The Ministry of the Economy presented a new initiative on Tuesday, as part of its wider plan for the Grand Duchy to become a pioneer of the circular economy model.

The purpose of a circular economy is to move away from simply recycling and to shift to reusing items before recycling. The emphasis is on the second part of the hierarchical 'reduce, reuse, recycle' mantra. One way to get to this goal of giving a second life to products is to understand what exactly they're made of.

New industrial norms

Reusing products will be facilitated by new industrial norms, which in turn prevent products from being destroyed by high-energy using procedures. To make this possible, first we must understand what components make up a product and examine its chemical composition.

Minister of the Economy Etienne Schneider explained that by introducing the initiative, the authorities hope to develop a standard. This standard should be respected by businesses manufacturing products, and will lead to broader transparency, as the composition of components will be available on products from start to finish.

Effectively, the minister added, this will facilitate reusing products as it reveals all the details on what makes up products and allows manufacturers to know how to reuse the items in question.

50 firms committed already

The ministry is currently in talks pitching the project to the private sector. More and more firms are interested in participating thanks to a knock-on effect of customers wanted to know what goes into their products. As Schneider put it, the objective is create an industry-wide standard.

His long term goal in terms of public tenders is to only refer back to products that abide by the principle, as these would be easier to reuse and then recycle. 50 firms from 12 different countries have already committed to participate in the project, including Ikea, Tarkett, and ArcelorMittal.