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Seminar on circular economy and upcycling

On 16 December 2022, the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Helsinki organised a Czech-Finnish seminar on the circular economy with a specific focus on upcycling. The purpose of the seminar was to learn about a progress and challenges in the field of recycling and upcycling in both countries and to explore the potential for business, technological and scientific cooperation in the future.

The seminar on circular economy and upcycling (the use of waste and old or redundant products to obtain new products with higher added and utility value) was attended by senior representatives of the Czech Association of Circular Economy and the Czech Association of Waste Management, as well as their Finnish partners from the Technical Research Institute VTT, the Waste Management Association, the Raw Materials Recycling Association, the Circular Economy Association and the European Network EGLA.

The Finnish partners have shown particular interest in closer cooperation with their Czech partners. The seminar initiated the process of verifying of interest of Finnish partners in specific areas of circular and waste management, where Czech companies could offer their products and solutions or where effective cooperation in R&D could be established. In addition to exchanging experiences and learning about new developments in this field, the identification of niches and opportunities in the Finnish market was launched on a way to a larger economic project in this area planned by the Embassy for next year. During this project, Czech companies will have the opportunity to present their solutions and products to Finnish institutions and companies. If you are interested in more information, in possible participation in this project or in facilitating contacts with Czech partners, please contact us at commerce_helsinki@mzv.cz.

During the presentations and discussion, the speakers focused on the know-how and new solutions of Czech companies and institutions in the areas of upcycling with special emphasis on construction, energy and packaging clusters. Possibilities of chemical recycling or advanced technologies in the production of insulation materials from waste paper or recycled glass, as well as in the upcycling of wood waste, mixed plastics or batteries have also been discussed. The participants also focused on the changing legislative framework and possible legal and administrative obstacles to the application of some of the new practices in this field. The motto of the whole seminar was the emphasis on the fact that sustainability is not a burden for companies any more, but a clear and very profitable opportunity and a way to so much needed increased productivity.