Circular Economy Concerns Us All

The prerequisite of the circular economy transition is the systemic change that involves the public administration, businesses and citizens. Citizens behaviour and consumption patterns have the power to speed up the demand for more sustainable and circular economy products and services.

Eight partners from Finland, two from France, Czech Republic, Spain, Bulgaria, and Belgium are running a project named CECI – Citizen Involvement in Circular Economy Implementation. The project’s goal is to increase awareness and engage citizens in circular economy by adopting sustainable consumption habits and behaviours, minimizing waste and contributing to energy savings.  

Series of workshops introduce the circular economy concept to citizens

One of the CECI partners, the Moravian-Silesian Innovation Centre (MSIC) Ostrava, Czech Republic, has decided to show the citizens of the region that circular economy is already hidden in many aspects of everyday life. MSIC came up with a simple concept of a workshop series held every month on various topics.

In July 2020, the first workshop entitled Circulate and Live Sustainably took place. Thanks to Barbora Kebová from the Institute of Circular Economy (INCIEN), participants learned the circular economy basics, what opportunities it brings and why we need to start thinking differently. The discussions focused on food, providing tips on how to store food to last longer and thus avoid wastage of food and preventing food waste.  

Picture 1. Circulate and Live Sustainably workshop with Barbora Kebová. Source: Klára Golabová 2020. 

In August, the second workshop called Do Not Throw and Repair – from theory to practice was organised. Citizens could bring their small appliances that no longer worked. They learned how the devices could be repaired, whether it still makes sense to repair it and whether they could repair it themselves. The workshop thus supported the idea of ​​extending the product lifecycle through repair, refurbishment, reuse or renovation. Two hairdryers, an iron, a grill, a coffee machine, a remote-control car, and a lamp were repaired directly at the workshop. MSIC considers introducing regular repair events for the public. This workshop raised interest on the national level and the MSIC representative was invited to the Czech national tv show, where CECI was in the spotlight.

Picture 2. Do Not Throw Away and Repair workshop. Source: Klára Golabová 2020. 

The theme of the third workshop held in September was Sustainably from the Cradle – or what a baby really needs. It was dedicated to future parents who may significantly save both time and money when planning baby’s arrival. Parents formed their own opinion on what is truly necessary to possess, what can be rent or what could be skipped.


Picture 3. Sustainably from the Cradle workshop with Kristýna Farkašová. Source: Klára Golabová 2020.

The upcoming workshop in October, carries the theme of New Life of Textiles with the lecturer Petra Nedbálková, the founder of the first Upcy Club in Ostrava. The workshop will be held in the spirit of upcycling – a transformation of no longer used objects into new objects of either the same or different value. Participants will be able to sew their own bag from an old shirt.

Citizens Education Continues  

Due to great success and positive feedback from participants, MSIC plans to keep on organizing workshops for citizens. For the next few months, MSIC is going to show citizens how to take actions and save our water supplies, especially in households. Together with the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (Český hydrometeorologický ústav), they will discuss the air quality in the region and how to minimize air pollution. 

The article was originally published in LAB Focus on 30.10.2020: