Outlook for modified wood use and regulations in circular economy

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Circular economy may play a key role in the future success of modified wood products. The European Union (EU) aims toward a circular economy, i.e. increasing resource efficiency by waste minimization in production processes, cascade uses of materials, elimination of landfill wastes, and maximizing the value of raw materials. The policy has great expected impact across all sectors, and will influence countries with strong wood modification industries, such as Finland, Germany, Norway, and the Netherlands. It also means considerable economic efforts and sets transformation challenges to the societies and industries. Challenges have country-wise differences depending on production structure, environmental circumstances, local policies and regulations, as well as economic resources. This paper is an outlook of the renewed waste legislation in the EU, based on which it assesses the possible impacts of circular economy development on the future of wood modification. One of the key indicators for resource efficiency is € kg−1, which allows pursuing increased efficiency by minimizing material input (and waste) and/or by maximizing the value. In the case of modified wood, both of these approaches may be considered market opportunities, while the key challenge and the consequent need for action relate to improved waste management.

Heräjärvi, H., Kunttu, J., Hurmekoski, E., et al. (2019). Outlook for modified wood use and regulations in circular economy. Holzforschung