Business Case Workshop 1 – Introduction to the Circular Economy, Circular Seas & 3D Printing
March 31st 2020 saw the first of three Circular Seas workshop events hosted by the Halpin Centre, at the National Maritime College, Cork Institute of Technology. The stakeholder workshop and project introduction was hosted online using a live stream meeting platform. During this webinar, project presentations were made and discussions were had with various stakeholder representatives from our three target sectors; Fisheries, Port operations and Nautical sports. We had presentations from upcycle businesses Mamukko and The Upcycle Movement.
As part of the project, CIT have been tasked with performing a diagnosis of plastic waste consumption across these sectors. Included in this diagnosis was an overall characterisation and categorization of the types of plastic material showing up at Cork ports and beaches. Circular Seas lead partner LEARTIKER conducted initial identification and analysis of certain materials that could be converted into 3D printing feedstock, and recommendations made around the green products that could be 3D printed using equipment that will be purchased and built by project partners. These products were identified by stakeholder businesses themselves based on their day to day operational needs, while developing a circular supply chain for this waste plastic back into these sectors.
Highly productive discussions were had around the potential of introducing eco-design processes into the production of these printed products. Further classification of the plastic materials themselves were talked about, including the viability of the recovered plastic in relation to the durability and eco- friendly nature of the polymers or monomers that were proposed. Also very interestingly, outdoor education centre and nautical sports stakeholder representatives in attendance discussed the importance of the broad need to educate and inform both their clients but the wider Irish community in the benefits and opportunities to management of our plastic waste streams, and the novel aspects of upcycling items together with new 3D printing technologies and processes.
These activities will feed into business case workshops 2 and 3, which are scheduled for the summer of 2020, to explore in more detail the creation of new supply chain and business models for these businesses, centred around the circular economy approach and upcycling of our end of life materials.