An event called Tulevaisuuden palasia presented tangible examples of the circular economy

News 2019-11-20 at 13:39
A smartphone puzzle. © Luukas Myller

The Circwaste project participated in the circular economy event called Tulevaisuuden palasia (“The Pieces of the future”) at the Finnish science centre Heureka on Saturday 26 October 2019 by building a smartphone puzzle, which taught about the raw materials required for making a smartphone, where they come from, and how they can be recycled.

The event, suitable for the entire family, celebrated the opening of the Circular Factory exhibition. The event provided experiences, smells and tastes of what circular economy can be, and presented tangible hopeful solutions for slowing down climate change.

The current methods and future possibilities of circular economy were examined through experiments and workshops. The event included several experts from the various circular economy fields who answered questions and presented the latest information about the many sides of circular economy.

Practicality using the life span of a mobile phone

“Smartphones are familiar to everyone, but not many of us come to think about the materials it contains, the different sides of the world these materials come from, or the effects that the life span of a smartphone has. The effects of the life span of a device on the environment can be reduced by using the device for as long as possible and recycling it when its use is discontinued. Spreading this message to the Heureka visitors, particularly to the most potential target group of all – children – is a wonderful opportunity”, says manager of the Circwaste project Tuuli Myllymaa from the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE).

A family who played the smartphone puzzle thinks about circular economy

Father Miika, mother Anna, and sons Vincent and Edward came to the Finnish science centre Heureka. They consider the exhibitions to be a good way for the children to spend a rainy day, but also a good and practical way of getting to know circular economy themes.

In the family’s everyday life, circular economy can be seen in the traditional form of recycling items. “We recycle waste, children’s clothes, and toys. We have also used the recycling centre near our home, both by taking things there and buying something used”, the family explains.

The future of the world makes them think. The media often presents circular economy at such a high level that people miss the tangible methods and ideas. The family considers online flea markets to be a good way of recycling the children’s clothes. Another good idea is to invite children from the neighbourhood over to recycle clothes or even bikes.

The family praises the practicality of the smartphone puzzle. “Today, we learned, at least, that there are many raw materials in a phone you’d never think of otherwise”, say the family’s sons Edward and Vincent, and snap a selfie.

After the game the boys take a selfie. © Luukas Myller

The Circular Factory exhibition will continue at Heureka

After the opening event, the Circular Factory exhibition will continue at Heureka. The visitors get to act as the employees of a future circular factory, which aims to repair products and make recycled products. This can also create insights about the ways in which to reduce the consumption of natural resources. The game-like exhibition allows visitors to extend the life span of products at the repair shop, create recycled products at the recycled product shop, and develop products sustainably at the inventor shop.

Tangible tips for everyone from the Circular Factory: Think about what you really need. Acquire sustainably produced products and services. Take good care of what you have, to extend their usable life. Borrow and rent. Only buy what you need; even if it is used or recycled. If you do produce waste, recycle it.

In addition to the Finnish Environment Institute, Heureka’s circular economy experts are the Aalto University, the University of Helsinki, Helsinki Region Environmental Services (HSY), Reuse Centre, The Finnish Forest Industries Federation, Neste Oyj, Sitra, UPM, VersoWood, and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. The exhibition is open at Heureka.

Further information

  • Manager and researcher at the Circwaste project Tuuli Myllymaa, the Finnish Environment Institute,, tel. +358 (0)29 525 1437
  • The Heureka Circular Factory exhibition