Project "Cascade Use"

Markets for reuse and recycling

Increasing demand, higher volatility on commodity markets and scarcity of resources challenge resource supply for industries. In addition, the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is receiving increasing attention by customers and the legislative body. Therefore, “waste” is gaining importance as a source for raw materials because normally products or materials originating from waste need less resource input than new products or virgin materials. Furthermore, especially reuse and recycling lead to products or materials that potentially have a positive market value, such as car components or rubber from scrap tire recycling (see scrap tires).

Knowledge about markets is essential for economically reasonable reuse and recycling of products. As an example for reuse, remanufacturing suffers from supply and procurement issues. The loss of products as supply for remanufacturing to less sustainable waste management solutions is most probably favoured by potential profits these products generate on other markets. Therefore, it is important to understand markets for end-of-life (EOL) products as well as markets for used products and secondary resources. These “secondary markets” need to provide reused or recycled products competitive in terms of price and quality in order to fulfil the expectancy of waste as a resource for a more sustainable economy.


Figure: Car pool “leakage” and competition at the end-of-life