The Pilot in Vejle is exploring innovative circular measures to reduce consumption and increase the recycling of plastic. Micro test sites in the West of Vejle has showcased the potential by mapping plastic streams, developing prototypes and creating new business models.
In the past year, the pilot has been focusing on developing new solutions to each of their five test sites and are currently testing these. We have gathered descriptions of each prototype and the activities in the overview below.
Together with REMA 1000 Denmark and the local REMA 1000 in Vejle, we have focused on recycling candy boxes. The boxes are a big part of the plastic fraction in retail, they’re sturdy and made of high-quality plastic. Currently, they are however sent to incineration. We are now investigating and testing the possibility of recycling the plastic for new REMA 1000 products. At the same time, we also collect flower buckets to investigate their potential for recycling. The collaboration with REMA 1000 has also resulted in a board game where you as a company can “play” your way to new circular loops together with your value chain – both suppliers and waste buyers.
An essential part of increasing the recycling of plastic is to provide the right conditions for sorting correctly. Therefore, it is important that good sorting solutions are available and easy to operate on the go. In collaboration with REMA 1000 Denmark, we therefore work purposefully to integrate an easy, intuitive sorting method that fits into the stores’ workflows.
Based on cases from Sofiegården we are working on integrating new methods and tools to ensure more circular purchases together with the Purchasing Department in Vejle Municipality. In addition, we are also exploring how we can minimize the waste of resources. The case is based on the fact that a number of nursing articles, such as diapers, is currently ordered in the resident’s social security number. This also means that when a resident dies, the unused nappies is not allowed to be used by other residents and therefore the remains are thrown away as residual waste. This results in a large number of usable resources being wasted, which we want to change.
Sorting waste should not result increased work but should instead be easy and intuitive. Therefore, together with the employees at Sofiegården and a product designer, we have developed a mobile sorting unit that both the staff and relatives can use to increase the sorting rate. In addition, special sorting instructions are developed to provide an overview of the correct sorting of plastic types as well as hazardous waste.
At Den Gamle Gård, we want to increase awareness of the importance of waste sorting for the journey of plastic. Through events and the involvement of residents, we want to convey how the recycling of plastic can turn into new products. By making new products visible and sensuous, we experience an increased commitment at the same time as waste sorting and the relationship to everyday resources become more meaningful. At Den Gamle Gård we work with AAB and the residents to make it easier to sort their waste in their kitchens before putting it in the waste containers in the yard. Among other things, this helps to ensure that the plastic comes out of the residual waste and is sorted for recycling. Currently, about 20 apartments are testing the new sorting solution.
Spinderihallerne is REFLOW Vejle’s innovative home and meeting place. It is from here that we carry out the daily work in the project, and also the place for a large part of our activities, workshops and dissemination work. We are currently working on an exhibition opening in the spring of 2022. In the exhibition you get, among other things, a unique insight into the solutions that REFLOW has tested and what results it has produced locally, nationally and internationally. In addition, artist Maria Viftrup will show her art pieces made from collected plastic in Vejle, Resources and Recycling from Vejle Municipality gives you knowledge about plastic, sorting and explains why it is so important to sort your household waste. In addition, a free teaching material has been prepared for 5-7. Grade.
Our short-term objectives are to generate better sorting at our test-sites and amongst the citizens in Vejle. This involves an increased knowledge of how to sort plastic waste and awareness about plastic alternatives. We also strive to unlock possibilities to improve reducing, reusing and recycling of plastics in a local context.
The long-term objectives are to change the plastic streams and create circular streams of specific plastic types. This involves activating a citizen movement with an empowered local community of active and informed citizens, and new solutions to foster methods and tools to reuse plastic and replace plastic in products.