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ISWA Beacon Conference on Waste Prevention and Recycling: Resource efficiency - Closing the Loops

Resource Efficiency – “Closing the Loops!”

The Beacon Conference focuses on closing material loops by quantitative and qualitative waste prevention, by designing loops without waste as well as bringing valuable waste materials back into the raw material loops. Both waste prevention and recycling are not goals in themselves, but rather methods of reaching the goal of resource efficiency by closing the material loops. The growth issue is one of the main drivers of the agenda, which means that the school of circular economy will be presented and discussed.

Resource efficiency is becoming more than just an environmental issue – it is also a key issue for development of green growth, and circular economy.

The transition to a low-carbon, resource-efficient Europe providing jobs, economic growth, and a sustainable future is a major challenge and will require a political framework where circular economy is rewarded. A fundamental transformation has to take place within a generation – in energy, industry, agriculture, fisheries and transport systems, and in producer and consumer behaviour.

According to the EU Road Map to Resource Efficiency this calls for a fundamental change of the EU-economy in order to succeed with the EU-growth strategy Europe 2020. As a future supplier of secondary raw materials the waste management sector plays a central role in the resource efficiency set-up.

The key questions for resource efficiency and circular economy are how to create economic opportunities and improved security of supply through product redesign, sustainable management of environmental resources, higher reuse, recycling and substitution of materials and resource savings. Decoupling growth from resource use is an absolute necessity, but how to do it? These challenges will be addressed on the first day of the conference.

In a resource efficient perspective plastic waste is especially challenging and closing the plastic loop is the main topic of the second day of the conference. The European Commission has recently issued the EU strategy on plastic waste, which the European Parliament has responded to in their newly issued resolution to the strategy. Both EU institutions find plastic waste a very important and valuable secondary resource. The EU calls for an increase of recycling of plastic as well as preventing the contaminating substances entering the plastic loop already in the production phase. The City of Copenhagen has been the leading partner of an EU Life plus project “Plastic Zero”. This conference will therefore also present the results of the project.


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