CIRCULAR ECONOMY

By forming local socio-economic circles, we are optimising rotation of production means, thus empowering ourselves and the environment.

Production of goods directly affects our environment, supply of resources and generation of waste. In order to ensure sustainable development, wise use of resources is required. It has become clear that, linear models of economic growth “take-make-discard” on which we have relied upon in the past, are no longer appropriate for modern societies within globalised world.

Circular economy is based on positive materials loops, focused on re-use, repair and recycling of existing materials and products. Implementing “Closing-the-loop” - concept for waste materials and products, we can change waste of one industry into resource for the other, thus reducing quantities of discarded or incinerated waste. So called “Circular thinking” begins as early as the first stage of product’s life cycle: with product design and determining production processes. By doing so, we can contribute to higher resource efficiency, more efficient waste management and at the same time discovering new business opportunities.

Embracing philosophy of circular economy is a complex task. It demands transformation of business and production models, as well as acquisition of new knowledge, on natural sciences and necessarily also in the fields of planning (Eco Design), advertising and ICT.

Recycling is a starting point for t application of circular economy. Discarded materials and products are recycled, returned into production cycle and re-used for new products. To exploit the potential of these so-called secondary materials, we need to adopt effective waste management systems, release trading barriers and ensure high quality standards. Only then, the industry can integrate secondary materials in their production processes or guarantee a steady supply of secondary materials to others. Gathering, disassembling and recycling discarded products for re-use and integration into new production systems, directly reflex in lesser environmental constraints and lower production costs.

In 2015, the European Commission adopted an ambitious Circular Economy Package, which includes revised legislative proposals on waste to stimulate Europe's transition towards a circular economy, which will boost global competitiveness, foster sustainable economic growth and generate new jobs. Key targets are:
* recycling 65 % of municipal waste by 2030;
* recycling 75 % of packaging waste by 2030;
* reduced landfill to maximum of 10 % of municipal waste by 2030;
* a ban on landfilling of separately collected waste;
* promotion of economic instruments to discourage landfilling;
* simplified and improved definitions and harmonised calculation methods for recycling rates throughout the EU;
* concrete measures to promote re-use and stimulate industrial symbiosis - turning one industry's by-product into another industry's raw material;
* introduction of economic incentives for producers, stimulating development of green products and recycling schemes.

WHY THE PROGRAMME »POTENTIAL OF BIOMASS FOR DEVELOPMENT OF ADVANCED MATERIALS AND BIO-BASED PRODUCTS«

We are determined to acquire a comprehensive insight into »discarded potential of biomass«, to research all aspects and benefits of cascading utilisation of this locally available, natural and renewable resource, left unexploited to this day. Partners, allied through research-development-production form of circular economy, plan to develop and optimise new, sustainable processes and technologies to help us dig the way through to useful biomass components. Those can prove beneficial in various production sectors – from chemical, textile, paper, timber and automotive industries, construction and energy engineering – integrated as environmentally acceptable materials and products, highly degradable and re-usable. That way we are building new value chains, we are allowing ourselves to step firmly onto green products market, we are strengthening competitiveness of Slovenian economy, firming social partnerships and, at the same time, burden environment significantly less.