Scientific Officer in the Unit of Environment, Energy and Bioeconomy at the Bavarian Research Alliance GmbH (BayFOR). She has a background in Business and Economics and has extensive experience in international project development. Since joining BayFOR in 2019, she has successfully supported consortia with applications for EU funded R&I projects. As part of the BayFOR partner role in CIRCULAR FoodPack, Agustina supports the project specifically with its outreach and dissemination activities.

Alexandra Almasi _IVL

Closing the loop of industrial plastic packaging

The project Closing the loop of industrial plastic packaging pilots the development of closed loop recycling of three different industrial plastic packaging in Sweden, including big bags made of PP and EPS packaging. A third packaging will be identified during the project. The work takes place within the framework of Vinnova's program Challenge-driven innovation step 2.

Alexandra Almasi
Project manager at IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute

She is involved in projects related to circular economy and waste management, with focus on plastic waste. She has 10 years of experience from developing and implementing innovation projects where companies, public institutions and the research community collaborate to develop solutions for a circular economy. Alexandra has a MSc. in Environmental Management and Sustainability Science from Aalborg University, Denmark.

Malin zu Castell

Measures to Enhance a Safe Circular Plastic Economy in Europe

Today, significant volumes of plastic waste are incinerated and exported from Europe due to lack of capacity and economic incentives for recycling. The growing focus on circular economy in Europe has resulted in an increasing pressure for recycling of plastics, as increasing recycling rates are crucial for the implementation of a circular economy. Our study aims to find the most important hinders preventing efficient plastic recycling and to identify the main actions and instruments for enhancing circularity in the plastic sector. We have conducted structured interviews and stakeholder workshops with key experts from the industry and academia. We present solutions and recommendations to overcome identified barriers and to create a well-functioning and safe plastic recycling system in Europe. The study has been conducted for the NONTOX EU-project.

Link to Nontox: http://nontox-project.eu/

Malin zu Castell-Rüdenhausen
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd, Finland

She is completing her doctoral studies in environmental engineering at Aalto University in urban circular economy. Malin’s key expertise is on the operational environment of waste and material management, including policy implementation and measures to increase recycling, but also related to recycling technologies, environmental impact analyses, and material stream analyses. In many projects, the focus is on the impacts of EU’s waste and product regulation on recycling and circular economy, instruments and measures for reaching circular economy targets and also how policies can support the transition to a circular economy. 

Tatu Marttila

Eco-design considerations for circular plastics in the context of WEEE, ELV, and C&DW

Despite ambitious EU targets the demand for recycled plastics is still small, with the application of recycled plastics often limited to low-value or niche applications. Due limited design knowledge, lacking quality or availability of recycled feedstock, sometimes conflicted consumer views, and poor end-of-life management with inefficient recycling technologies, there remains several barriers to the higher uptake of recycled content.

The NONTOX EU Horizon 2020 project is studying recycling processes and technologies to improve the recycling of plastic with potentially hazardous residues. This presentation reviews and develops further eco-design guidelines for circular plastics, especially in the context of e-waste, end-of-life vehicles, and construction and demolition sector. The findings are based stakeholder interviews and workshops held between 2020-2022.

Tatu Marttila
Post-doctoral researcher and lecturer at Aalto University’s Department of Design in Helsinki region in Finland.

His research and teaching focus covers broadly several domains of sustainable design, ranging from the development of education to product and service design projects, and to the design and implementation of strategic co-design for sustainability in various contexts. In the NONTOX-project, his focus has been on stakeholder interaction to produce and disseminate the eco-design guidelines and recommendations to promote the circularity of hazardous plastics.

Wiebke Reim

Circular business model development strategies: A business ecosystem analysis

The circular economy holds the promise of a systematic approach to delivering economic, social, and environmental benefits. But moving to more circular operations requires close collaboration with existing and new ecosystem partners. Understanding of the business ecosystem is critical when deciding how to go ahead with the transformation towards circular business models. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to identify and understand circular business model development strategies based on the analysis of the ecosystem. The study develops a framework that presents strategies for circular business model development that depend on the role and evolution of the ecosystem. The four types of circular business model development strategies are Adventurer strategy, Circular Hero strategy, Explorer strategy and Sustainability Enabler strategy. The choice of strategy has large impact on the economic and sustainable value generated.

Wiebke Reim
Associated senior lecturer in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Luleå University of Technology.

Wiebke's research is mainly focused on business models for Product-service-systems, digitalization, circular economy and regional development. Her research has been published in journals such as the Journal of Cleaner Production, the International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Industrial Marketing Management, the Journal of Business Research and Business Strategy and the Environment.