Project News: Circular business models

SEALIVE project partners Gate2Growth and Greenovate! Europe are developing business models to support the uptake and use of bio-based plastic solutions. Here we introduce one area of research: circular business models.

Circular business models are those that contribute to the emergence of a circular economy, i.e., they design-out waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use for as long as possible. This is in contrast to our current linear economy, where we extract and process raw materials, often for single use, before sending wastes to landfill, or low-value re-use including waste-to-energy applications. Circular business models are becoming more and more prominent in our economy but are primarily found in a small number of sectors.

The EU- Horizon 2020 funded PolyCE project, exploring post-consumer high-tech recycled polymers, identified five models as being most prominent.

  • The Re-Value Model: collecting materials which would otherwise go to waste and adding new value through repairing or upgrading, re-use, refurbishment or recycling.
  • The Long-Life Model: revision to the design of products and parts to make higher-quality, more durable and more re-usable/repairable parts and products that can significantly delay time to disposal.
  • The Modularity Model: revision to product design so that individual parts can easily be replaced if they break, meaning that the entire product does not need to be replaced. Ideally, the replaced part should also be repairable and be returned to the value chain.
  • The Access Model: customers can obtain temporary access to a product, via leasing, rental or pay-per-use schemes. Such models drive down the need for ownership, with fewer products being used by more people.
  • The Service Model: companies provide a service using selected products, but the customer pays for the result rather than the use of the product.


For more information about SEALIVE’s research in circular business models, please contact Carmen Bianca Socaciu, or Simon Hunkin,


Further reading

Published 02/03/2021 | Last edited 26/03/2021

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