Digital platforms for recycling

Digital platforms for recycling

Digital platforms for recycling

The European Commission has adopted a new Circular Economy Action Plan – one of the main blocks of the European Green Deal, Europe’s new agenda for sustainable growth.

The new Action Plan announces initiatives along the entire life cycle of products, targeting for example their design, promoting circular economy processes, fostering sustainable consumption, and aiming to ensure that the resources used are kept in the EU economy for as long as possible.

At the other hand what about the digitisation of the circular economy and/ or Platform economy and recycling?

The platform economy, as a central element of digital transformation, makes markets transparent and conveniently and efficiently brings supply and demand together for both sides. Today, digital technologies and specially digital platforms may offer solutions that can   be   important elements to create a circular economy.

Platforms could provide means for trade exchange and valuable information for circular economy markets. As for instance Fast Data and Big Data analysis can help to monitor, evaluate and understand emerging resource and value streams. These approaches make it possible to keep track of deals, material and value flows so as to understand which material streams exist and where they head thus also enabling innovation and efficiency to platform.

Additionally, these exchanges can be automatized, controlled and improved through dedicated algorithms enabling automatized markets. Through this, digital platforms should be able to allow for more effective allocation e.g. through reversed logistics, the closing of loops, reduction of material loss, thereby potentially also reducing dependency on scarce primary resources from volatile or unsafe markets.

Open remains the digital readiness of the different players, but the future is undoubtedly digital for the circular economy. The European Green Deal sets right on this point: Digital technologies are a critical enabler for attaining the sustainability goals of the Green deal in many different sectors. The Commission will explore measures to ensure that digital technologies such as artificial intelligence, 5G, cloud and edge computing and the internet of things can accelerate and maximise the impact of policies to deal with climate change and protect the environment.