Can you tell us something about yourself?
My name is Tobias Gruben. I´m the founder of bCircular, located in Germany.
bCircular provides green economy services in the areas of the circular economy and material flow management, energy and resource efficiency, and, environmental and climate protection. bCircular offers concepts and carries out projects on the reduction of material usage and the substitution of materials with a lower environmental impact, improved recycling properties, and in/output balances and metering systems. We also collect, transport and trade residues with the aim of improving recycling and economic performance.
How are you involved in the TRANSFORM-CE project?
bCircular is a legal entity that is licensed to collect, transport & trade residues and that works closely with regional municipalities and SMEs. We provide, pre-treat and transport plastic waste samples from different sources and send them to the partners for testing. bCircular has practical experience with recycling (especially PE/PP) and administrative procedures concerning waste management. We also help in analysing the German plastic market and existing recycling processes, and we disseminate the project results across the four TRANSFORM-CE partner countries. Being well connected to the region, bCircular contributes to TRANSFORM-CE by providing consultancy services and working closely with regional companies that will become part of the network. bCircular shared outputs across the partnership group and supports the CE Plastic Road Map.
What challenges and/or opportunities do you see?
Our findings show that there is enormous potential for increasing the usage of recycled plastics. Every partner country has different methods for classifying, collecting, treating and recycling plastic waste streams. Many regions, municipalities and organisations have set up successful programmes to increase the capture and recycling rates of plastic waste. By learning from each other and adopting examples of best practice from all over NWE, including TRANSFORM-CE, we can drastically improve resource efficiency and take a big step towards a circular economy.
What is your call to action to industry?
I have two calls to action. My first call is to increase the recyclability of plastic products like packaging and other single-use products by making recyclability a central design element and by considering the entire life cycle of the products. Measures like using mono-materials, minimising the use of additives, or refraining from using carbon black allow high quality recycling.
My second call to action is to use as much recycled plastic as possible. Our research in TRANSFORM-CE shows that plastic waste will be an important and reliable resource in the future. Using that resource will strongly reduce our dependency on raw materials. Of course, reducing the amount of waste for disposal also has many environmental benefits.
Further information on bCircular and its activities is available on https://www.bcircular.de