GTF Berlin 30 - Sam [EN]

So I’m Jos and I’m working on research in circular economy and automotive sector. And I would like to know your point of view. If you accept, I’m going to record our conversation, transcribe it and put it in the transcription with a pseudonym, not with your real name in a repository of text documents that will be used for the research. If you do this and you change your mind later and no longer want to participate, get in touch with us and we will immediately remove your interview from the repository. I’m leaving you an information sheet with contact information. If you agree, then please tell me your first name and that you agree.

My name is Sam and I agree.

Thank you, Sam. So the first question, can you define a circular economy in your own words?

Sure. I think I would define circular economy as an economy where? Goods and services all contribute to being reusable, renewable or in other ways, not in a limited fashion for our resources. So if items go into it, they inevitably get used multiple times rather than discarded at the end of their life cycle.

Do you participate in a circular economy yourself in any aspect of your life?

Yeah. I mean, we do our best to reuse, so we shop from retailers where we’re able to reuse our we, meaning my partner and I shop at places where we’re able to reuse packaging or other materials. We buy used goods, so we try to buy used fashion or use bicycles or whatever we’re buying. We always look for it used before we look for it new. And when we’re done with things, we look for ways to put them back into the ecosystem. So selling them rather than trashing them.

How did you become interested in the circular economy, ideas and practices?

I don’t know if I could pinpoint a time or a place when I became interested, but I do feel like sustainability is important. You know, growing up, I’m not aware of a time in my life when I wasn’t aware of the unsustainability of the way we live. So from my parents and my schooling, it was always a topic of concern. I can remember putting food scraps into worm buckets at my, you know, youngest levels of education because we were always aware of food waste and different things. So I’ve always incorporated it into my lifestyle.

In your opinion, can circular economy be implemented in individual sectors or industries?

Yes. I mean, I think that in order for us to have a circular or more sustainable economy, it has to be implemented in sectors. There’s no way that individuals can substantially or substantively change an industry, you know, at least not on a macro level.

Do you think the circular economy already exists in the car industry?

I think in some small levels there are pieces that are reused or in other ways circular. However, no, I think it’s an unsustainable industry.

Do you currently own a car or did you own a car?

I’ve never owned a car.

But you are sharing cars.

I’ve used car shares before. Yes.

So the next question when is the one adjective that comes to mind when you think about electronics in the car?

Is one adjective that comes to mind when I think about electronics in the car. Um. Intensive. Yeah. Do you want more elaboration or just the one adjective? Because some more. Yeah. I mean, I think that the I think that the technology in cars is pretty spectacular. I think that it has reduced fatalities. It’s reduced crashes. It’s it’s become so integrated into the car that cars are basically just giant computers with wheels. But I don’t think it’s a sustainable model.

In your opinion, are cars that include electronic components easier or harder to adapt to circular economy principles than regular cars?

I mean, I think it depends where the electronics are sourced. You know, traditional cars, if you’re just talking about steel and rubber or wire, you know, it’s fairly that’s actually easier because there’s fewer levels of manufacturing that go into it. Whereas with electronics, right. It seems like and I’m not an expert, this is not my field, but but it takes more levels of manufacturing. It takes more rare earth metals, it takes more intensive processes, and the pieces are less simple to be recycled into the next car or the next generation of anything. They tend to be waste.