Increasing material circularity through information exchange – the proposal of a guideline from the perspective of a waste management player

Main Presenter:    Tabea Hagedorn 

Co-Authors:   Dr. Alice Lopes     Julian Baehr                                          

The European Green Deal aims to make the European Union’s (EU) economy and society climate-neutral by 2050. The focus is on reducing greenhouse gas emissions through the sufficient and efficient use of natural resources. The circular economy (CE) is a fundamental strategy to achieve EU’s goal, since it aims to keep desired materials in the technosphere for as long as possible, thereby reducing overall consumption of natural resources and emissions. To support the CE and the EU Green Deal, life cycle assessments of products are becoming increasingly relevant for estimating environmental impacts and identifying optimisation potentials from a systematic perspective. For this reason, a central role in environmental management and environmental policy is played by life cycle assessments.
However, due to a lack of an inefficient exchange of information among stakeholders of the CE, both individual companies and systemic optimisation potential remains untapped. One reason for this is the lack of an efficient communication and share of information/data between distributors and downstream actors up to the end of the value chain. The introduction of a digital product passport (DPP) as part of the new “EU Ecodesign Regulation for Sustainable Products” is expected to support the information exchange among the different players in CE (Council of the European Union, 2023). However, the role of the waste management industry as an important player to provide information regarding e.g. recyclability of materials for the DPP seems to be underrepresented. Although the waste management is essential for closing material loops, no concrete information about e.g. how waste actually treated is provided, rather estimations. Thus, the question arise: How should the information be exchanged
in the value chain including the Eol player? The aim of this conference paper is to present the results of the DIN SPEC 91482 “EoL Bill of Materials” which has been developed by practitioners and researchers to propose a guideline on how to manage the exchange of information from the perspective of the EoL player.

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