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Circular economy

Today, about 80 000 chemicals are in the global market as chemical mixtures or within new or recycled consumer products. Some of these chemicals can enter the environment and potentially cause adverse health effects to humans and ecosystems.

As the economy grows, more new chemicals are being introduced to the global market. Comprehensive understanding chemicals’ fate in the anthroposphere and environment requires a systematic and holistic approach.

Our expertise

  • At NILU, we use Material flow analysis (MFA) combined with life cycle assessment (LCA) to better understand the  fate of chemicals and further assess the environmental impacts of our consumption both in a linear and circular economy.
  • By coupling MFA and LCA results with multi-media environmental fate models, we provide a comprehensive understanding of the fate of chemicals through their entire life-cycle; from production, through use and recycling, to waste and potentially to the environment. We use this holistic approach to evaluate environmental regulations and strategies on the management of chemicals and inform policy makers and companies on the transition to a circular Economy.

Related projects​

Plastic Cycle (PLASTCYC); Optimizing Resource Efficiency while Minimizing Recycling of Hazardous Chemicals in a Circular Economy

In our recently funded Research Council of Norway project (PLASTCYC, 303182), we are looking at the flow of hazardous chemicals within plastics, through the lifecycle of plastic products. Our aim is to provide recommendations to optimize resource efficiency while minimizing recycling of hazardous chemicals under a Circular Economy.