Circwaste - towards circular economy in Finland

Map of Circwaste regions and forerunner municipalities
Circwaste regions and forerunner municipalities. © SYKE

CIRCWASTE is a seven-year LIFE IP project that promotes efficient use of material flows, waste prevention and new waste and resource management concepts.  The project is implemented during the years 2016–2023. All actions contribute to implementing the national waste management plan and directing Finland towards a circular economy. CIRCWASTE is a creation of 20 partners and 10 funding organisations. The project is coordinated by the Finnish Environment Institute. CIRCWASTE is funded in large part by the EU LIFE programme.

Nearly 20 pilot projects to improve resource efficiency

The CIRCWASTE project puts into practice demonstrations and pilot plants and carries out studies and trials related to resource efficiency solutions. Each of these actions brings concrete results such as decreasing the amount of waste or used material flows, setting up new equipment or intelligent management systems and creating new practices and strategies. The 19 cases focus on municipal waste, industrial waste and by-products, construction waste, soils and contaminated lands, the food system, etc. Specific themes are e.g. reusing of plastics, material efficiency in hospitals, biogas production, nutrient recycling, surplus food, digital systems, etc. Some actions include counselling and education and i.e. facilitating the creation of industrial symbiosis.

Catalysing regional action

The CIRCWASTE project has an emphasis in five geographical areas: Southwest Finland, Satakunta, Central Finland, North Karelia region and South Karelia region. The demonstrations will take place in these areas. In addition, in these areas, the relevant regional stakeholders will form cooperation groups that work to implement the national waste management plan at a regional level. The groups will create roadmaps that set the goals and needed activities to decrease the amounts of waste, improve material efficiency, utilize industrial by-products, etc. Most importantly, the groups will catalyse new actions and R&D projects as well as activate and support locals in reducing waste and creating economic value. The groups will work together with an employed coordinator.

Expert counselling on circular economy

In order to support the regional activities, an expert network on circular economy will be formed by the Finnish Environment Institute. The network will provide expert services and spread information on successful solutions. The target groups are businesses, municipalities, administration and citizens. In practice, the network will offer material audits and tools for assessing environmental impacts and cost effects (including life-cycle assessment and input-output-models) and develop indicators of a circular economy. A help desk will be established to provide information regarding e.g. material efficient procurement, hazardous substances, industrial symbiosis, and finding funding for new initiatives. A database of 100 good practices of circular economy will be published. The expert network will give particular support to the regional cooperation groups and a group of chosen forerunner municipalities.


Published 2020-10-12 at 12:57, updated 2021-12-13 at 14:07
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