Evaluation of a Circular Business Model for plastic ropes in the maritime industry

Examensarbete för masterexamen
Werner, Filip
Åsberg, Gustav
There exist a long list of threats connected to how humankind is disturbing the ecological balance of our planet. Plastics is one large subject of concern, its usage has just in a few years grown to become one of the most used materials and this amount is predicted to continue its growth. The maritime industry does add to the concerns about plastics generating high amounts of waste further giving rise to challenges connected to ocean littering. ReLine was initiated in 2019 and has since day one had the ambition of challenging the current way of doing business. ReLine does currently consist of three actors; one recycler, one manufacturer, and DFS who together work to find a more holistic solution to the usage of plastic ropes in the maritime industry. The transition to a circular economy is argued by several researchers to be a crucial condition for a sustainable future, adoptions are however generally on a small scale with slow adoptions. The aim of this master thesis is to identify critical success factors, barriers, and enablers to a circular economy for the usage of plastic ropes in the Scandinavian maritime industry connected to the project of ReLine. The aim was devised from recommendations made by authors who had written articles in the subject of circular economy, while still providing useful information for the company DFS regarding the product ReLine. The methodology of this thesis began by forming a theoretical framework, which was firstly used to construct questions for the interviews on which the empirical data was based on. The theoretical framework was updated as the empirical data was analysed in order to validate the data. The empirical data consisted mainly of answers from 11 in-depth interviews with actors in the industry, but observations made by the authors of this study was also included to validate the answers. The study identifies 7 critical success factors, 7 barriers, and 6 enablers which were analysed in three main areas. These areas are Reverse Supply Chain, Supply Chain Collaboration, and Product Requirements. Many of these factors are intertwined and the way forward is difficult to map out in detail given that a lot of uncertainties still exist. The conclusion of this study can help the company DFS map out how to move forward with their CBM, as well as lay the foundation for future research on the topics discussed. DFS is not recommended to alone take ownership of the RSC, DFS should focus on developing strong connections with customers and communicate the benefits of them sending back material to the recycler.
Circular Economy, Circular business model, Recycled plastic rope, Reverse supply chain, Supply chain collaboration
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