Circular economy and chemical substances

Every year the world’s population consumes more than 12 tons of raw materials per person, and the amount is expected to have doubled by 2050. Consequently, we have to rethink how we use the Earth’s natural resources.

The purpose of circular economy is to reduce the use of raw materials by keeping materials and chemical substances in circulation for as long as possible. Here, the design and the chemical product composition have vital roles.

At DHI we have the expertise and the tools to help you collect information on product composition and to assess the hazardous properties of the chemicals you use.

Design to advance circular economy

In a circular economy we must retain resources in the supply chain as long as we can.

This means that products must be designed to be used for as long as possible. Moreover, materials and substances in the products must be suitable for reuse or reproduction. In processes it is about choosing a design that enables separation of residues and waste streams, which advances recirculation and reuse.

Pivotal to product and process design is the choice of chemicals and materials. The use of problematic substances, such as substances of very high concern (SVHC), may hinder recycling and hamper circularity.

We offer tools that enable you to choose chemicals and materials and to design products that advance non-hazardous material flows and circularity.

EU’s Circular Economy Action Plan

To stimulate a circular economy several regulatory steps have been initiated. In 2015 the European Commission adopted a Circular Economy Action Plan. The 54 actions under the EU Action Plan have now been completed. Several of the actions focused on chemical product composition and non-hazardous circulation of materials.

We are following the development in circular economy regulation closely and can keep you updated on new requirements that may affect your business.

Collaboration in the supply chain

Crucial to a successful circular economy is increased collaboration and exchange of information in the global supply chain. To enable this, we must employ the same terminology and goals when working to map and optimise supply chains.

An important step towards larger global transparency is to incorporate goals for the use of problematic substances throughout the supply chain in recognised supply chain models.

We have used an internationally recognised supply chain model in development projects and can guide you through the process of setting goals to eliminate substances of concern in the supply chain.

Our expertise also includes:

  • Risk assessment of chemical contamination in the supply chain
  • Chemical safety assessment of materials and chemicals from recycling processes