The Slovenia Times

Need to exchange best practices stressed at conference


Some 60 leaders in the field, seeking a new economic paradigm seen as a more sustainable alternative to the current economic model, were addressed at the outset of the event by Stephen Long, who heads circular economy efforts at the European Manufacturers of Expanded Polystyrene (EUMEPS).

Long emphasised the need for the exchange of best practices, pointing out that Norway had already set up an advanced recycling scheme in 1995.

Various segments of the economy needing sustainable alternatives were broached in the discussion, with Goran Milovanovič of the Government Office for Development an European Cohesion Policy also highlighting tourism.

Slovenian MEP Igor Šoltes (Greens) pointed to the problem of massive waste generation and use of plastic materials, while the discussion heard that a lot of room for improvement remained in Slovenia when it comes to making use of secondary raw materials obtained from municipal waste.

Luka Juvančič of the Ljubljana Biotechnical Faculty also sees many opportunities in the processing of second and third generation fuels. He assessed that the bioeconomy was working pretty well in Slovenia already but needed more circularity.

The continuing political push for a paradigm change in Europe was praised by Slovenian MEP Franc Bogovič (SLS/EPP), while the efforts of the Slovenian government were highlighted by Franc Matjaž Zupančič of the Government Office for Development and Cohesion Policy.

"The question is not whether to implement the circular economy or not, but when and how," Zupančič said.

Ladeja Godina Košir, the head of the Circular Change platform, thanked the European Parliament for its contribution to the conference, while she also pointed to Slovenia's close cooperation with the Netherlands in efforts to transition to the circular economy.

The conference, which is seen as one of the main European platforms for circular economy experts, will move to Maribor tomorrow.


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