Transition from a waste policy towards an environmentally driven product policy
The Flemish economy depends upon the supply of raw material, energy and natural resources, which become scarce and thus more and more expensive. The total materials demand in Flanders fluctuates around 140 ton per capita. A more sustainable materials management would benefit both the Flemish economy and the Flemish environment. Production and consumption patterns will have to change if we want our planet to remain a livable place. In the past years, lots of concepts have been introduced to come to a sustainable materials management: sufficiency, sustainable entrepreneurship, product-service systems, industrial ecology, ecological efficiency, cradle to cradle, ... The government, knowledge institutes and the industry all demonstrate a growing interest in the various concepts. Little be little, the idea is settling in that a transition, a step-by-step process will be necessary for our economy to change into a green recycling economy, which deals with materials and energy in a sustainable way.
The purpose of this project is to give an overview of the conceptual evolutions in sustainable materials management, to discuss the possible connections of these concepts with our policy instruments and to identify new policy opportunities.
The first part of the project would consist of an information document, based upon a literature study, but complemented with a series of interviews with the actors. The project will be concluded with a lunch debate or an interactive panel discussion with experts (e.g. from OVAM, VITO, the industry, …) about the political challenges connected with such a transition.
Project leader: Anouk Lanckriet