Importance Of Dematerialisation And Substitution

Dematerialisation and substitution both are interconnected with each other. Dematerialisation is reducing the number of things used for production and utilisation needs for our society whereas substitution is replacing something with another thing. Let us consider the example of manufacturing industry

Instead of labour force we can go for automation. It has an advantage over entire supply chain as labour force can mislead the usage of material resources, transportation (all modes), maintenance misguidance, he might also get distracted by continuous working on the same machine for longer periods, automation can reduce these problems. Automation i.E. Robots not always end up in landfills and prove hazardous to the environment. Robotic future is a good sign towards the environment. Example; biodegradable robots along with skin; the outer parts are also made of biodegradable materials some further research is required how these materials tackle with sensing so that they can be accepted in the real world. In one way through automation there is development. And other we can look out in an environmental perspective by using bio degradable materials this is the best example for substitution other examples; instead of conventional machining, we can prefer to use 3d printing. 3d printing has a huge environmental footprint. Using less number of tools, here the material is not cut to get a required shape. So, there is no wastage of material.

3d printing has high efficiency they don’t pollute the air, more resources are not required, transportation costs can be reduced, there is no more unsold stock. But cannot replace all types of industrial sectors but suitable to some extent. Dematerialisation which means the use of few materials, let’s consider the example of the cosmetic industry. Microbeads which are made of polyethene, polypropylene that is used in skin creams, shower gel and toothpaste is considered as an environmental threat for ocean contamination. Microbeads can be replaced with coarse salt, bamboo stem extracts. Although microbeads are tiny particles they hold the responsibility of marine imbalance.

Second example

Plastic industry; the raw materials like petroleum-based products through which conventional plastic is made has created a catastrophic threat to the environment so we can reduce the usage of petroleum-based materials and can be replaced with materials like starch, cellulose and vegetable oils create bioplastics. Bioplastics are compostable to some extent. With strong dedication towards sustainability what business or industries can do is to minimize their impact and support environment outlook for a future era.

03 December 2019
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