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ISWA Beacon 4th Conference on Waste Prevention and Recycling

Updated last: 4 August 2014

The 4th ISWA Beacon Conference on Waste Prevention & Recycling was held in Copenhagen, Denmark, 16-17 June 2014.

The conference title was Resource Efficiency - "Closing the Loops!"

The Beacon conference focused on closing material loops by quantitative and qualitative waste prevention, by designing loops without waste and by bringing valuable waste materials back in the raw material loops. Waste prevention and recycling are not goals by 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, why the school of circular economy was presented and discussed at the conference.

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

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 were addressed on the first day of the conference.

In a resource efficient perspective especially plastic waste is challenging; closing the plastic loop is the subject of the second day of the conference. The EU Commission has recently issued the EU strategy on plastic waste and the European Parliament has responded 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 increasing the recycling of plastic as well as preventing contaminating substances entering the plastic loop already in the production phase. The City of Copenhagen has been the leading partner of an EU LIFE+ project "Plastic Zero". The results of the project, among other issues, were presented at the conference.

More information about the conference and the presentations can be found on the conference's website:

Konference nyhed 4-8-14, billede 1

Figure 1. New bicycle bridge enhancing green mobility in the city of Copenhagen under construction.

Synergi Webbureau Reklamebureau