A New Testbed for Innovative Circular Solutions

The environmental company Ragn-Sells has inaugurated a new testbed at its facility in Dåva, outside Umeå. This testbed is designed to develop and test innovative circular solutions with the goal of increasing recycling rates and reducing dependence on virgin raw materials, thereby contributing to reduced climate emissions.

"If we are serious about creating a sustainable society, we must use the raw materials we already have, over and over again. To do this, new circular offerings are needed. Our new testbed allows us to act faster and be even more flexible," says Camilla Sonnentheil, Head of Business Development at Ragn-Sells Recycling.

Every year, about 100 billion tons of raw materials are used globally. In just five years, the extraction of virgin raw materials has increased by 10 billion tons. Since the turn of the millennium, it has increased by 70 percent and since 1970, it has tripled. According to the UN, nearly half of global climate emissions arise from the extraction and processing of virgin raw materials. Transitioning to a circular economy is crucial for combating climate change and preventing the depletion of Earth's resources.

"Only 7.2% of the world economy is circular; these are completely unsustainable numbers," says Helene Hellmark Knutsson, Governor of Västerbotten County.

Testing New Ideas

The inauguration of the testbed, Ragn-Sells Future Solutions Hub, means that Ragn-Sells can test new ideas on a small scale, creating the flexibility needed for a developing industry.

"The pace of change in the recycling industry is high, and it is becoming increasingly crucial to keep up with and lead this development. The testbed is therefore an important part of the entire Ragn-Sells Group's innovation work, where we strive to find new circular solutions that increase material recycling rates," says Magnus Uvhagen, CEO of Ragn-Sells Recycling Sweden.

To create circularity, Ragn-Sells examines various materials and flows to ensure maximum utilization.

"We have been working on some projects during the spring. Among other things, we have looked at flows within the construction sector such as plastic and cable, textile recycling, compostable materials, as well as flat glass and laminated glass," says Camilla Sonnentheil.

Ragn-Sells is e.g. looking into textile recycling.

Umeå Eco Industrial Park

Ragn-Sells Future Solutions Hub is located in Dåva, outside Umeå. The area is called Umeå Eco Industrial Park and aims to become a world-leading center for green innovation in environmental technology, recycling, and energy.

"For the past two years, we have been working on the vision for this area to become a world-leading center for green innovation in environmental technology, recycling, and energy," says Karin Måwe, Project Manager for Umeå Eco Industrial Park.

The climate goal for the park involves reducing emissions, managing and reusing waste, and viewing residual products from the park's activities as new commodities, promoting industrial symbiosis as a business model.

"The testbed becomes a physical space that embodies our collaboration and business model," says Karin Måwe.

Click here to read more about Ragn-Sells!

Clicke here to read more about Umeå Eco Industrial Park!


*Ragn-Sells Future Solutions Hub is a so-called testbed, a hall intended for testing new ways to develop Ragn-Sells' operations and business.



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