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Dialogue with Science: Waste as Resources in the Circular Economy Context

26.03.2024

The 5th expert meeting of the "Dialogue with Science" series took place today, organized within the framework of the LIFE project "Waste to Resources IP". The meeting focused on waste as resources in the circular economy context", with experts from various fields sharing their research and experiences on using waste as a resource.

LIFE project expert Sandija Svarupa provided an update on the project, including recent research, partner activities, and the development of the platforms lietovelreiz.lv, sinergia.lv, and atkritumuaudits.lv. These platforms contribute significantly to the transition to a circular economy.

Kristīne Āboliņa, an expert in circular economy and sustainable waste management from Cēsis Municipality, emphasized the importance of research in ensuring resource availability in the future. An analysis of resource and waste flows in Cēsis Municipality shows that, if current resource consumption trends continue, there may be a shortage of natural resources such as timber and peat in the future. Therefore, it is important to continue research on resource-efficient use and waste recycling, as well as to implement circular economy principles in practice. This will help reduce resource consumption, conserve natural resources, and promote sustainable development. The study can also serve as a basis for further research on resource availability in Latvia. The results can help develop new strategies to ensure resource availability in the future and reduce the negative impact on the environment.

Ilze Baltiņa, Associate Professor at the Institute of Architecture and Design of Riga Technical University, presented student research on textile material recycling and reuse. The students' research covers a wide range of topics, including classical and technical textiles, denim reuse, natural materials for clothing, ideas for acoustic panel production from denim, and the use of hemp fibers in biodegradable composites. In her presentation, I. Baltiņa highlighted the importance of eco-design and informed about e-learning courses and platforms that help to learn circular economy principles in the textile and fashion industry.

Māris Šinka, leading researcher at the Institute of Materials and Structures of Riga Technical University, analyzed the environmental impact of the construction materials industry and offered solutions for waste reduction and more efficient resource use. M. Šinka presented research on the use of various by-products and waste (e.g., ash, glass waste, concrete sawing residues) in the production of new building materials.

Zigmārs Brunavs, project manager of the association CLEANTECH LATVIA, presented the platform sinergia.lv, which will promote the ability of Latvian manufacturing companies to more efficiently use by-products and waste generated in production processes. By participating in this platform and applying for the acceleration program, companies will be able to receive support and knowledge on the further use or recycling of by-products, creating new added value and thus reducing costs for companies.

Today's expert discussions once again confirmed that using waste as a resource is a real and necessary direction to promote sustainable development. Research, new technology development, and cooperation between different fields are important factors for more efficient resource use and waste reduction, successfully implementing circular economy principles in practice.

 

Presentations are available here:

1. Updates on the LIFE project "Waste to Resources IP";

2. Research questions for the circular economy in a territorial unit: the example of Cēsis Municipality;

3. Resource reduction and surplus use in the textile sector;

4. Development of new building materials from construction and manufacturing waste;

5. Sinergia industrial symbiosis platform for circular economy.

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