The circular economy (CE) for sure will impact lifestyle and consumer habit way more than we could expect from any other future concept. A rapidly-growing community of scientists, economists, NGO activists and regulators agree that drastic changes are necessary for quickly transforming today’s linear economy into a significantly more sustainable circular model. Otherwise, if exponentially growing mankind across the globe would pursue the same wasteful consumption as the industrialized countries, world resources would be exploited by a stunning factor of 3.5 times over what mother earth is “voluntarily” able to provide. Thus, quick and drastic changes will be needed in the near future, and with a focus on transportation and automotive, Dr Juergen Wegner will not only shed light on necessary concepts and product design, but also on the key role adhesives and sealants will have to play in this future scenario.
Several practical examples will be given to illustrate the desired functionalities A&S will have to provide, aside from adhering and sealing, to contribute their share in the 3R canon of Re-design, Re-manufacture and Re-circulation at the end of service life of a given product, preferably without down-cycling.
The author hopes to open the eyes of an outspoken expert audience in A&S for the big innovation challenge lying ahead of multi-functional A&S through CE. We all know that its implementation rather than taking place overnight will require strong scientific and political support, a total re-design of most products and services, and a fundamental lifestyle change.