Technology as enabler
The global trend towards digitalisation means that products that were once relatively easy to recycle suddenly contain circuit boards, batteries, cables, etc. Flashing children’s shoes, tables with integrated wireless chargers and automatic soap dispensers are now electronic waste that has to be recycled in processes optimised for products like computers, TVs and mobile phones. But products that have been digitalised might be able to tell consumers that they need to be treated as electronic waste and then tell the recycling company where the batteries are.
We see technological developments as a major enabler of the circular economy.
- For example, smart sensor systems and algorithms can be used to sort complex waste flows automatically.
- Smartly managed data can help us increase traceability and thus boost demand for worn-out products and materials.
- Robots can help us take products apart more efficiently without risk of personal injury.
There is great potential. We just need to use our imagination. What are your challenges?