Author: Katarzyna Woźniak
The circular economy is a concept that aims at the rational use of resources and at the limitation of negative environmental impact of produced products. The implementation of the circular economy in the region in turn, must be understood as a comprehensive process.
The proposed regional booster toolkit is an online tool for collecting and sharing information on available raw materials and waste streams. Both the information collection methodology and the regional booster toolkit will be developed in parallel. Both tools are intended to support the transition to the circular economy by considering different sources of local waste, such as raw materials for reprocessing, reuse and recycling. The main function of the regional booster toolkit will be a set of functionalities involving all entities in the region. In addition, the developed solutions will be a replicable solution applicable in other regions of Europe and the world.
So far, collaboration amongst the project partners has led to the development of a common questionnaire that enables the collection of data on raw materials. Furthermore, it enabled the identification of key issues: waste/residual flows as input and output data.
The questionnaire data was divided into groups, and a block diagram of the regional booster toolkit was developed based on the information collected in the questionnaires. The block diagram below shows the planned structure of the developed tool:
Taking into account the needs and suggestions of the partners, a platform model (a map of the platform) was developed. The platform will consist of two parts: supply and demand. The supply side will have the function of searching for raw materials. The search will be done by selecting (checking) or entering the European waste code or a keyword contained in the code description. The information available on the platform will include data on the availability of the raw material (quantity available), location, and price. The demand side of the designed platform will be a mirror image of the demand side.
The planned online tools will thus collect and share information on available raw materials and waste streams.
The main challenge and at the same time the main objective then are to develop a regional booster toolkit solution that combines the following functions:
- Collecting and sharing information on available raw materials and waste streams;
- Thereby empowering brokers for the circular economy;
- Engaging stakeholders and citizens in creating business opportunities and social innovation;
- Developing an operational model and methodology for data collection; and
- Updating and sharing these with specific and relevant groups.
The development of the operational model and methodology for data collection, updating and making it available to specific groups of stakeholders will be carried out by the Research and Innovation Centre Pro-Akademia. The model will then be tested in WP7 – Impact Generation and Assessment.