In contrast to the linear economic model that has existed since industrialization, the concept of the circular economy aims to reduce negative environmental impacts. Amid the growing debate about the compatibility of increasing consumption with the Earth’s finite resources, calls are getting louder for a system that minimizes losses. This concept is of great interest for lithium-ion batteries (LIBs), not least as production of the batteries is expected to increase exponentially, given its key role transforming the mobility sector. To date, there is no established business model showing what to do with LIBs that have reached the end of their useful life. This blog post wants to explore the potential of of circular economy models for lithium-ion batteries, looking in particular at its current use in Germany. Philip Emmerich has the details.
Europe is doubling down on efforts to curtail plastics production and waste. There’s much other continents can replicate – and plenty of room for improvement.
Circumventing landfills by turning garbage into energy sounds like a win-win proposition. But the incineration of garbage has high carbon emissions and produces other dangerous toxins. Waste-to-energy (WtE) plants may be necessary for the very last of unrecyclable waste, but we do not need more of them to accomplish this. Already recycling has cut into their feed supply – and should, hopefully, put them out of business.