In this chapter we sketch the opportunities and challenges of designing products and materials that fit a circular economy, with a specific focus on bio-based plastics. We show that the often-used “butterfly” model of the circular economy, which distinguishes between a biocycle and a technocycle, is not very useful when we consider bio-based plastics from a design perspective. This leads us to propose an alternative framing of the circular economy with a limited number of recovery pathways. Based on this framing, we argue that the choice of a particular bio-based plastic always needs to be done on the basis of its properties as well as its recovery and end-of-life pathways, if we want to support a circular and sustainable economy. This is currently not a standard procedure in design. In addition, we argue that one of the main challenges we currently face is to educate designers about bio-based materials in all their complexity.
|Title of host publication||Materials Experience 2|
|Subtitle of host publication||Expanding Territories of Materials and Design|
|Number of pages||14|
|Publication status||Published - 2021|
- Bio-based plastic
- Circular economy