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Material eco‐replacement: correlating product lifespan and material durability when evaluating the substitution of plastic with novel circular materials

Santi, Romina; Piselli, Agnese; Del Curto, Barbara

Synthetic polymers surround us, being used in almost every field of application. In the last century, plastic has been covering a starring role in production processes thanks to attractive qualities: it is an economic, versatile, flexible, lightweight, moisture resistant, strong and durable material. Despite this, plastics represent one of the most widespread environmental pollutant. The transition to the Circular Economy model has led to the development of Circular materials characterized for staying within a closed-circuit system by using natural and renewable resources. Circular materials are taking small steps into consumer sectors, starting with disposable and single use products but are rapidly emerging in medium and long lifespan consumer sector as green solutions. This study represents a good practice for designers who operate eco-replacement activities or want to develop new product concepts from innovative circular materials. In order to conceive a sustainable application from material replacement, the work highlights that it is necessary to take into consideration different aspects: product lifespan, lifetime product expectancy, material aesthetic and technical durability.
Published in: PLATE – Product lifetimes and the environment : 3rd PLATE Conference, September 18–20, 2019 Berlin, Germany, Universitätsverlag der TU Berlin
Published by ISBN 978-3-7983-3125-9