MULTIFUNCTIONALITY OF PRODUCT SYSTEMS – A GENERAL INSIGHT FROM THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY’S PERSPECTIVE
Author / authors
One of the key and simultaneously the most difficult issues within the methodology of the environmental life cycle assessment (as well as related life cycle-based techniques) is solving the problem of the multifunctionality of product systems, which includes the questions crucial for the circular economy: reuse, recycling, transforming by-products into valuable (in the market aspect) co-products, prolonging durability. The present paper aims at familiarizing the questions of multifunctionality and presenting the Circular Footprint Formula (CFF), which has been developed within the pilot stage of the European Commission project related to the common methods of measurement and communication the life cycle environmental performance of products and organisations. An example of PET bottles has been presented and two scenarios have been analysed: (1) a scenario with no recycling (a recycling content = 0 and a recycling rate = 0) and (2) a scenario with recycling (recycling content = 0.24 and recycling rate = 0.24). Calculations of life cycle emissions of CO2 have been made by using the CFF formula. An idea of division environmental burdens and credits between supplier and user of the recycled material has been shown and explained as well.