Flemish ministers Hilde Crevits and Zuhal Demir, business organisations, civil society and the knowledge community are taking action together to make Flanders a region without waste and to take extra initiatives to support the circular economy. During the Circular State Of The Union, VITO reconfirmed its commitment to support the transition to a circular economy in Flanders with research and scientific expertise.   

On 25 April 2022, 560 participants gathered in Brussels for the Flemish 'Circular State of The Union 2022'. Minister Hilde Crevits set out the lines for the circular future of Flanders and called for more ambition to realise a circular economy in Flanders by 2050:  

"Flanders is pushing hard to boost the circular economy. The dependence on raw materials and materials is a burning issue. It shows the importance of a circular economy, where we convert our own used materials or waste into new materials. Think of making construction tiles from CO2 emissions, bio-degradable plastic from potato peels or repairing old appliances or parts. Flanders has a lot of companies, knowledge institutions and civil society organisations with a lot of expertise, knowledge and, above all, the necessary commitment! Today, I want to make a stand for more and better recycling together. Our ambition must be to double the reuse or recycling of our materials by 2030. Today, we already have a 21% circular rate in Flanders. That figure has to go up, for our environment, but also for our independence from foreign countries and employment in our economy."  

6 concrete work agendas

Via six work agendas, the ambition of a circular economy is translated into actions. The work agendas are drawn up by an actor from the public and private sector, with Circular Flanders in charge of coordination. They focus on six strategic domains for Flanders, 6 areas with room for improvement: circular construction, the bio-economy, circular chemistry and plastics, the manufacturing industry, food chain and water cycles. For each domain, a plan with concrete actions is ready and a strong public-private partnership takes up the challenge.  

Brigitte Mouligneau, transition manager at Circular Flanders: "For example, our partners from the construction sector are working on a digital passport of buildings that contains the composition of the materials in the buildings. This digitalisation will map out the materials and help ensure that nothing goes to waste. In the manufacturing industry, there are many opportunities for the social economy to repair household appliances, ICT equipment, e-bikes and batteries and to keep them in use for longer."  

VITO supports the circular economy in Flanders

VITO, together with a whole range of other partners, is backing the Flemish circular ambition by signing a declaration of commitment between the government, knowledge institutions, the social economy, industry, civil society organisations, social profit and the financial world. The cooperation is an important milestone for the circular economy in Flanders.   

Peter Vercaemst, Unit Manager Sustainable Materials signed the declaration on behalf of VITO: "VITO commits to make a scientific contribution to the working agendas circular chemistry and plastics, circular construction, manufacturing industry, bio-economy and water cycles. Each of these topics are research areas for which we have developed, and continue to develop, a lot of expertise, insights and technological solutions. We are pleased to be able to contribute in this way to making Flanders a circular top region."  

Peter Vercaemst signs declaration of commitment for circular transition in Flanders | VITO
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