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SMART CONTAINER AND BIG DATA PLATFORM TO INCREASE PACKAGING RECYCLING RATES AND BOOST THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - RECYSMART (SMART CONTAINER AND BIG DATA PLATFORM TO INCREASE PACKAGING RECYCLING RATES AND BOOST THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY)

Reporting period: 2018-06-01 to 2018-09-30

Over 84 million tonnes of domestic packaging waste are produced every year in Europe (165 kg per EU citizen). Although, packaging recycling rates have increased in recent years (65.4% of mechanical recycling), 34.6% of European domestic packaging is still being incinerated or landfilled (11 million tonnes incinerated, and 18 million tonnes landfilled). This low recycling rates not only go against EU waste legislation and the circular economy project, they also generate a high environmental impact (the packaging waste landfilled produce 10,64 million tonnes of CO2) and huge wastage in terms of resources, creation losses of €5,199 million. Recycling ratios currently depend largely on the selective collection of waste, which requires separation at home by citizens. At the moment selective collection, despite reaching good ratios, has stagnated due to the lack of incentives for citizens to continue separating. It is for this reason that the application of these incentives has become an objective for public institutions. Until now, the application of these incentives was limited by the inability to relate each individual to their waste, which made it impossible to create personalized incentive systems.
The proposed solution to these problems is RecySmart, a combination of a device and a platform that allows, through technology, to relate these two concepts. This relation makes possible to public institutions to create these incentive systems and, in addition, to have access to the Big Data necessary to improve the waste management system.
During the project a number of tasks have been carried out in order to ensure the technical and commercial viability of RecySmart. The first task has been a product feasibility study, centred in the technically assessing the quality of the bar code reader for packaging identification. Another task has been a market analysis in order to locate potential users and discover, with direct interviews, their un met needs and how RecySmart can help the clients to solve them, also, a consumer requirement study has been conducted to identify demand drivers and potential entry barriers to acceptance, legislation and public awareness. Related to this, a deep search of potential partners has been fulfilled. Finally, an IPR and Legal Framework analysis has been made with the objective of meet the requirements and protect the intellectual property generated by the project. All these analyses have been condensed into a business plan that contains all the necessary steps to bring the business to a successful conclusion.
Finally, it is foreseen during Phase 2 to carry out a product optimisation in order to identify the gaps required to start with the testing and semi-industrial production of RecySmart, this optimization will be done in two ways, both hardware and software. Within this process a more specific IRP & Regulations analysis will be carried out, adapting the conclusions to the product. The other main objective is to adapt the product to the specific needs of the market by carrying out pilot tests in real environments. The final objective of this is to exploit the developed product developing and scalable and repeatable sales model and revenue plan and disseminate it promoting the project and its findings during the period of the grant, engaging potential buyers and stakeholders.
In recent years the interest of public administrations in the introduction of incentive systems related to recycling for citizens and the improvement of the recycling system has led to the creation of new smart containers. However, although these improvements are allowing the collection of data such as the filling volume or the hours when a greater number of citizens are depositing their waste, no technology has yet been developed to relate citizens with their waste. This is why this project is a breakthrough, consisting in the development, design and commercialization of a combination of device and platform that make possible to relate citizens and their waste in order to create incentive systems to reward citizens who make the greatest effort in the selective collection of waste.
The development of this project will allow public administrations and other entities related to the waste management sector to have access to a large amount of service data, which will allow new improvements to be introduced with the aim of improving selective collection and thus current recycling ratios. In addition to this, there is the option of implementing incentive systems, with the aim of increasing separation by citizens. All these enhancements in recycling will lead to less waste in the environment and savings in raw materials thanks to recycling and the conversion of waste into new products usable by industry, closing the circle.
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