Future of sustainable waste management within the framework of the circular economy


The Fundación para la Economía Circular recently held an event entitled “The Future of Sustainable Waste Management within the Framework of the Circular Economy” in Madrid. The event attracted almost 200 participants and was inaugurated by Carlos Martínez Orgado, Honorary President of the Fundación para la Economía Circular, and María Jesús Ruiz, First President of the Study on Waste being carried out by the Environment and Climate Change Commission of the Spanish Senate. The closing speech was made by Guillermina Yanguas, Director General of Quality and Environmental Assessment and the Natural Environment at the Ministry for Agriculture, Food and Environmental Affairs.

Spanish society is beginning the transition from a linear to a circular economy. The State Waste Framework Plan (PEMAR) seeks to lay the foundations to successfully complete the first phase, which aims to achieve compliance with European 2020 targets of a recycling rate of 50%. The study on the future of waste being carried out by the senate commission has the same objective but with a slightly longer term perspective. Above all, it is seeking a common denominator in terms of policy to facilitate waste management in the different areas. However, there is still a long way to go to achieve the production of goods and services with lower use of resources such as raw materials, water and energy. It is also necessary to think of new products with a longer lifecycle that can be easily repaired, upgraded, reprocessed and reused. Subsequent stages of the 2020 targets will bring recycling targets of 70%, along with energy recovery from the remaining waste, which will undoubtedly lead towards zero landfilling of recoverable and recyclable waste within a time period of 15 years. The conclusion of the papers presented at this event is that there are two vital premises to enable these targets to be achieved. The first is political will and the second is decisive management that works actively towards overcoming all the obstacles along the way.

The holding of this event coincides with three key circumstances scheduled to overlap this autumn: the imminent publication of the Waste Framework Plan being drafted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Affairs, the completion of the Study on Waste being carried out by the Spanish Senate, and the new circular economy package due to be presented by the European Commission at the end of the year. The Fundación para la Economía Circular event afforded an opportunity for in-depth analysis of these three matters, which are of such great relevance to the sector.

Audios of the event available in the website www.economiacircular.org  

Audios of the event