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. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12239861

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.

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