Design thinking

Introducing circular thinking at the initial design stage opens up all kinds of opportunities throughout a product’s lifecycle.

Around 80% of a product’s environmental impact is dictated by its initial design.

That is why we are working with The Royal Society for Arts, Manufacturing and Commerce (RSA) with the aim of embedding circular economy thinking with designers and other product experts.

Choices made at the design stage also determine what materials are used and how easily they can be repaired or recycled. A core principle of the circular economy is about ensuring that waste is ‘designed out’ of how we live.

Designing out waste – ‘precycling’

Just as precycling aims to get people to think about preventing recycling before making purchase choices, precycling in a design context is about taking action to prevent waste by making conscious material choices at the start of the process.

Using key performance indicators such as ‘waste-risk’ to determine the likelihood of a product becoming waste can also be helpful in the pursuit of eliminating waste at the design stage when selecting materials.

Using technology for waste-free prototyping

New technology is changing prototyping. With faster and even virtual prototyping, businesses are more competitive, allowing multiple designs to be considered using absolutely no materials in the process.

This is helping develop the circular economy by reducing and often eliminating material use and speeding up changes in design. People can also return parts more easily, which reduces waste.

Design support for your business

Interested in how your business can improve current product design processes with circular economy principles?

Complete the following form and the Business Support Service team shall get in touch.

To find out more about Scottish companies moving to circular business models with the help of Zero Waste Scotland, read our circular stories.

Ready to embrace the benefits of a circular approach to your business?

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