The K3I-Cycling research project aims to use artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to optimize the recycling of post-consumer plastic packaging waste, thereby promoting a resource-efficient recycling economy in Germany. It is part of the funding program "AI Application Hub on Plastic Packaging - Sustainable Circular Economy through Artificial Intelligence" of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
Digitalization and the circular economy
In subproject AP 3.6, based at the Faculty of Business Studies at the Harz University of Applied Sciences, Prof. Dr. Alena Bleicher and Dr. Diana Ayeh are investigating digitalization processes of municipal and private sector companies in the area of waste collection and sorting from a social science perspective. Which changes in terms of corporate practices and routines are required to enable or improve an AI-based closed-loop recycling for plastic packaging?
(Non-)Knowledge and routines in waste management
Based on qualitative-reconstructive social science approaches (document analysis, participant observation, expert interviews, etc.), this question is explored using the German waste management sector as a case study. In this context, ethnographic research conducted in the municipal enterprise EAD in Darmstadt analyzes the interplay of material elements (e.g. digital technologies, waste containers, -cars), values (e.g. visions of the circular economy and efficiency), legal regulations and (non-)knowledge (e.g. tacit knowledge of waste workers about optimal collection routes).
Funding agency: Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Strategy "Research for Sustainability (FONA)" (FKZ 033KI202).
Funding directive: AI Application Hub on Plastic Packaging - Sustainable Circular Economy through Artificial Intelligence
Coordinator: Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS, for further project partners see project website: https://ki-hub-kunststoffverpackungen.de/en/