In 20 years, the company Ecoembes has recycled 19.3 million tonnes of domestic bottles in Spain, “enough to fill the El Sadar stadium over 2,000 times”. This example of the circular economy was one of the pieces of information provided by José Arrancudiaga, Expert in Waste Management in Navarre and the Basque Country for Ecoembes, at a seminar organised by the Naturgy Foundation in Pamplona today. The seminar enabled experts in the institutional, university and business fields to discuss the role of the circular economy in the energy transition right now.
Arrancudiaga explained: “recycling is a perfect example of the circular economy, a well-established habit for people from Navarre.” “Recycling gives waste a second life, avoiding the use of new raw materials”, explained the expert from Ecoembes, a company with 20 years’ experience promoting the circular economy by minimising the environmental impact of bottles and waste. “Spain generates approximately 23 million tonnes of municipal waste and only 30% is recycled,”, he said.
Maria Eugenia Coronado, Managing Director of the Naturgy Foundation, explained that we have to speak about the circular economy because “it is, without doubt, one of the main aspects of the energy transition we are experiencing”. “We all have to promote a more sustainable economy, with a lower energy consumption and better use of available resources, which means the circular economy must be present throughout the value chain.” “For the energy sector, the development of the circular economy is one of the main factors of transformation and the future”, stated Coronado, who advocated moving away from a linear economic model, which wastes a large amount of materials, resources and energy.
The circular economy in the future of Navarre
The Vice President and Director of Economic Development in the Navarre Government, Manu Ayerdi, who took part in the opening ceremony of the seminar, explained: “The Government propose to lead the energy transition, the fight against climate change and sustainability from the political sector, integrating the circular economy into the different sectoral policies.” Ayerdi highlighted “the importance of sustainability for the Regional Government, especially for Department of Economic Development, because we cannot achieve such development without respecting the environment”. “We are utterly convinced that economic viability and competition must be united in protecting the balance of our environment”, he said.
The Managing Director of Environmental Affairs and Land Use Planning in Navarre, Eva García Balaguer, explained the recently approved Agenda for the development of the Circular Economy in Navarre with a 2030 horizon (ECNA 2030), which the Navarre Government wants to use to guide and support the sectoral policies in the transition towards a new model. García Balaguer reaffirmed that one of the main objectives is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45% on 2005 and ensure that the renewable energy rate of the final gross energy consumption is 50%.