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Product Risk Assessment to Support a Circular Economy (PSX 2023 On Demand)


In recent years, the circular economy concept has become increasingly prominent as a framework for supporting sustainable growth while protecting the environment and its natural resources. The principle of the circular economy is to eliminate waste and pollution by circulating resources and materials in order to regenerate nature. To this effect, companies are increasingly incorporating aspects of circularity into their overall sustainability strategies, with substantial direct and indirect benefits to human and environmental health. However, reusing or recycling materials may also come with potential unintended health risks, such as exposures to hazardous materials. Thus, as we transition to a circular economy, it is important to proactively identify, assess, and mitigate health risks. Product risk assessment will be an important tool for companies working to incorporate circularity while ensuring continued product stewardship. In this presentation, we will describe a case study of recycled plastics used for manufacturing consumer products, such as clothing, as an example for proactive identification of potential risks, and we will apply the risk assessment framework to characterize and mitigate those risks.