In a circular economy (CE), waste that can be recycled is injected back into the economy as secondary raw materials. These materials can be traded and shipped just like primary raw materials but, at present, they still account for only a small proportion of the materials used in the EU, namely in Portugal. In line with the Portuguese Action Plan on Circular Economy (2017), this project goal is to support the Government of Portugal in the transition towards a more circular economy, promoting the efficient use of resources, including increasing the incorporation of waste into the economy.
The action will result in the Government of Portugal informed decisions towards achieving socio-economic and environmental benefits from increased utilisation of secondary raw materials and by-products as basis for manufacturing. It will also contribute to the development of a consistent design of a monitoring and evaluation framework, and to the effective implementation of the waste policy in Portugal and full compliance with EU legislation.
The overall goals are:
• To increase the introduction of secondary raw materials into the economy;
• To reduce waste production and context costs for companies;
• To reduce the need for natural resource extraction.
The initial findings from this project led to the selection of four hotspot sectors to focus on. Considering the four criteria (Quantities, Recycling Potential, Potential to replace virgin raw materials, and Strategic Value), it was possible to propose a ranking of waste streams, where the following ones were the most important: biowaste, textile, construction and demolition, and wood waste from industry.
The next phase of the project consists of mapping, together with key stakeholders from each hotspot sector, challenges, and opportunities to foster circular economy within the Portuguese industry. Please note that all stakeholders involved in each of the selected industries are invited to contribute to the project development.