More and more, when talking about innovation the topic of digitalisation is also brought forward.
A briefing from the European Environment Agency highlights how digital technologies will deliver more effective waste management regimes. They will allow Europe’s economy to recover more of the valuable materials present in waste streams, reducing the amounts of raw materials mined or imported and avoiding the associated environmental and climate impacts.
It is based on a report by the European Topic Centre on Waste and Materials in a Green Economy (ETC/WMGE) analysing current approaches to a digitalisation of waste management and the current state of digitalisation in the sector. The report founds that the waste management sector is in a transition phase towards the diffusion of digitalisation. Overall, the matter of the digital transformation of waste management and prevention in a circular economy is under-researched and requires much more analysis. Thus the report recommends to explore the role and functions of the waste management sector in a full-fledged digital circular economy needs exploration and analysis, as it may change considerably. For example, the need for compatibility of interfaces should be addressed, but also the role of public waste management agents in such a system needs investigation.
In link to that, it underlines how the role of public authorities could be impacted: "Policy actions need to focus on waste prevention and on responsibility of producers, and this requires a stimulating approach through communication campaigns for consumers and the promotion of responsibility amongst manufacturers and industry players. The role of the authority therefore has shifted from command and control to include much more stakeholder motivation and involvement."
Read the ETC/WMGE report here.
Read the EEA briefing here.