On March 29, 2018, the North-East Regional Development Agency organized the conference: “Circular Economy - Factory for a Longer Life - How to transform losses into gains through circular economy”, at Rubik Hub, in Piatra Neamt.
The objectives of the conference were:
- Presentation of the European and national context in the implementation of the circular economy;
- Raising awareness on the activities carried out in the North-East Region, and not only, in this field;
- Presentation of the results of the RETRACE project, at mid-term, and the plans to implement concrete activities demonstrating the potential circular economy in the context of the North-East Region.
The event brought together representatives of the quadruple helix stakeholders and the teams of organizations that have agreed to share aspects of their work with the participants.
Speakers' speeches have generated constructive discussions on how waste is handled, reused, recovered and recycled. Our guests presented the following themes:
- Mrs. Simina Lakatos - President and Executive Director of the Center for Initiative and Organizational Development in Cluj-Napoca - spoke about the support given by the European Commission through the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform. This platform has the role of bringing together stakeholders interested in the concept of circular economy to exchange experiences, best practices, or to create partnerships with companies / associations / entities in U.E. Platform members, representing all Member States, are going to carry out a process of collecting examples of good practice in the field of circular economy to create a common European database. In this respect, the North-East RDA will promote the identified models in the North-East Region during the RETRACE project.
- Mr. Traian Ionescu - Secretary of the Coalition for Circular Economy - highlighted the opportunities and barriers identified in Romania in the field of circular economy. For example, at present, the rate of reuse and recycling of municipal waste in Romania is estimated at a maximum of 6%, and the target set by the European Commission for 2030 is 70%. The reconciliation of these data leads to economic opportunities, which could generate a turnover of about 1 billion euros per year at national level.
- Mr. Florin Catz - Eastern Area Coordinator of ECOTIC - presented the awareness campaigns and the projects carried out by this organization in the North-East Region: the presentation of the Iasi Municipal Collection Center and the awareness campaign "Recycling begins with you".
- Mr. Eugen Ristea - Strategist and Marketing Director at Brikston Construction Solutions SA in Iasi - described the production method of the toughest bricks in Romania, launched on the market in 2008 and how they managed to integrate certain types of waste into the brick, with economic and environmental benefits, thus implementing the principle of circular economy within the company.
- Mr. Ionut Ionita - South Zone Center Coordinator of SC Vrancart SA - presented the company's activity, which, after a history of 40 years, manages to produce cardboard and paper exclusively from recycled raw material and how to structure a business in the context of the circular economy.
- Ramona Tanasa - Head of External Cooperation Office of North-East RDA - presented the conclusions of Phase 1 of the RETRACE project and the measures we are proposing to test the proposed methodology in the North-East Region, including removing barriers for the transition towards the circular economy.
Details of the debated topics can be found in the speaker presentations available here.