The manufacturing of everyday products requires the use of finite resources and rare earth elements, many of which are running out.
There are bottle-necks in the supply chains, where one company can be responsible for the supply of as much as 75 per cent of a material, which creates high levels of risk. After use the majority of these resources are simply discarded or badly re-processed.
Reuse, Repair, Remanufacture and Recycling; the principals of the Circular Economy, provide a way to manage supply and design out the notion of waste.
For this system to work efficiently, these principals need to form part of a products life, right from the design stage - where are our products sourced from? How do we inform better design? How can we repair products? How can we disassemble them to carry out better quality recycling?
Sharing information between the different stages of design, production, use and recycling will be crucial to making the circular economy possible.
But how open can and should this data be? How can we ensure the information is accessible but also protect the processes and institutional expertise of private companies?
Our specialist panel, below, discussed new forms of open data for a more circular economy.
- Matthew Polaine Lead Researcher, The Circular Economy, British Telecommunications
- Nick Cliffe Marketing Manager, Closed Loop Recycling
- Janet Gunter Co-Founder, The Restart Project (who wrote up the event on Storify too)
- David Gardner Senior Project Manager, C-Tech Innovation
Watch the event highlights
We caught up with the panel after the event - hear what they had to say about the potential for a circular economy:
Couldn't attend but want to find out more? Download the Smart Resources booklet on the right-hand side of this page.