Design for and from Recycling: A Circular Ecodesign Approach to Improve the Circular Economy

Martínez Leal, J.; Pompidou, S.; Charbuillet, C.; Perry, N. (2020). “Design for and from Recycling: A Circular Ecodesign Approach to Improve the Circular Economy.” Sustainability 12, 9861.

Abstract: In the context of a circular economy, one can observe that (i) recycling chains are not adapted enough to the end-of-life products they have to process and that (ii) products are not sufficiently well designed either to integrate at best their target recycling chain. Therefore, a synergy between product designers and recycling-chains stakeholders is lacking, mainly due to their weak communication and the time-lag between the product design phase and its end-of-life treatment. Many Design for Recycling approaches coexist in the literature. However, to fully develop a circular economy, Design from Recycling also has to be taken into account. Thus Re-Cycling, a complete circular design approach, is proposed. First, a design for recycling methodology linking recyclability assessment to product design guidelines is proposed. Then, a design from recycling methodology is developed to assess the convenience of using secondary raw materials in the design phase. The recyclability of a smartphone and the convenience of using recycled materials in a new cycle are both analyzed to demonstrate our proposal. The Fairphone 2® and its treatment by the WEEE French takeback scheme are used as a case study.

Nestlé explores alternative packaging technologies with startup investment

Read the full story at Food Dive.

Nestlé Waters North America is investing in Timeplast, a startup investigating technology that minimizes the impact of improperly recycled plastic leaking toxins into the environment, according to a release. The amount of the investment was not disclosed.

The companies will create a new operation called TPN Alliance Polymers. Nestlé will provide financing and additional support to evaluate Timeplast’s technology. From this collaborative partnership, the two companies hope to bring a solution to market that “both addresses plastic pollution while maintaining compatibility with the existing recycling system.”

Nestlé Waters has committed to achieving 25% recycled PET plastic across its U.S. portfolio by next year and then increase that percentage to 50% by 2025. Sustainability has been a central focus at the Switzerland-based multinational that plans to spend up to 2 billion Swiss francs ($2.1 billion) to shift its packaging from virgin plastics to food-grade recycled plastics. 

Webinar: One Size Does Not Fit All: Lessons Learned from Financing Large and Small Energy Retrofits

Tue, Jan 19, 2021 2-3 pm CST
Register here.

Explore the successful implementation of two energy efficiency projects — one small (less than $150,000) and one large (over $10 million) — and the similarities and differences between them. This facilitated discussion will examine each project’s financial and operational challenges, solutions, and lessons learned.

Don’t erase undergrad researchers and technicians from author lists

Read the full story in Science.

“While I recognise that she thinks she had a major contribution to the project it will be difficult to show that she did more than a technician’s job.” This was the infuriating response I received in a long email thread with former colleagues about work I had done as an undergraduate researcher. During my 7-month internship, my colleagues in the lab told me I would be an author when they wrote up the work. A few months ago, I was shocked to learn that the resulting paper had already been accepted for publication—and that my contribution had been relegated to the acknowledgments section. This was my wake-up call about the need to speak up for myself regarding authorship, and to speak out against the unfair convention of diminishing the contributions of undergrads and technicians to scientific research.

ArcelorMittal USA: Power Of 1 contest increases employee engagement and generates low- and no-cost project ideas

Read the full case study from the U.S. DOE Better Buildings Program.

ArcelorMittal is a multinational steel manufacturing company that owns and operates 25 facilities in the U.S.. The company’s plants are located in 12 different states and produce steel for major North American markets, including automotive, construction, pipe and tube, appliance, container, and machinery. Approximately 15% of ArcelorMittal’s overall production cost is attributed to energy, the second-highest driver behind labor. With limited capital budget for equipment upgrades, ArcelorMittal was looking for new ways to engage employees on energy efficiency, specifically around low- and no-cost project opportunities. As part of the annual ArcelorMittal Energy Fair, the company launched the Power of 1 contest to encourage individual employees and teams to submit new low- and no-cost energy savings ideas for their plants. The winning ideas will save the company on energy costs and provide an opportunity for employee recognition.

Innovation outlook: Thermal energy storage

Download the document.

This outlook from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) highlights key attributes of thermal energy storage technologies and identifies priorities for ongoing research and development.

Brazil Puts a $10 Billion-a-Year Price Tag on Carbon Neutrality

Read the full story at Bloomberg Green.

The country, home to a large portion of the Amazon rainforest, has said it will accelerate its climate commitments if it can get enough support.

Saving Energy: A QuickStart Guide for Small to Medium Manufacturers

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This document aims to serve as a “quick-start guide” to energy efficiency for small and medium manufacturers. The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Better Plants Program is partnering with US manufacturers and water/wastewater treatment utilities of all sizes to improve energy efficiency and competitiveness in the industrial sector, while helping industrial companies save money in the process.

How Did Activewear Brand Vuori Become Climate Neutral Certified? By Taking a Long-Term Approach

Read the full story at Inc.

Offsetting your greenhouse gas footprint requires more than just buying credits.

Cosmetics, cellphones, guitar strings: where we found ‘forever chemicals’

Read the full story in The Guardian.

PFAS, which can be hazardous to our health, are found everywhere. We need to regulate them as a class.