Remanufacturing is the missing link in the recycling process
We are all making significant changes to the way we live to reduce our impact on the environment. The products we use, how we travel and even what we eat are all choices that need to be made with sustainability in mind.
And while we as individuals should all do our part, of course, change must largely be driven by governments and organizations. And thanks to the Green Deal in 2019, individual nation states and the companies operating within them are now committed to stepping up the fight against climate change and delivering on the EU’s pledge to become the first carbon-neutral continent by 2050.
From a business perspective, however, there are a variety of ways and new approaches that can be used to work towards this goal. And of course, the industry a company operates in will also do some input to determine the areas of investment, research and innovation it will focus on in order to reduce its carbon emissions in order to achieve a carbon neutral society will.
However, one of the simplest approaches has been defined by the phrase “reduce, reuse, recycle.” As a theoretical hierarchy, it is easily applied to consumer habits and business processes. Reduce activities that have a negative impact on the environment if you can. If this is not possible, consider how you could reuse products or materials. And when that doesn’t work, recycle as much as possible to make sure nothing goes to waste.
Many companies and individuals are making active efforts to reduce environmental impacts, particularly by adapting to the concept of the circular economy, which in some ways formalizes the “reduce, reuse, recycle” hierarchy. But while estimates claim so Widespread adoption of circular economy practices in Europe could halve carbon emissions by 2030, No matter how hard we try to reduce our impact on the environment or reuse things, there will always be a consumer demand for new, high-quality products.
And while recycling can help ensure that materials from old products are reused where possible, a great deal of time, money and energy is invested in recovering these materials. This is a particular challenge in the tech industry, with Figures from the European Environment Agency This shows that e-waste recycling lags well behind packaging and household waste.
That missing link in the chain is remanufacturing – a process that yields better quality products than resale or simple refurbishment, while in many situations it is more efficient and economically viable than recycling. It’s an approach that innovative manufacturers are looking at closely, and if scaled, it could help us make the changes we need to protect the environment.