From “competitors” to collaborators – several European cities in a race to be capitals of the next economy are joining forces to develop practical projects to accelerate the transition to a circular economy. London, Amsterdam and Copenhagen have announced they will work together to design a project that will improve the capture of plastics.
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation recently estimated plastic packaging waste at $80-120 billion annually.
“London, along with Amsterdam and Copenhagen, is at the forefront of the circular economy and this partnership will help develop sustainable projects that will boost the capital’s thriving green economy,” Matthew Pencharz, Deputy Mayor of London for Environment and Energy, said of the collaboration.
The London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB) outlined the built environment, food, textiles, electrical and plastics as the five initial action areas in its Towards a Circular Economy report in December 2015. The Mayor of London asked the LWARB to produce a ‘route map to the circular economy’ for the city, due to be published early this year. The Greater London Authority (GLA) will also support the city’s efforts in their work with Amsterdam and Copenhagen.
Commonly Underestimated Elements of Building Circular Models
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It is hoped that the collaboration will grow to include other projects. City officials from the three capitals will share information and experiences on the development and delivery of circular economy action plans.
“We have got to rethink the way we live. Sustainability and ‘green’ economy are key words for the evolution in Copenhagen and I’m sure that the collaboration with London and Amsterdam will be a guarantee for progress on circular economy,” said Morten Kabell, Copenhagen’s Mayor for Technical and Environmental Affairs.
“In a densely populated country like the Netherlands we think carefully about the logistics of our resources. With the city growing we are looking to implement smart solutions,” Amsterdam’s Deputy Mayor of Sustainability Abdeluhed Choho said. “We already have great projects concerning a circular economy, and are eager to make the transition to a larger scale.”