Students in environmental technologies were invited to brainstorm solutions to the challenges identified in the two targeted value chains. The previous TREASoURcE webinar formed the basis for outlining the challenges and barriers in these realms.
Participants were first given an overview of the project and a summary of challenges, followed by individual and group work using the Miro Board tool. During individual work, students were asked to imagine the ideal future of circular economy – for different stakeholders (households, companies, public sector). The following question was raised:
- What if we lived in an ideal world where circular economy worked? What would this world look like?
Many different ideas were noted by the students, both in the area of technology development as well as change in societal attitudes, such as waste recycling systems as a built-in system for large apartment buildings, where advanced technologies could separate different types of plastics and monitor its quality or a shift in social mindset and the acknowledgement of true value of all materials and resources with no expectation of economic growth.
As mentioned, group work focused on plastics recycling and repurposing of EV batteries. Two to three challenges from the presented list had to be picked up. Students formed four groups and worked on finding the answers to the following questions:
- What could be the solutions to identified challenges?
- What actions should be taken to tackle these problems?
- Who should take these actions? Identify stakeholders!
In plastics section, participants mainly focused on the problems of diversity of waste management, lack of separate collection and lack of design for recycling. The EV batteries topic was perceived to be somewhat more challenging. The following barriers to repurposing were discussed: variable EV battery design, lack of information for repurposing operator and consumer preferences towards new batteries. A deeper analysis of provided ideas will follow in TREASoURcE Deliverable 6.1.