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National Recycling Congress 2024 highlights crucial themes for a sustainable future

Published: 20-03-2024

The leading National Recycling Congress 2024, a crucial gathering for the recycling industry, took place in The Hague on Thursday, March 7, 2024. This congress brought together a diverse group of professionals, including recycling industry experts, policymakers, politicians, regulators and producers, to discuss the most pressing issues currently facing the industry. Attendees included Miranda Haak, Reineke Knook, and Allan Kamp of 4ESG Consulting.

Resource scarcity vs. production scarcity

One of the central discussion points was the issue of resource scarcity versus production scarcity. Participants discussed the complexities surrounding resource availability and how geopolitical attention is increasingly focused on recycled materials. This underscores the growing importance of recycling in the global struggle for sustainability and resource security.

End-of-waste status for secondary raw materials

Another important theme was "end-of-waste status" for secondary raw materials. Granting recycled materials this status can significantly strengthen the circular economy, a movement essential to reducing waste and promoting a more sustainable future.

The National raw materials strategy

The National Raw Materials Strategy was also high on the agenda. The Netherlands is ambitiously committed to a circular economy by 2050, a vision set out in the National Circular Economy Program. Yet realization remains a challenge, particularly due to outdated legislation and increasing regulations that complicate the recycling of high-value raw materials.

The potential of recycled raw materials

The congress emphasized the enormous potential of recycled raw materials and the need for an industry that actively uses them. Government support through the creation of the right frameworks was considered crucial to fully exploit this potential.

Stable market for recycled materials

The recycling industry came with a clear message: to avoid the supply of primary raw materials, it is essential to ensure a stable market outlet for recycled materials in Europe and even to oblige industry to use these materials.

Integrating recycling into industrial and environmental policies

The need to integrate recycling into Europe's broader industrial and environmental policies was also highlighted. The emphasis was on promoting the overall competitiveness of the European recycling sector and encouraging the use of recycled materials in line with the objectives of the European Green Deal.

Conclusion: cooperation and policy making

The message of the conference was clear: through collaboration, knowledge sharing and targeted policy making, the recycling sector can maximize its potential. This is crucial not only for achieving circular and sustainable goals but also for ensuring resource security in an increasingly unpredictable world.