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Research programme for sustainable industrial recycling

Mistra Closing the Loop is a multidisciplinary programme on how the industry's bi- and residual products can be returned to society as valuable resources. The program is led by RISE and consists of six independent research projects.

Mistra Closing the Loop logo

Aim and goal
Closing the Loop contributes to new thinking where industries meet and learn from each other. Instead of seeing endured products and materials as waste, the project describes the material flows and their properties, thereby increasing the use of recycled materials.

Challenge
To succeed, the programme had to develop new knowledge and enhance cooperation between different actors, as well as define which drivers and barriers affect the use of secondary raw materials.

Solution

The programme has developed, analysed and demonstrated the use of secondary commodities, thereby contributing to increased use of them. The programme's final synthesis report From Waste to Value sends 12 messages to the industry and the municipalities, authorities and the research community.

The ambition to clarify the need for balance between resource efficiency and a non-toxic environment and to analyse policies that are important for the development of the area have been described in two reports, How can conflicts, complexities and uncertainties in a circular economy be handled? and  Policy measures to increase the use of recycled materials in production. Researchers from RISE contributed with the study Barriers for industrial waste recycling in the context of circular transition: lessons from Mistra Closing the Loop.

An important part of Closing the Loop II is to facilitate collaboration between different industry sectors. The second stage of the programme consists of six individual research projects. They relate to alkaline battery recycling, vehicle recovery, construction and demolition work, mining and paper mills and life cycle analysis methods.

Effect
The programme's final conference was held in March 2020. The programme results are widely distributed to authorities and other actors such as producers and recyclers. Since many of them participated in the projects, they do also benefit from the actual project processes.
The result is expected to be increased material recycling, which is a priority both in Swedish legislation and within the EU, as well as increased knowledge of resource-efficient circuits in industry. Thus, the program contributes to achieving the Swedish environmental quality objectives regarding waste.

From Waste to Value

Supports the UN sustainability goals

9. Industry, innovation and infrastructure
12. Responsible consumption and production
13. Climate action