What does circular economy actually mean?

In order to achieve the goal of climate neutrality by 2045, not only must the energy sector be renewable, but all material flow chains must also be closed into cycles as far as possible. In order to come closer to the goal of the circular economy, products must be rethought and their end-of-life must already be planned for during production. The lifespan of products can be significantly extended through sharing and reuse. In the construction sector in particular, however, enormous amounts of non-recyclable construction waste are produced: Here, markets for direct reuse of secondary building materials must be created in the long term.

Only when reprocessing is no longer possible should products reach the end of their life and be fed as “waste” to the previous recycling paths of the circular economy. This recovery should enable the recycling of product components and provide new secondary raw materials for production through sorting and recycling. Only if recycling is not possible does energy recovery take place through incineration or fermentation. Since we need raw materials for production, but currently often declare them as waste, the dumping of waste and construction waste must be reduced to a minimum. This can also significantly reduce the extraction of new raw materials from the environment.

…so there is a lot to do! Where do you see the biggest challenges of the circular Economy?

IREES-RESEARCH FOR FUTURE ­ččŹâ