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TheCircularLab: a packaging innovation laboratory

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Circular Economy Club
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In 2017, Ecoembes has launched its pioneering circular economy project in Europe; TheCircularLab, which will involve all phases of packaging: from creation, via ecodesign, up to the reintroduction of our products into the consumption cycle. Based in the La Rioja region, TheCircularLab aims to turn the region into a great centre for experimentation by enabling innovations to be tested on a real scale. Cities and municipalities will serve as testing ground for researching into concepts such as packaging of the future, smart waste management within smart cities, responsible consumption or the development of new techniques/processes making recycling easier for citizens.

TheCircularLab main lines of research include:

1) the study of future packaging through ecodesign,
2) the development of solutions enabling citizens to recycle, and

3) smart waste management.
4) Entrepreneurship

The CircularLab was established in close collaboration with the public authorities of the testing location and together with companies active in each of the fields of research.

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The TCL was launched in May 2017.

Currently the TCL is developing projects on:

1. Ecodesign

- ECO IMPACT standardization of the sustainable packaging
First tool of design, analysis and quantification of the life cycle of packaging that allows to integrate all the influential parameters, with a functional approach focused on the packaging.

- Horizontal project to evaluate the recyclability of multilayers with the existing technologies with a special focus on adhesives.

2. In the waste management field, among others, TCL is carrying out:

- An INFORMATION AND MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGICAL PLATFORM to improve municipal waste services. Already developed heat positioning maps of containers for the improvement of the efficiency contribution of citizen and selective collection.

- CONTENEDOR GO. Containers geolocation through artificial vision, reduces the time and geo-positioning cost.

- 4.0 SORTING PLANT. The industry connected to the sorting plants for continuous improvement of the production, the technical and economic efficiency and traceability of materials

3. Citizen Science:

Real-time analysis: what, why and how the citizen recycles. Segmentation by municipalities, regions, types of population. Definition of strategies for the increase of the contribution and design of specific communication campaigns

4. Entrepreneurship:

Development of new ideas, businesses and work models in collaboration with Emprende Rioja

Development through the entrepreneurship of elements that helps the recycling at home, app, smart cubes to respond to the needs of citizens.