Composites in a Circular Economy: A Study of United Kingdom and South Africa

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In a circular economy, resources are kept in use for as long as possible, extracting the maximum value from them whilst in use, then recovering and regenerating products and materials at the end of each service life. To enable a transition to a circular economy it is important to establish the factors that would trigger and sustain such an economy and the extent to which aspects of the circular economy are already embedded in countries. This research focused on a comparative analysis of the United Kingdom and South Africa composite manufacturers in relation to circular economy for composites materials. Key considerations such as the drivers, sustainers, barriers, ownership models, volume of composite waste from production operations, and current recycling or disposal practices were studied. For both countries, the opportunities to reduce cost were found to be a very strong and a common driver and sustainer for re-use and recycling of composite waste from manufacturing operations. The range of findings helps in understanding the national context and international synergies in transition to circular economy for composite materials.




Mativenga, P. T., Sultan, A. A. M., Agwa-Ejon, J., & Mbohwa, C. (2017). Composites in a Circular Economy: A Study of United Kingdom and South Africa. In Procedia CIRP (Vol. 61, pp. 691–696). Elsevier B.V.

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