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Circular Economy in Visegrad Group (V4) Countries – current state and challenges

A circular economy is an industrial system that replaces the ‘end-of-life’ concept with restoration, shifts towards the use of renewable energy, eliminates the use of toxic chemicals, which impair reuse, and aims for the elimination of waste through the superior design of materials, products, systems, and, within this, business models.

The elements of circular economy include: – waste management, – a strict differentiation between consumable and durable components of a product, replacement the concept of a consumer with that of a user, – energy efficiency.

A circular economy requires improvements in material selection and product design (circular design), innovative business models, increase in general awareness and creation the skill base. A transition towards circular economy will therefore generate new jobs, increase productivity and will boost R&I activities.

The latter may be treated as a circular economy enablers. The European Commission adopted an ambitious Circular Economy Package that establishes a concrete and ambitious programme of action, with measures covering the whole cycle: from production and consumption to waste management and the market for secondary raw materials.

For all V4 countries implementation of a circular economy is a chance for a faster economic growth respecting sustainability principle and taking into account social needs. The aim of the event is to share experience of V4 countries in implementation of circular economy, presentation of the best practices in this field including social innovation and discussion of main challenges.