Green Week 2014

Green Week 2014, the biggest annual conference on European environment policy, took place in Brussels between 3 and 5 June under the theme Circular Economy, Resource Efficiency & Waste. A big thank you to everyone who helped get ENEP ready for Green Week 2014, the Member Associations that contributed their case studies - COAMB, AIAT and ASEP (Ecosens) - and our business partners, the European Aluminium Association (Returpack case study) and Veolia (Aquiris case study)! Below you can find an overview of all the case studies presented on ENEP's stand.

Recovering materials from the effluents of wastewater treatment plants and converting them into valuable bioplastics for industrial uses is now a reality. The first biopolymers have now been produced by the Aquiris prototype. The various pilot components were fully incorporated into the existing facilities without any modification of operating processes. Leveraging this initial success, Aquiris is now working to fine-tune the process and optimize the biopolymer characteristics to ensure that they match the requirements of potential industrial customers.

 

In 2006 the Returpack began developing a special alucan Reverse Vending Machine (RVM) as well as a recycling collection system. The goal of this was to develop a highly effective aluminium can collection system through an automated store-based deposit or waste material management and reverse logistics processes.

The first units and the system itself were brought into circulation in 2007. In 2012, there were over 170 RVMs in Hungary, dozens of which have been functioning for more than 4 years.

Alupress RVM is unique in the world, because:

Cornellà de Llobregat, Spain (88,740 inhabitants) organised a campaign “Cornellà takes advantage of the food” (2011) to avoid food waste. It had two different parts. One addressed to citizenship, and the other was the creation of a micro-network to collect food surpluses from some supermarkets and a local market to be distributed to local people in need. In 2012 the Project was extended with the creation of the “Solidary Store” to supply food leftovers to 600 beneficiary families identified by the social services.

Innovation of approach is at least as important as technical innovation. More than a fifth of global GHG emissions are caused by food production and processing. In Switzerland the contribution of gastronomy is almost as high as that of households, and it is at about the same level as the total contribution of production, wholesale trade and processing taken together.

The Italian Ministry of Environment issued a tender for projects on environmental information and education to be presented by associations and foundations. One of the topics was waste management. The proposals had to be primarily directed at students.