Building Blocks of Material Exchange Platforms

Building blocks of material exchange platforms

Material exchange platforms typically include four components:

  • A material passport includes the characteristics or identity of the material, such as its composition, origin, toxicity or deconstructability.
  • A digital twin approach to match the digital identity of the material to the physical material (via tracking and tracing systems) in order to follow it throughout its life cycle.
  • The valuation of the financial, environmental, and societal impact of materials, products, and waste streams, enables data-driven decision-making between several next-use options.
  • Matchmaking of the material, product, or waste stream to a new high-value reuse option across industries, using a combination of Artificial Intelligence and human expertise.

Material exchange platforms thus aim to link the input and output of collectors and processors in order to map entire material chains, including international recycling chains. Such platforms not only help to comply with reporting obligations (such as in the European Union) but also allow to determine how much of the selectively collected waste is effectively recycled, to assess how much is recycled, and how much secondary raw materials ultimately end up in new products and where.