The European Conference.
The European exhibition and conference for Waste Management and the Circular Economy took place in Italy, from 21 to 23 June.
The conference focused on rethinking waste management and sustainability with attendees from 20 countries, including 150 exhibitors and 100 speakers. The event was an opportunity for a global meeting for industry leaders, innovators, buyers, regulators and governments. In fact, a good opportunity to develop a network and discuss the circular economy in this sector.
The WME (Waste Management Europe) conference is an opportunity to exhibit products, technologies, innovations and solutions to the waste management and circular economy community. Additionally, the WME conference was a platform to engage in debate and thought leadership. It was a way to share ideas and solutions to drive towards a greener and carbon-neutral environment. Climate change challenges the participants to achieve the “Green Deal” policies. The industry and retail need to invest in technology and innovation. Certainly, the most important step to achieving this target is to reduce and manage waste in a more socio-environmentally responsible and ethical way.
First day: Key points for the waste management sector.
The agenda of this conference was developed to promote reflections on the traditional waste management system. On the first day, the main objective of the talks was to create a vision for a waste management sector. Also, increase public awareness of today’s challenges. The greenhouse gas emissions of the traditional waste management model put our future at risk. But, being ready for the future includes being responsible for the waste that we generate and for the choices we make as consumers.
In addition, there are concerns due to global population growth and the consequent rising production of waste. The speakers at WME had a mission. Together, they worked to reignite efforts to and the relevance and necessity of increasingly strict targets and regulations on the sector.
The challenges facing the sector are significant and, implementing sustainable management practices is essential. This session outlined the main challenges and painted a positive but realistic picture of the future.
Second day: How the sector can address the challenges of the circular economy transition.
The agenda highlights how close we are to reaching 2025. While analyzing how far we are from achieving the goal of recycling 50% of all waste generated. This year represents a critical date for the industry and municipalities as the EU implements new recycling targets for all municipal waste streams. In addition, municipal and government action will determine the effectiveness of the policies adopted to favour the circular economy and sustainable waste management. This is a call to action for circular industries to promote cooperation, leading to sustainable projects.
In concrete terms, to reach the proposed goals and it takes not ‘only’ complying with legislation. And I need more than investments in sustainability. It is necessary to accept challenges. more than that. For policies to be effective, it is necessary to be prepared for new challenges. Preparation and technical improvement make it possible to understand market needs, barriers and potential. Consequently, “Know-how skills” were a recurring theme across the talks. Developing knowledge and expertise is fundamental to the successful implementation of the circular business model. It is strictly necessary to prepare professionals to deal not just only with the new premises of the legislation. But with the new demands of the market. In order to enable the success of new business projects.
Why is the circular waste management model so necessary?
The linear economy does not internalise the risks and assumes the consequences to extract, produce and dispose of. Although many countries already adopted landfills are contributing to social-environmental impacts in urban areas.
According to the European Commission, around 88 million tonnes of food waste are generated annually. The associated costs are estimated at 143 billion euros (FUSIONS,2016). While an estimated 20% of the total food produced is lost or wasted, 33 million people cannot afford a quality meal every single day (Eurostat, 2018).
These statistics are alarming! What is wasted could solve many problems. Food insecurity is a problem that could have solutions in the sustainable management of waste. Increasing human development indices and be a fuel for environmental technologies and sustainable projects.
The concern about all this waste is frequently mentioned by the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations). This situation is serious. Globally approximately a third of all food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted (FAO, 2011).
Every year, 33% of all food produced globally is lost or wasted. The FAO(2020) warns that 45% of root crops, fruit, and vegetables produced globally are lost or wasted. The annual harm of $1,866 is the cost of food wasted by the average American family.
If there existed technology to mitigate the impacts of the greenhouse emissions. Also, that can reduce these damages, and at the same time generate savings and benefits for companies? We are proud to say we are an important part of changing the mentality. In the same moment, inspiring innovative ideas to build a sustainable future.
Third day: How the industry is already making a difference by reducing waste?
On this day, some companies presented case studies and innovative projects to waste management.
For example, to our company, organic waste is the engine of sustainable development!
SEaB has a future vision, transforming waste into feedstock, socio-environmental impacts into financial benefits, and waste into power!
Waste Management discussions highlight a target that inspires initiatives focusing on reducing food cooking waste. Rethinking waste management with all interested sectors can contribute to changing this linear method of waste disposal.
Circular waste management is a solution to socio-environmental impacts on urban areas. For example. In addition, can be an opportunity for companies like SEaB to demonstrate to the world how our innovative system can be good, accessible and simple. Also, an effective way for companies that want to be a part of the transformation. Our circular economy business model provides environmental technology. Being a choice for households or companies to use this food waste to transform what could go to landfills into green energy, heat, water (easily treatable), and fertiliser.
Biomethane, Bio CO2, and biofertilizer are the important products of our efforts.
It is encouraging to think about how we can mitigate the impact of methane in the atmosphere. As a greenhouse with 86 times more potent than CO2 for global warming and environmental degradation (ABDA, 2022).
SEaB implemented a circular economy project with Flexibuster in the country.
But, how can SEaB technology effectively apply our technologies to value a powerful resource that is still seen as a remnant?
In order to improve the quality of life of its inhabitants and optimize the treatment of food waste, the Italian public waste management company, officially entered the DECISIVE project in 2019. SEaB’s FLEXIBUSTER decomposes the waste through the process of an anaerobic digester. The technology reduces the carbon footprint and mitigates the emissions of methane, 86 times more potent than CO2 for global warming. The container unit is located at the pilot site in Dolina, Italy. It consists of a system that supports up to 803t of waste to produce an annual amount of 365t of sewage, 365 MWh of electricity, 623MWh of heat, and generating 1005t of fertiliser.
Integrated into the urban environment helps to minimize waste logistics. At the same time it contributes to the NET ZERO policy, that is, it reduces the carbon footprint and contributes positively to the climate. Our on-site system is fuelled by the biowaste originating from the local population. So, we are able to produce valuable products for the community and for the environment.
The Italy project is a great case study of our powerful mission.
The actual business problem is the use of raw materials overuse. When the business chooses not to take responsibility for waste generated establishes inefficient and nontransparent waste management. Potential leaders fall for the greenwashing fallacy. That’s exactly why the development of innovative technologies for waste management is fundamental for putting the circular economy into practice. Innovative and new circular technologies, not only avoid the impacts but also solve the climate crisis through.
The existence of innovative tools for circular waste management can broaden the opportunities for many sectors. In conclusion, avoid increasing percentages of materials sent to landfills or to incineration. So, facilitate restoration, through the reuse and recycling of resources.
Read more, here.