A linear mode of production characterizes today’s world. Raw materials are extracted from the earth, irreversibly altered, and permanently combined into products which are discarded after use. However, this is not sustainable. Therefore, we need to transition towards a sustainable and circular economy, where products are designed to last longer, require less natural resources, and can be re-manufactured after use. This is what DSM-Niaga strives for.
The company created an adhesive that can be decoupled after a product’s use, so the materials that belong to different recycling streams can then be separated. Niaga adhesive and the materials with which it is integrated are therefore fully recyclable. Now, it is up to our team to find Niaga’s next big breakthrough item. We will first identify products which are extremely environmentally harmful in today’s market, by looking at products in landfills or that are polluting during production and recycling. Following, a technical feasibility analysis, to understand how materials and Niaga adhesive can each be modified to become compatible, durable, and marketable. Finally, we will estimate the financial, social, environmental, health, and legal impact that the product’s re-design will have in today’s world. As our list of viable options narrows down, we will keep in mind Niaga’s philosophy before delivering our final recommendation: Keep it simple. Keep it clean. Make it reversible.
Daphnee Chabal Marit Breuk