Report Reflow Final

Page 1

2020

Visions for a circular Vejle

Opportunities for the implementation of bio-based alternatives to plastic



Intro The current report brings forth data and insights collected as part of a Master thesis in collaboration with ReFlow Vejle, taking as a starting point the city’s focus on plastics. Plastics tend to be present in countless fields and applications, but numbers show that their main purpose is packaging. Globally, around 40% of all plastic production is destined to package goods and food [7]. In Europe, each person generates 30kg of plastic packaging waste every year [2], most of which will either be burnt, landfilled or leak into oceans [4], creating the vision we all know of marine life competing with lifeless and indestructible plastic ghosts. The great contradiction of modern packaging lies in the extraordinary gap between their life expectancy and the time during which it is used. While plastics are reported to degrade within periods ranging from 10 to more than 1000 years [1] (and might never degrade completely, especially in landfills), packagings present the shortest time-in-use of all industrial sectors, less than 1 year [4]. “Single-use” therefore is a serious anachronism.

OTHER

ELECTRICAL 4%

13%

TRANSPORTATION 6,5%

CONSUMER GOODS 11,5%

TEXTILES 14,5%

CONSTRUCTION 16%

PACKAGING 36% 161 MILLION TONS

EUROPEAN DEMAND 49 MILLION TONS

2015 448 million tons

2000 250 million tons

Denmark is notoriously ahead regarding some plastic related indicators (4 bags used per person and per year, versus 365 in the USA [6]). However, a lot of systemic efforts need to be further undertaken to provide effective, comprehensive and long lasting solutions to the plastic pollution.

1950 2,3 million tons

The evolution of the quantity of plastic produced yearly, between 1950 and 2015 [6]


The food sector is probably one of the best examples to present the pernicious consequences of plastic packaging. Plastic food packagings were first introduced in the 1940s/1950s, appearing as a revolution to keep food fresh longer. But as society became more and more globalized, more purposes emerged: ideal marketing support, standardized portions sizes, inter-continental shipping of produces... This made food more accessible, cheaper and less valuable, eventually causing more food and plastic waste: Europeans, nowadays, spend around 10% of their income on food, and generate yearly more than 70kg of food waste per person, when Kenyans or Nigerians dedicate around 50% of their budget to food, and waste yearly between 5 and 10kg [3; 5]. Other environmental and social consequences of this democratization include increased transportation, intensive

agriculture, extensive deforestation and strained local producers... Landfilled biowastes are also amongst the most problematic and potent sources of methane emissions [8]. These connections show that the plastic issue can not be tackled without considering the wider networks in which it is placed. Food, agricultural system, urban infrastructures, policies... all play a role in the ever increasing levels of plastic pollution. This report proposes to investigate the potential of bio-based materials represent in order to locally manage biowaste while providing alternative to plastic packagings. It brings forth a strategy bridging social innovation, design and sustainability to tackle plastic pollution as holistically as possible. Building on the planned opening of a ÂŤBioLabÂť in Vejle, the report presents scenarios of circular economy bridging environmental, social and economic dimensions, built at the local scale through a combination of research, interviews, field experiments and existing projects analysis.

Photos credit: Louis Rose

Plastics and the food sector


Content p7

.visions

p14 .mappings p27 .experiments p40 .references & acknowledgements p42 .conclusion 5


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Visions

How different could things be in Vejle if circular economy concepts were applied at the intersection of food and plastic wastes ? Built around the Bio-material Lab, due to open by Fall 2020, and on other innovations that could take place in the city, these visions aim at formulating shared desirable perspectives in terms of environmental, social and economical sustainability.


.environment

Photo credit: Space10

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.environment

#banonsingleuseplastic #compostingpolicy #reusable #communitygardens #bio-basedmaterials #greenurbanplanning

Thanks to the Lab, to the development of bio-based materials and to the setting up of more local and regional supply chains, regarding food as well as other raw materials, Vejle has cut its use of single-use plastic by 80% between 2020 and 2030. Following the early ban on plastic landfilling, a ban on most plastic packagings has been introduced by the mid-2020s. Supermarkets and other retailers were asked to work hand in hand with municipalities: supermarkets are now carrying their stocks in reusable crates, while the «last mile packaging» is provided through a mix of glass bottles, metal cans and bio-based materials containers, all under pant systems or compostable. Restaurants, cafés and other food-service businesses were also at the forefront of this transformation. From 2021, an experiment was set up in collaboration with two restaurants in Vestbyen: the Lab provided them with a sorting bin adapted to their workflow and took care of collecting their organic waste via a bike-based carrier. The waste was then turned into takeaway packaging, marketing items and other products, looped back into the collaborating restaurants. Building on this successful experiment, a social company was created in 2023 thanks to Spinderihallerne’s incubator, now collaborating with most restaurants in Vejle.

Flying plastic debris have almost entirely disappeared from the streets and parks, thanks to the ban mentioned above but also thanks to a tight network of recycling bins. Using ReFlow as a catalyst, Vejle’s municipality started an ambitious, innovative and comprehensive management program for its green spaces. They first organized an open exhibition to support the project, and are now using parks and gardens as promotion tools for initiatives going on in the city in the form of installations, exhibitions and discussion starters. Furthermore, the program has allowed the introduction of pollinator-friendly areas, with diversified native species and less intensive mowing rhythms. The insect hotels installed throughout these spaces also act as pedagogical tools for kids as well as for grown-ups: the parks are now a real showcase of sustainable living, beside being urban havens for citizens. The new composting policy, also taking advantage of an increased visibility and network, is producing more than needed for the municipal parks and has allowed the set up of urban gardening initiatives. The municipality has allocated pieces of land both in already green areas and in more urban setups, and while the initiative mostly gathered an older audience at first, several generations of garden-based pedagogy at school progressively made the mix of generations become more even. 9


.society

Photo credit: Collaborative Services (F. JĂŠgou & E. Manzini)

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.society

#awarenessraising #socialinnovation #circulareconomy #youthinvolvement #communitygardens #newsocialnorms #vestbyen festival #cooperation

A series of events throughout the year 2021 has made the public opinion on Bio-based material evolve. Reluctant at first, mentioning the perceived lack of hygiene and resistance compared to plastic, citizens gradually got to appreciate the naturality and grain of the new materials. Short supply chains, which allow these materials to express their potential, have gained momentum, supported by an effective pant system: materials stay in the loop as long as they maintain their efficiency, and are turned to compost whenever they break or need to be replaced. Taking advantage of ReFlow’s fallouts, the municipality has casted a new light on the district of Vestbyen. Once known only for being the popular and culturally mixed part of town, it is know touted for the different initiatives of social innovation that take place there: open dinners, intergenerational transmission, urban gardens, resource revalorization... Organized for the first time in 2022, the Vestbyen festival gave the occasion to display these initiatives and their outcomes to the rest of the city, which is now progressively following the same path.

Mimicking restaurants which paved the way to the collect of «useful» bio-wastes, some households have joined a program to also sort specific streams of wastes, such as eggshells and coffee ground. Doing so, they get access to «local baskets» of herbs, legumes and fruits grown in some of the biggest gardens. Overall, the combination of structural changes (park management, urban gardens, open-air exhibitions, packaging reduction...) and cultural events promoting alternatives to consumerism has made norms and conventions evolve towards more sustainability, both environmental and social. The built environment that people see during their everyday moves is also promoting this transition. More room is given for social activities and more value is given to sharing, repairing and what is locally made.

Existing youth houses such as Club Midt were given more means to support this transition: kids are looking after their own garden and are sometimes taken to Spinderihallerne to experiment with some of the FabLab’s tools.

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.economy

Photo credit: Fab City Global Initiative Blog

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.economy

#circulareconomy #socialcompany #cooperation #new valuesystems #local wastemanagement #sharingeconomy #greenmindedbusiness

The changes in the economy have been catalysed around a transition to more circular supply chains. Mapping the flows of resources in town has allowed to loop and connect numerous businesses, replacing flows of virgin materials entering some of them by flows of waste coming out of others. The local processing of these wastes resulted in an increased job offer, based on manual skills and material knowledge. The municipality has supported this transition by offering formations, thus ensuring that most of these newly opened positions would benefit local job-seekers. Institutions also «lobbied» and motivated local companies to join the movement through tax-reduction incentives. Now, these original incentives are less and less needed as it became more profitable to use the local loops and supply chains. The first sector to follow that transition was the food-service one. Restaurants and cafés, through unions and professional associations, were convinced to sort their waste better and collect «useful» biowastes. This was done by providing them with tailormade sorting solutions fitting their workflow as well as by showing them the financial benefit of diverting most of their trash from the general waste stream. On top of that, the bio-waste collected on one end is now turned into take-away packaging and promotional items that play a big role in the brand image of these businesses.

Spinderihallerne’s incubator proved essential in providing a frame for entrepreneurs willing to develop further ideas based on the circular economy. Beside the bio-based material processing company, startups dealing with bike rental and repair, composting gear, seeds supply and other green-minded businesses were able to take off. A Precious Plastic collection point was also started, benefitting from the world-wide community to offer local solutions to the plastic pollution. It also came with capacity development, as a few applicants were chosen and trained to run the recycling workshop and the shop in town, where recycled plastic products are sold. The advanced high-technology sector, particularly present in the center of Denmark, was also used in the transition, developing smart systems of waste management, making sure that public infrastructures are utilised the right way and to limit occasional wrongdoings. Overall, social interactions and environmental parameters are now weighing more than financial measures. Fossil fuel intensive transportation has been replaced by electric energy and bike systems, or by car-pooling and sharing when really needed.

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Mappings

How is the situation like in Vejle at the moment ? What modifications would be needed to achieve the aforementioned visions ? Using resource-flow mappings and pointing at leverage nodes in the system, following pages enhance Vejle’s assets and envision how far-reaching and impactful could a few changes become upon the wider system.


the situation «as is» Vejle’s assets Vejle has a strong history of innovation and sustainability awareness. One of the first cities in Denmark to implement households sorting in the 80s, it is now deemed to have one of the best sorting rates as well as technical means to support waste sorting. Besides its involvement in the ReFlow project, Vejle is also part of the 100 Resilient Cities program of the Rockefeller foundation, aiming at promoting strategies for cities to cope better with our changing climate and overall context. These different elements, amongst others, hint at the city’s will to be an example in terms of transitioning towards more sustainability. This philosophy and dynamics should be fostered even more. Zooming - literally, see aerial picture on the right - on the district of Vestbyen and its physiognomy, it is striking to see the amount of green spaces in the neighbourhood, either as public gardens or as residential dependences. Public parks are also numerous, following a rich offer of schools and youth institutions. Both parks and schools, as public promoters of knowledge, well being and quality of life, appear as very pertinent channels to reach citizens and especially children. They could be used more as displays and «laboratories» to put forth alternative and desirable visions for the future, as well as stronger position statements from the municipality. The fact that, often, communities are built around these green spaces also confer them a special potential in bringing people together. An example can be taken with the residencies along Svendsgade: they all benefit from adjacent gardens that lie at the heart of these communities and that could probably play a stronger role in galvanizing the local life.

Google Maps image

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the situation «as is» Vejle’s assets Another of Vestbyen’s assets is Spindherihallerne, the innovation center at the heart and brain of ReFlow’s intervention in Vejle. Not only is Spinderihallerne an example of successful reconversion for an old building and institution, it is also a wonderful tool to experiment, trigger and strengthen further transitions for the city: the transition to more flexible, local and sustainable ways of innovating and producing, but also a more general move to alternative desirable visions for the future. This tool, combined with the available testing grounds described above, could support the emergence of local experiments and feedback loops, allowing the wider implementation of most promising initiatives. Top: Residencies along Svendsgade amongst others - are disposed around these green patches that could play an even greater role in bringing communities together. Left: Byparken already displays some wilder, less strictly maintained green spaces, favorising more biodiversity. More of these «wild areas» could be preserved and be used as pedagogical tools. Right: The example of a solution which is already experimented in town (in Mariaparken). It shows the possibility to use these spaces that already symbolize well-being and playfulness as testing grounds for further initiatives towards sustainability and living together. Photos credit: Louis Rose

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Vestbyen also displays numerous food-service businesses, which allows the deeper investigation of the relationship between plastics and the food system, mentioned earlier. This flow chart represents a simplified vision of how resources and energy are currently created, used and discarded in the food-service sector; an example of a very linear system.

Resources flow mapping within Vejle’s food service sector As is 17


the situation «as could be» creating circularity Building on the aforementioned assets, already parts of the identity of Vejle and Vestbyen, it is possible to redesign this linear system and propose an alternative fostering more circularity. Realistically, this circularity might at first be implemented in the form of experiments or pilots; but ultimately, it would pave the way to sustainability within the triple bottom line: - less transportation of goods and materials, less discarded waste, less pollution, a better and more inspiring life environment, more room for green spaces and biodiversity.

- more cooperation, stronger communities, bigger sense of belonging and ownership, more social innovation and green minded initiatives. - more local jobs, oriented towards the production of local values beyond only the economic one, increased dedication to meaningful work improving local communities’ life conditions.

Mariaparken, surrounded by schools and food-service businesses, appears as an ideal testing ground for a novel utilization of parks in the city’s communication. Furthermore, the already existing infrastructures could support these experiments of social innovation.

Photo credit: Louis Rose

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This redesigned system proposes solutions that could help to locally cycle nutrients and value. This would also have the effect of cutting the need for imported plastic packaging and creating social and economical value at the local scale: new green-minded jobs that local communities would directly benefit from and that would at the same time shift the overall mindset towards more sustainable behaviours.

Resources flow mapping within Vejle’s food service sector As could be

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building local capacity The BioLab could trigger the creation of a new local system providing food services with fresh produces and bio-based packaging, cutting down the need for extra plastic packaging and helping create a fertile ground for further initiatives. But this scenario has further-reaching implications: urban gardens bring back a diversified vegetation in the city for pollinators and other fauna; composting and using biowaste avoid the landfilling of biomass and its inherent methane emissions; local gardening offer alternative activities for schools or youth houses...

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key nodes useful bio-waste

Following pages dig into some of the nodes that could enable the transition towards this redesigned system; they are presented in terms of opportunities but also in terms of «need-to-bemonitored» characteristics.

This scenario is based on a better sorting of bio-wastes and on their local management and processing. From this emerges the notion of «useful bio-waste», which describes types of biomass that can be transformed into bio-based materials and looped back into local systems. This is a moving notion, as it might depend on processing technologies or binding material that are not available everywhere, but basic useful bio-waste encompass coffee ground, shells (eggs, seashells, nuts...), bread leftovers, fruits and vegetables (peels, pits, whole fruit in some processes), sawdust, husks... Most of these resources are uncooked by-products from the food system, and require the setting up of bespoke sorting solutions in the places where they are generated.

Another important potential source for this biomass are existing industrial processes and some of their byproducts: grape pomace from wine making, malts from beer making, starch from potato processing... New circuits have to be established to foster these resources and valorize them locally. 21


composting policy Whether useful bio-waste has been separated from the rest or not, it remains essential that organic wastes do not end up in landfills, where they represent some of the more potent sources of greenhouse gases. The current anaerobic digestion strategy, used to produce biogas, is a step towards value recovery but still requires huge amounts of green waste to be transported, with the inherent pollution to heavy transportation processes. An alternative would be the processing of bigger amounts of waste locally, through the implementation of a comprehensive composting policy, or through the setting up of local collection initiatives. Community-composting programs offer the possibility for small local companies to collect weekly the green wastes directly from households, providing guidance and the equivalent in compost. This closer contact with people allows better communication and achieves better diversion rates for compostable waste. Developing a composting program at the scale of a city or region does not come without challenges, one of these being the necessary education of citizens and the debunking of urban myths regarding the terms compostable or biodegradable; it would also require manufacturers to align on more transparent standards when labelling their products ÂŤcompostableÂť. Nevertheless, benefits for the environment as well as for the local economy could be extremely interesting, and this strategy could also support some urban gardening programs and a closer connection with surrounding farms. Photo credit: Biocycle.net

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the BioLab The BioLab is the cornerstone of this scenario. It will provide the infrastructure and the philosophy needed to achieve a lasting change in Vejle. It also has the potential to reach out to two different target groups: citizens on one hand, through schools workshops or open doors, to raise awareness regarding circular economy and the potential lying in the local processing of waste; businesses on the other hand, to concretely start some pilot experiments and establish a network of partners in town. Starting as an ÂŤactivist institutionÂť, putting the topic of biobased materials on the public space, it could evolve to become a laboratory and processing center for useful biowaste, turning them into bio-based materials and looping them back into local businesses. Bike-based collection and distribution systems could ensure the overall sustainability of the process, and create new jobs. Spinderihallerne will play a key role in incubating this entity, providing it with a space to bloom and an entrepreneurial culture to feed on.

Photo credit: VisitVejle

Photo credit: Maria Viftrup

Photo credit: BiomimicryNorway

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bio-based materials Bio-based materials are materials whose building compounds originate from the biomass, for example from agriculture, aquaculture or forestry. Often called bioplastics, it seems this name often creates confusion and hampers the development of these materials. They represent a huge potential in terms of value conservation and to erase the need to harvest more virgin resources - and this potential is completely missed when raw resources are grown solely for the purpose of bio-based materials. Instead, versatile sources can provide the raw ingredients, such as existing industrial processes creating little valued by-products, or biowaste from the food-service industry, agriculture, fishing industry and many others. Bio-based materials can be ephemeral (e.g. for take away packaging), longer-lasting when bonded with bioresins, and in most cases biodegradable. While the origin of the biomass is the first criteria to ensure the sustainability of bio-based materials, a second key criteria has to be taken into account: the binder. Indeed, most ÂŤfillersÂť, such as coffee ground or powdered mussel shells need to be bonded with an external substance: bioresins provide best longevity but are not necessarily biodegradable, while a combination of starch and glycerin is completely biodegradable but also quite vulnerable to moisture. In any case, the origin of these binders should be kept as local as possible, using smartly the local availability of resources.

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local gardening

urban planning

Local gardening programs could help bring together people from different backgrounds and origins around a green-minded initiative. The municipality could support these programs by providing space, compost from the aforementioned compost policy and introductions for newcomers. The newly created gardens could also act as pedagogical tools for schools and youth houses, offering natural and sustainability oriented activities to inspire new generations. Finally, they could play a role in orienting the urban planning in the city, favorising more and more green spaces both for citizens and biodiversity: green corridors, tiny forests, preserved wild spaces and pedagogical gardens.

To express more clearly the city’s sustainable agenda and to instigate a fertile and green-minded atmosphere, Vejle’s urban planning could be used as a powerful communication tool. Making more room to green spaces, urban gardens, wildlife-friendly parcels or community spaces, the city itself, physically, would transition to a greener and more cooperation-based philosophy, progressively impregnating citizens and favorizing more social and environmentally friendly behaviors. Done in the right way -with an holistic vision over the management of the city’s built environment-, this strategy can even come with economical benefits, boosting the local economy and citizen’s will to actively participate in it.

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the scenario and its implications: summary

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Experiments

In order to investigate the viability of the scenario, three experiments were set up regarding three of its key steps: the sorting and collection of biowastes, the transformation of the biomass into usable bio-based materials and the user perception of these materials. These inquiries aimed at assessing diverse parameters involved in lasting changes, such as behaviors, technical feasibility or financial viability.


experiment 1

Sorting

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experiment 1

Sorting The first experiment aimed at investigating the behavioral and structural modalities around the sorting of waste in a professional food-service environment. A week long study was set-up in a restaurant. Discussing with the owner specificities regarding the workflow, the waste generation by area and the space constraints, a design brief was sketched and subsequently used to build two sorting bins. The trash was systematically weighted and photographed, constituting a comprehensive data collection, further complemented with informal interviews of the staff.

One of the two sorting bins, placed in the dishwash room of the restaurant.

Sketches that followed the initial discussion with the restaurant owner, and that were translated into a bespoke design brief.

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The pictures allow to identify most common typologies of waste within each category (e.g. napkins and kitchen paper for common garbage), allowing to imagine ways to tackle the wastage of these specific items. They also show contaminations, enhancing the need to educate the staff to achieve better sorting outcomes.

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Insights The data collection, the observation of the staff during service and the small interviews conducted with them after the end of the experiment provided diversified insights: - Food waste accounts for almost 2/3 of the weight of trash generated every day, coming almost exclusively from customers plates. - The financial interest of sorting trash (reducing the collection fee of the main garbage) might not be convincing enough for most businesses, as it was roughly estimated to kr55 / 7₏ for the week. - This limited financial impact could however be completed by other advantages, such as an improved image through social media communication or the distribution of bio-based products (packaging or marketing supports). The development of an overall viable and convincing business model is key to reach out to more businesses. - The adaptation to the sorting system did not represent a problem for waiters and dishwashers; on the other hand, the experiment raised some limitations to the cooks’ willingness to adapt. This is explained by their more established work habits, and specific attention should be put in listening to their needs and requirements. - The week-long format allows to test the brief sketched at the beginning. In this case, it appeared that some waste streams had been forgotten during the formulation of the brief, resulting in the contamination of other typologies. This could lead to an improvement of the collection system in the case of a longer lasting implementation.

The day-by-day data collection, listing the weight of each typology of waste trashed everyday as well as for the whole week.

An example of the communication that could be part of an image strategy for restaurants, showing their positioning to their customers and playing a role in spreading this kind of initiatives.

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experiment 2

Transformation

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experiment 2

Transformation The second experiment touched upon the creation of bio-based materials. Numerous recipes were tested, aiming at the upgrading of the typologies of waste collected through the collection at the restaurant mentioned above (coffee ground, bread crumbs, clams shells...). Other biowaste was tested (egg shells, wood sawdust), mimicking an environment with different economic activities generating different types of waste.

Building on open-source platforms such as Materiom, these experiments aimed at exemplifying the diversity of waste sources that could potentially be looped back into the creation of biobased materials, as well as the feasibility of the transformation process.

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Molds were created thanks to CNC milling machines, using layered plywood. Despite the test of different oils, best results were achieved when using baking paper. This hurdle could probably be avoided with aluminium molds, more expensive to manufacture but more reliable and allowing more pressure during the molding process.

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Insights The material exploration confirmed the huge circularity potential that well-known waste streams (coffee ground, shells...) represent, but also brought the light on other aspects of the creation of bio-based materials: - Most successful recipes were based on starch-glycerol plasticization, enhancing the need to monitor well the supply of these compounds to avoid the creation of new waste streams. - Blended banana, as well as other fruits, also proved to be good binders and reduce the need for glycerol and starch. However, the transformation into materials should be the last resort to valorize these produces, coming after food-waste reduction strategies. - Reclaimed biomass should always be the main component of the final mix; recipes where binders or other additives became more prominent were abandoned. - These recipes require significant amount of water and energy, either for cooking, heating up, pressing or drying the materials. The collection of rain waters and the wise management of heating periods (e.g. use of residual heats for drying, manpowered presses...) are keys to the ensured sustainability of these processes. - Bread crumbs based recipes proved much more waterresistant than coffee based ones; adding wood saw-dust can bond better a usually brittle compound... Characteristics must be understood and combined to achieve better recipes.

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experiment 3

Perception

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experiment 3

Perception The third experiment’s objective was to collect some users’ feedback regarding bio-based materials in use. Building on the aforementioned scenario proposing the upgrading of biowaste into take-away packaging, the best outcomes of the material investigation were presented to some users as prototypes for a concept of take-away containers. As a plastic-packaging-intensive food, sushis were chosen to exemplify the concept.

The prototypes were also presented to the restaurant used for the initial sorting experiment, showing them the concrete outcomes of what seemed pretty abstract at first.

For packaging-intensive take-away services such as sushis, the use of bio-based materials could drastically cut down single-use plastic waste.

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The comparison between the two recipes (and therefore appearances) brought up interesting insights. Participants also showed a lot of curiosity for the compostability of the materials.

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Insights Seeing people’s enthusiasm when interacting with the prototypes brought a lot of hope for the implementation of such products in the everyday life, as well as other more specific insights: - Almost all subjects preferred the appearance and feel of the coffee-wood material, even when told that it was less resistant to moisture than the bread-based one; this latter was deemed closer to the feel of plastic. A combination of materials could therefore merge both appearance and functionality. - Connecting the mentioned ingredients (coffee ground, bread crumbs) to their everyday experience, most people spontaneously discussed the potential to partner up with businesses like bakeries or cafes. - The staff of the restaurant was really surprised and excited to see what their waste could become; this kind of concrete prop would definitely help starting a conversation and potentially collaboration with further food places. A deeper assessment of the pricing and process would however be needed. - None of the participants showed any form of disgust or apprehension, even though some raised hygiene questions. It proves that more similar events could help raise awareness about these materials and their potential application, but would need to be backed-up by some argumentation about their safety of use.

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References 1. Chamas, A., Moon, H., Zheng, J., Qiu, Y., Tabassum, T., Jang, J.H., AbuOmar, M., Scott, S.L., & Suh, S. (2020). Degradation Rates of Plastics in the Environment. ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering, 8(9), 3494-3511. 2. Eurostat. Generation of waste by waste category, hazardousness and NACE Rev. 2 activity [Dataset]. Available from: http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/search?p_auth=LD8d4hIx&p_p_ id=estatsearchportlet_WAR_estatsearchportlet&p_p_lifecycle=1&p_p_ state=maximized&p_p_mode=view&_estatsearchportlet_WAR_ estatsearchportlet_action=search&text=Generation+of+waste+by+waste+-cate gory%2C+hazardousness+and+NACE+Rev.+2+activity+. 3. FAO (2011). Global food losses and food waste – Extent, causes and prevention. Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations: Rome. 4. Geyer, R., Jambeck, J. R., & Lavender Law, K. (2017). Production, Use, and Fate of All Plastics Ever Made. Science Advances, 3(7). 5. Gray, A. (December 7, 2016). Which countries spend the most on food? This map will show you. World Economic Forum; Available from: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/12/this-map-showshow-much-each-country-spends-on-food/ 6. Parker, L. (December 20, 2018). Facts about plastic pollution. National Geographic. 7. Ritchie, H., & Roser, M. (September, 2018). Plastic Pollution. Our World in Data. Available from: https://ourworldindata.org/plastic-pollution 8. WWF. (n.d.). Fight climate change by preventing food waste. Retrieved July 27, 2020, from https://www.worldwildlife.org/stories/fightclimate-change-by-preventing-food-waste#:~:text=When%20we%20 waste%20food%2C%20we,more%20potent%20than%20carbon%20dioxide. 40

Other relevant material - Danish Ministery of Environment and Food (February, 2020). Bio-based and Biodegradable Plastics in Denmark: Market, Applications, Waste Management and Implications in the Open Environment. Environmental Project No 2125. - Farinea, C., Sommariva, E., Tucci, G., Schröder, J., Gausa, M., Marengo, M., Canessa, N., Fagnoni, R., Sposito, S., & Pericu, S. (2019). Food Interactions Catalogue. IAAC publication. - Jégou, F., & Manzini, E. (2008). Collaborative services: Social innovation and design for sustainability. PoliDesign. - Schweitzer, J.-P., Gionfra, S., Pantzar, M., Mottershead, D., Watkins, E., Petsinaris, F., ten Brink, P., Ptak, E., Lacey, C., & Janssens, C. (2018). Unwrapped: How Throwaway Plastic is Failing to Solve Europe’s Food Waste Problem (And What We Need to Do Instead). Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP), Brussels. A study by Zero Waste Europe and Friends of the Earth Europe for the Rethink Plastic Alliance. - State of Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (2018). Material Attribute: Compostable. How well does it predict the life cycle environmental impacts of packaging and food service ware ?


Acknowledgements Different actors have contributed, more or less directly, to make this report as relevant as possible. Amongst those, I would like to thank: - Karen Marie Hasling - Ann Louise Slot - my fellow DSKD students - Carlo Santulli - Elizabeth Corbyn - Anders Carstensen - Pernille RosenkjĂŚr Gilling - Anastasia Pistofidou - MarĂ­a Vitaller del Olmo

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Conclusion This report aims at bringing forth insights that enhance the incredible potential of a transition towards more circularity. Looking at waste as a resource that can be locally harnessed and transformed into valuable materials could cut both the environmental costs of virgin materials’ extraction but also the pollution emitted during their transportation. Moreover, it would reinvigorate the local scene through green minded and forward looking job creation, playing in turn a role in the spreading of better practices. To be achieved, this vision requires local actors to widen their vision and dare to take a step in the unknown. A step in the unknown but a lot of positive perspectives in terms of environmental, social and economical progress. A transition is already in march and municipalities as well as other institutions can play a decisive role in speeding it up. Designers also have a role to play and could become the missing link bridging together existing initiatives, and proposing alternative, more desirable futures. I hope this modest study will inspire many more as well as an array of actions that, little by little, will make Vejle and other cities become ambassadors of genuinely respectful and sustainable ways of life.

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Visions for a circular Vejle Opportunities for the implementation of bio-based alternatives to plastic

Louis Rose for ReFlow Vejle 2020 43


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