BAVARIAN RESEARCH ASSOCIATION FOR WASTE MANAGEMENT AND RECYCLING RESEARCH
(2) Material flux management
A sustainable and future-oriented industrial society is generally politically accepted. In order to accomplish this, a distinct reduction of the quantity of material brought into and maintained in circulation by our economies, as well as the adaptation of production technologies to load capacity and availability of natural resources, are needed. Previous waste management strategies concentrated preferably on the end of production and consumption processes. Thus, anthropogenically originated wastes were treated and utilized and the deposition of man-made substances into the environment was minimized. This initially certainly successful approach is in the long run not sufficiently effective. The desired sustainability can only be achieved through the redirection of waste management to material flux management. Hence, BayFORREST established the field of material flux management for the development of successful concepts and technologies. First of all, a sufficiently founded data and information basis will be created. This means that material flux balances will be differentiated with respect to regions and branches. These will be correlated with environmental indicators which describe as accurately, clearly, and understandably as possible the conditions and characteristics of the regional and local environments (refer to BayFORREST sector 4). In addition, comprehensive and integrated analyses and assessment of products and production types in order to find promising attempts for the intended material reduction are needed. On the basis of previous findings it is then possible to find ecologically meaningful, economically efficient and socially endurable action strategies for the protection of resources which can be founded on scientific and technological as well as organizational and social approaches (refer to BayFORREST section 3). An effective strategy for minimization of resource consumption is the optimised and/or intensive utilization of products. Here, innovative long-term products constructed as modules, wear and tear control using easily exchangeable parts, effortless repair, attractive design, or also new utilization or leasing models should be considered. Material flux management is also a strategy for increasing resource productivity and efficiency which requires the interdisciplinary co-operation of experts from the fields of ecology, material sciences, production technology, management, design, etc.