Posted on 07/06/2019 in category Legislation

Attention focuses on plastics recycling at expert gathering

Taking place in Basel at the end of May, “re-source 2019” was the fifth biennial meeting organised by the ministries of environment and federal offices of Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Essentially comprising a German-language symposium entitled “Conserving resources - from idea to action”, the event attracted environmental experts from all three countries and beyond.

Re source 2019 4 croppedThe symposium “Conserving resources - from idea to action” encouraged the transnational exchange of experiences in the areas of resource conservation and the circular economy, focusing in particular on the further development of waste management into a resource-saving material economy. Experts from the worlds of science, industry, politics and administration, as well as representatives from international organisations, presented latest research results and initiatives. Presentations were made on such topics as the problem of plastics (recycling versus pollutant dumping), the handling of food waste, resource conservation in the construction industry, and new consumption patterns and ways of life. A number of friends and members of BIR attended the symposium, and BIR Trade & Environment Director Ross Bartley spoke on the subject of the international view of plastic recyclers and the new plastics listings in the Basel Convention.

The keynote address highlighted the current, intensive discussions within society regarding ecology and climate change that show resource conservation to be more relevant than ever. People have become more aware as a result of the climate movement that global consumption of natural resources already exceeds the reproductive capacity of our earth today. The core ideas of resource conservation and circular economy are very present and widely supported, it was also noted, and the basic approaches are known. However, in order to realise growth and an increasing quality of life with less resource consumption, many questions still need to be clarified and obstacles overcome.

Karl Kienzl, Deputy Managing Director of Austria’s Federal Environment Agency, observed: “The growing global demand for products and goods is leading to a global increase in resource use and waste generation. In order to be able to recycle raw materials beyond the use of a product for the production process, an efficient circular economy is needed.”

Karine Siegwart, Vice-Director of Switzerland’s Federal Office for the Environment, added: “Sustainable resource conservation requires networking between politics, business, society and science with a view to reducing the environmental impact of consumption and production.”

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