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Circular economy

Directed Program from waste to raw material: Circular economy

Our economy depends on raw materials. If the availability is jeopardized, it can lead to unpredictable fluctuations in price and quality. The Dutch economy is in potential danger because of the displacement of (economic) balance of power. In addition, the dependence on raw materials has its repercussions on people, climate , biodiversity and the environment, which may also constitute a direct threat to our prosperity and wellbeing.

The global demand for raw materials is rising because the strong growth of the world population and wealth. In 2050, our planet has nine billion inhabitants. That's nine billion people who eat , drink, travel, watching television . It will be nine billion people who are accustomed to a high level of prosperity and well-being (Europe, USA ), or are rapidly headed towards that , such as the BRIC countries. Based on current raw material consumption per capita, we would need two planets in order to keep sustaining humanity.

An increasing number of economies are taking measures to secure their supply of raw materials. The creation of strategic stocks , proactive acquisition by (semi) public enterprises, export restrictions and ' land grabbing ' are measures that put commodity markets under pressure and hinder free trade. Where access to scarce raw material is difficult, reuse and replacement becomes more important.

Europe has a few own raw materials , except in the form of products; the countless cars, coffee machines, mobile phones and textiles. By rising commodity prices it smart to use products again. Therefore, the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment will put their focus on closing material cycles this coming period, ie the creation of ' raw materials roundabouts’.  A materials roundabout focuses on closing cycles for raw materials and high quality recycling, where both environmental and economy will benefit: the circular economy.

Our country and the municipality of Almere want and can through the EDBA play an important role in this circular economy. The aim is to further decoupling the economic growth from raw material use. We do not want to waste, but use and re-use instead or else this will negatively affect our economy. Looking for a raw material other than cotton, a better environment, a sustainable economy, the EBBA is involved with various (international) partners to achieve their goals.

To monitor the recycled clothing, there is a collaboration with Martin Hawk, founder of REMO Recycle Movement, which is a track and trace system in development. This means that the information about the clothes in the whole process is stored in a database. So this means by using a QR-code, information on the tag can be read. This information includes the involved partners in the process and the amount of liters water saved and CO2 emissions. This system is unique in the world and a crucial step in the recycling of textiles.

more info via S.Strijbos