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The opportunities in the reuse and service-life extension of manufactured objects are fairly well documented. But a huge innovation potential lies dormant in the Circular Industrial Economy: the reuse and service-life extension of manufactured molecules.
The latter is under-researched and under-exploited: reusing atoms and molecules in loops of highest purity, instead of recycling mixed wastes, is a challenge which involves chemistry on several levels, including the design of new molecules and mini-mill technologies to de-link existing materials. Innovative non-destructive and non-mixing collection and sorting processes will also need to be developed.
Policy Innovation could close the invisible liability loop, by legislating an Extended Producer Liability.