Waste not, want not" says the old proverb and industry and policymakers are increasingly working together to better exploit the potential of waste as a resource, create new jobs and industries and clean our environment.
Because better waste management in the context of a competitive, circular economy is one of the key challenges facing many companies today and we want to ensure that waste policies are designed to drive sustainable growth and jobs going forward, European Commission - Enterprise & Industry commissioned a study "Treating Waste as a Resource for EU Industry: Analysis of various waste streams and the competitiveness of their client industries" that we are pleased to share with you.
A scoping study "Treating Waste as a Resource for EU Industry: Analysis of various waste streams and the competitiveness of their client industries" is finalised after being launched on October 2012. It was conducted by an external consortium including the Danish Technological Institute, the Copenhagen Resource Institute, and ECORYS Netherlands. During February - April 2013 a series of interviews were held with relevant stakeholders for each waste stream selected (altogether 32 interviews).
Main characteristics of the waste stream selected:
The study proposed to develop a methodology for measuring the circular economy based on an input - output model. In this case, the input side was represented by the use of primary materials that should be decoupled from economic growth and through extended use of recyclables from environmental impacts as well. Nevertheless, in a circular economy, the inputs largely come from waste, keeping raw material extraction within a sustainable threshold. The output side investigated the waste that should be reused and recycled by the economy.
Whenever we are assessing the progress towards a circular economy we have to consider that every waste stream has a unique pattern, which is influenced by unique demand and supply conditions, price setting, entry barriers, value chains, business models and strategies, market power,
innovation, investments and growth perspectives, international trade considerations and global market perspectives.