The World Resources Forum was held this year from 25 to 27 February in Antwerp. It is a global conference on circular flows and raw materials and brings companies and experts from all over the world to Antwerp to share knowledge, debate and offer new solutions. Within the framework of this forum, The Argonauts could facilitate the “e-loop challenge” on behalf of Recupel and Flanders Circulair.
Looking for new concepts and business models to reduce e-waste
15 participants from all over the world were commissioned to come up with effective solutions to reduce and / or prevent our growing mountain of electronic waste.
Three challenges were defined: design “for recycling”, “for collection” and “for re-use” of e-waste. During 3 days The Argonauts took the participants in a design sprint, the results of which were presented for the World Resources Forum at the end of the congress. During the sprint, the participants could appeal to the experts present at the Forum.
Design for recycling
In the first challenge, participants took on the role of top researcher of an electronics giant, who wants to investigate one of its top segments (coffee machines, laptops or washing machines) for environmental friendliness and sustainability. Modular design possibilities and new business models such as “product as a service” were examined.
Finally, a “pay-for-use” concept for laptops was chosen under the brand “LOOPTOP”. With this concept, both the “jobs to be done” for users and the reduction of e-waste were addressed.
Design for collection
For “design for collection”, the participants came up with a well thought-out solution for collecting electronic waste on a university campus. The solution needed to be embedded in the existing waste collection and recycling system of the university.
This led to the creation of an exchange platform and associated app under the name “WEEE-CYCLE”. Through the platform, students are encouraged via a point system to bring in their e-waste and / or reuse used appliances.
Design for reuse
In this challenge, the participants zoom in on recuperating and reusing valuable electronic equipment. It turns out that consumers find it difficult to give up their old GSM because they are attached to it or because they still have old data that they do not want to lose. The participants were challenged to come up with new business models for reuse.
This resulted in the “LEARN E-BLOCKS” concept, in which the parts of a washing machine were recuperated (instead of “shredding” the machine) and turned into a “learning box” for schools. With this box, the students can get started to learn everything about circularity and compose new products with these components. 90% of them are still in perfect condition.
15 participants from all over the world were challenged to find new solutions for reducing e-waste.
Three challenges were formulated for the 3 groups of 5 participants: design for recycling, design for collection and design for re-use.
Queen Mathilde of Belgium joined the design sprint, discussing with the participants.