Meret Jürgens

Title awarding university: Leibniz University Hannover

Cooperation: -

Title of the doctoral project: Development and implementation of circular economy concepts in SMEs in the plastics sector

Short description of the doctoral project: The central approach of this PhD project is the investigation of circular economy concepts especially for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the plastics sector in order to enable them to enter the circular economy (CE). Especially in the plastics sector, there is a great potential for CE to reduce resource consumption and waste generation and to enable a more sustainable economy. SMEs find it particularly difficult to implement CE compared to larger companies. A lack of information as well as personnel resources and time to generate the necessary expertise in the company make it difficult to get started. Within the framework of the PhD project, CE measures relevant for the plastics sector will be identified. It will also be investigated how the identified measures can be evaluated with regard to their promotion of sustainable circular economy. For this purpose, the (ecological) sustainability and the recyclability are to be evaluated. The knowledge gained is intended to be made accessible to SMEs in a simple and meaningful way. A digital tool is being considered in which various CE measures are assessed on a product-specific basis and relevant information is provided. SMEs should thus receive comprehensible information on the contribution of their measures to a circular economy as well as on their ecological sustainability in an interactive form. The tool is to be validated in case studies in cooperation with SMEs. Such low-threshold access is essential to generate more sustainable production, use and disposal patterns in the plastics sector and to enable SMEs to enter into more circular products and processes.

She has received a doctoral scholarship from the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU) for her research.

© Christian Wyrwa