College of Engineering


Materials Engineering Department

Degree Name

BS in Materials Engineering




Dr. Linda Vanasupa


Conventional practices do not account for product life beyond end-of-sale – these practices are not sustainable. We have developed an end-of-life protocol that includes a metric that we call the Recovery Rating. The objectives of this Next Generation Protocol, beyond supporting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, are to encourage the production of goods designed for recovery and to promote the collaboration between consumers, the public, and the private sector to recover goods at their end-of-life. The Recovery Rating that we propose evaluates and quantifies recovery potential of products. The Recovery Rating, which is normed against embodied energy from the Cambridge Engineering Selector by Granta Design, accounts for different tiers of recovery: product, component, and material, and different recovery methods at each tier and material family. We will present the results of our Next Generation Protocol using three case studies: 1) disposal, single use PET bottle, 2) Nalgene® reusable bottle, and 3) vacuum insulated, reusable metal bottle. The findings indicate the Next Generation Protocol produces a viable Recovery Rating for the material tier. We will also present survey data on potential user reactions to symbolic, numerical, and graphical versions of the Recovery Rating. The Recovery Ratings for the product and component tiers require considerations that have yet to be accounted for, such as number of uses and production/processing methods, which we present for future recommendations.