circular economy

Trading scheme for circular economy

Can a Trading Scheme for Circular Economy Credits help to increase E-Waste Collection Rates?

At binee, for two years we have been trying to develop a collection system for Waste of Electronic and Electrical Equipment based on the value of the secondary raw materials contained in what we collect.

However with unstable prices (and prices currently at a low), the logistics costs are higher than the expected revenues from selling the e-waste.
Therefore we invented ad-sponsored recycling. With this system, coupons are given out to the people returning their e-waste, bringing revenue in an affiliate marketing business model.
At the same time we are trying to cooperate with electronics producers, but to date the response has been disappointing even though they are tied to Extended Producer’s Responsibility.
So how can we improve cooperation between producers and recyclers?
At binee, we think it is time to build a new market with the Circular Economy Credit Scheme (CECS).
The inspiration comes from the Carbon Emission Trading Scheme. However since the two schemes are notcomparable, the best way to exemplify our concept is the Renewable Energy Certificates. similar challenges. The price of the Circular Economy Certificate (CEC) per ton has to be high enough to be relevant. , The e-waste collection goals for each producer have to be challenging.

Let’s have an example. Producer A puts 3000 tons of devices into the European market in 2017. In 2020, three years later, Producer A has to prove Circular Economy Certificates (CECs) in the amount of 3000 tons. Producer A reaches 500 tons collection by their own B2B take back scheme. The remaining 2500 tons have to be organized through external sources.
binee has collected 10000 tons of devices in 2020. So binee sells CECss amounting to 2500 tons for the market price of 100€ per ton or a total of 250000 €. The market price of the CECss are independent from the market price of the e-waste and secondary raw materials.
The logistics costs of collection being 0,15€ per kg, or 150€ per ton, this helps us to run the collection, not entirely, but for a good part. The rest has to come from resource recycling, and from reuse or, in our case, from ad-sponsored recycling.
With the Circular Economy Credit System, the seconday raw materials market price wouldn’t dictate all recycling activities any longer. Therefore grey markets would cease to exist.

About the authors

Martin Jaehnert is co-founder of binee, engineer and design thinker. He also runs a fair fashion label, www.dreiklangkleidung.de .

Marilu Valente is co-founder of binee, designer and architect in sustainability. Apart from electronics, she thinks a lot about circularity in plastics..

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