2.1.2 What is reuse?

Course subject(s) Module 2: Reuse

Durable products, which can remain in use for longer, are a logical choice in a Circular Economy. The energy, work, and resources that would be needed to manufacture a new product can be saved if our existing products are still functional, efficient, and attractive.

Juan Azcarate, researcher at Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, explains the different types of reuse, and how they contribute to the smallest loop in the Circular Economy diagram.

Key points:

  • Reuse is the tightest loop in the Circular Economy diagram. It saves resources by keeping existing products in use for longer.
  • We distinguish between two types of reuse:
        1. Service-life extension: The most common type of reuse, it is the simple redistribution of existing, preowned products to new users.
        2. Service-life intensification: An important part of the service and sharing economies. It is based on the use of a single product, by many users, within short periods of time.
  • Products which get their service-lives extended by being redistributed are often not designed in any particular way. On the other hand, products intended for an intensified use – in a service or sharing economy – are often designed and engineered to be particularly durable and robust.
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Engineering Design for Circular Economy by TU Delft OpenCourseWare is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://online-learning.tudelft.nl/courses/engineering-design-circular-economy/.
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