Circular economy: closing the loop – from waste to resource – the key for success



Policy areas

Organisation name Portugese Environment Agency

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Contact person: Ana Cristina Carrola

The project focused on promoting the use of by-products and secondary raw materials, including those that reach the end of waste status, in a context of industrial symbioses. The project also aimed at reducing administrative costs for businesses and the administration by making economic operators more accountable, as well as identifying national and European legislative barriers to the effective implementation of a waste market.

The project contributed to the effective implementation of the waste policy in Portugal, through the achievement of the ambitious objectives set under waste management plans and the circular economy strategy, and full compliance with EU legislation. The project also set the necessary conditions to increase recycling rates and reduce landfill disposal based on better governance and legal approaches that leads to a dynamic and sustainable resources market with the involvement of all the relevant stakeholders in an industrial symbioses framework.

Other relevant outcomes include better data and information collection, and analysis schemes to support decisions, certification of the materials quality, and improved monitoring and control mechanisms. Statistical analyses and stakeholder interviews identifying sector-specific amounts of waste available, potentials for recycling and to replace virgin raw materials, and strategic value for Portugal led to the selection of four hotspot sectors for the project: construction and demolition waste; biowaste from the agro-, fishing and food production industry; textile waste; and wood waste from furniture production.

Analyses of challenges and opportunities to foster a circular economy within the Portuguese industries have been conducted in close cooperation with stakeholders playing a key role in the selected material flows, with the involvement of almost 500 Portuguese stakeholders providing invaluable insights and inputs.

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