PVC flooring recycling: a sustainability assessment of different circular business models

SCHEME: Industrial Fellowships

CALL: 2016

DOMAIN: SR - Environmental and Earth Sciences

FIRST NAME: Thomas

LAST NAME: Schaubroeck

INDUSTRY PARTNERSHIP / PPP: Yes

INDUSTRY / PPP PARTNER: Tarkett

HOST INSTITUTION: LIST

KEYWORDS: Circular economyRecyclingFlooringlife cycle assessmentagent-based modellingdynamic material flow analysis

START: 2017-06-13

END: 2019-06-12

WEBSITE: https://www.list.lu/

Submitted Abstract

Incentives for the creation of a circular economy are more and more promoted by Luxembourg and the European Union. While in theory circular systems can be more environmentally friendly and profitable than linear ones, the consumer and other actors still have to adopt the circular business models to make them actually profitable and environmentally sound, e.g. by sorting and returning the waste. For this project, a consortium of the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) and Tarkett (flooring company) will be set up to study circular business models for PVC flooring, comprising recycling and a take-back or leasing system. The hypothesis is that only a circular business model for PVC flooring with the right (economic) incentives to convince actors to adopt it, maximizes environmental benefit and economic profit. Specifically, the markets of France & Luxembourg will be considered. The planned research will consist of a scientifically innovative combination of different tools. First, we will assess the environmental impact (using life cycle assessment; expertise of LIST and candidate) and economic cost (using cost-benefit analysis: training by Tarkett) over the life cycle per m2 PVC flooring following several different business models: circular vs. linear ones such as incineration and/or landfill. Second, influence of (economic) incentives on the consumer behaviour shall be studied (PR/consumer survey; training by Tarkett) and modelled using agent-based modelling (expertise of and training by LIST). This will result in the relative shares of waste PVC that will be sent for recycling and for disposal. Third, we will model stock amounts of PVC flooring in houses and related to that waste flows over time (using sales-stock-lifespan modelling; expertise of candidate). Combined with the two previous steps, economically and environmentally best incentives for circular business model of Tarkett for the region over time can be pinpointed. Tarkett can exploit the outcomes and LIST the modelling approach.

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