Due to their characteristics, the products manufactured for the equipment sector, as a rule, allow to incorporate with relative ease many materials from other industries into their production chain. For its part, Habic, the Cluster of the Housing, Wood, Office and Contract Sector of the Basque Country, has detected plastic as one of the most likely materials to advance in the Circular Economy in the sector, because of the high availability of potentially recyclable plastic and because high technical requirements (mechanical, thermal or chemical requirements) for its use are not necessary. The commitment of the large chains in the sector to recycled or biodegradable plastics requires the sector to take a step forward and analyze what types of processes and products can be incorporated in this line.
ZIRPLAST’s main objective has been to identify recycled plastic materials that can be used in the manufacture of furniture and equipment products.
ZIRPLAST has diagnosed and analyzed Habic’s partners in Gipuzkoa from the point of view of the sustainability and circularity of plastics, to subsequently promote the use of new processes or circular models for their use. The profile of this cluster and its associates includes value chains very different from each other, which provides a good basis for carrying out work in Circular Economy.
Within the framework of the ZIRPLAST project, work has been done to learn about the main lines of work that manufacturers must follow in order to evolve their value proposition through the implementation and knowledge of new plastic materials, recycled or biodegradable, as well as to assess new business strategies that help to position themselves better in the market. The project has sought to obtain results for all Guipuzcoa companies associated with Habic. To this end, rounds of consultations have been held with the main furniture manufacturers with finished products, plastic processing companies, and manufacturers of recycled plastic raw material / biological, in order to explore applicable business opportunities:
- on the life cycle of products and/or services, with particular emphasis on end-of-life measures,
- on new business models,
- on the basis of industrial symbiosis.
Within the framework of the project, analysis, diagnosis, prototyping in the identified case studies, validation and life cycle analysis, and dissemination of results and expansion have been carried out.
The project has allowed:
- to know the ecosystem in Gipuzkoa and the surroundings of recyclers and producers of sustainable plastic material.
- to carry out a benchmarking of the international market and know what are competing companies doing in this field.
- to test and test these materials on existing products. disseminate these more sustainable practices and encourage businesses in the transition to more sustainable resource consumption.
Funding and participants.
The project has been funded by the Gipuzkoa Provincial Council. ZIRPLAST has been led by Habic and has had the participation of IK-Ingeniería for its realization. ZICLA has collaborated in the search and obtaining of secondary plastic materials for the realization of the prototypes.