Materials Passports are electronic and interoperable data sets that collect characteristics of materials and assemblies, enabling suppliers, designers and users to give them the highest possible value and guide all towards material loops.
The availability and relevance of this data, in particular of the use history and reuse potential of a component, facilitates reuse, recycling and biodegradation of that component. Moreover, it is crucial for choosing components that can be reused in the future. Accordingly, the development of Materials Passports is seen as a mechanism to encourage innovative product design and the implementation of circular business models.
Materials Passports, as defined above, are a specific type of passport developed within the BAMB project. They distinguish themselves from for other passports by the possibility to update the collected data and by the identification of the materials’ history, current and possible future uses and the related processes within the bio- and technosphere.
Further, Materials Passports should not be confused with Environmental Product Declarations or EPD’s reporting on the environmental impact of materials or assemblies in a harmonised way. Neither should they be confused with Recyclability Indexes describing relative volumes and weights of recycled materials in components instead of their actual content.
Debacker W. and Manshoven S. (2016) Synthesis of the state-of-the-art BAMB report: key barriers and opportunities for Materials Passports and Reversible Building Design in the current system. VITO.