By Marco Capellini, CEO of Matrec.
Without any hesitation, we can say that “the die is cast”. The circular economy, as a “startup“, identifies the new industrial model to which all companies must converge in order to develop the industrial strategies of the coming years. Materials, products and services must necessarily, and I would say compulsorily, comply with the principles of the circular economy, to avoid being excluded from a market increasingly characterized by values of environmental, social and economic sustainability. The European Parliament has put forward a new proposal of objectives for the Circular Economy, with great clarity and conviction, asking the Commission to accelerate the application of rules and tools that encourage the application of the principles of eco-design to all products.
Binding targets for the use of materials, covering the entire life cycle of each product category placed on the EU market and the introduction in 2021 of harmonized, comparable and uniform circularity indicators for the material and consumption footprint. In addition, binding sector-specific product targets for recycled content and designed to be recycled.
Products that are durable, reusable, can be easily repaired, upgraded, and at end of life recycled, are non-toxic, have recycled content, and are resource and energy efficient.
The European Parliament is strongly decided on its proposal and it is to be believed that the Commission can only welcome it with open arms.
And here we come to us, to the choice of materials, to the design and measurement of the circularity of products, which will increasingly be an essential requirement for assessing the efficient use of the resources employed. Let’s not forget that the choice of material alone does not define the circularity of a product, but it is necessary to evaluate the entire scenario of the useful life of the same with particular attention to the management of the end of life. If a material is recyclable it does not mean that it is actually recycled: this is the big difference between potential and real end of life.