Within the framework of the 2021 edition of RECUWASTE, the Chair of Circular Economy and Sustainability has been responsible for directing and moderating the new TecnoCampus Innovation Corner space of the congress.

Within the framework of the 2021 edition of RECUWASTE, the Chair of Circular Economy and Sustainability has been responsible for directing and moderating the new TecnoCampus Innovation Corner space of the congress. With this initiative RECUWASTE increases the presence of the industrial world among its actors and audience, in a further step to become a cross-cutting and integrative proposal of all parties involved in the generation and management of waste, now considered new resources , ie public administration, waste managers, business world, consumers and innovation and transfer system. The Tecnocampus Innovation Corner space has focused this first year on two major sectors, textiles and plastics. The morning session began with the intervention of Sònia Llorens, director of the Chair, who presented the paper "Innovation for circularity" and then gave way to the other participants. First of all, Maite Ardèvol, leader of the team of Circular Economy, Technological Transformation and Disruption Unit of ACCIÓ, of the Catalan government has presented a good example of companies with circular solutions in the sectors, textiles and plastics and has announced the celebration of the international event Circular Economy Hotspot Catalonia 2021 from 15 to 18 November. The subsequent round table focused on the textile sector was moderated by Jordi Costa, CEO of Datambient and spoke by David Puyuelo of the company COLIBRI, Robert D. Thomson, Scientific Director of MATERFAD and Miquel Rey, General Business Director of EURECAT. From this triple point of view, the challenges of the valuation of textile waste to return it to the value chain have been addressed. Coincidence of the speakers in the need for more research to overcome the technological challenges, which are not few, but also to open the perspective to expand the market of recovered raw materials, either within the same sector or others. The hand of MATERFAD has vindicated creativity to rethink the classic concept of fabric and give way to new materials with equal or better functionality, designed under circularity criteria.

The afternoon session, dedicated to plastics, was moderated by Sònia Llorens who introduced the debate with the paper "Polyhedral vision: plastics in the circular economy" which anticipated the variety of perspectives that were raised in the session. Carlos Mendieta, Director of Corporate Affairs, Communication and Sustainability at PelStar, Ivan Albertos, head of public affairs and sustainability at BASF, and Sergio Giménez, Business Director of AIMPLAS took part. The debate has begun with the unanimous rejection of the demonization of plastic, to incorporate the different nuances The table has abounded in the thesis of Leyla Acaroglu, also present in this edition of Recuwaste that invites to abandon simplistic discourses of categorization of materials good and bad, to force technical analyzes of the carbon footprint throughout the life cycle. Also, we can not talk about plastics in general because there are many polymers, with different possibilities of recovery and recycling, and precisely its use and final disposal is the main cause of the environmental impact. Advances in chemical recycling technologies that open up many more options to the already more mature mechanics have also been considered. It is possible, the speakers agreed, that the recycled material will continue to have a slightly higher price on the market. Therefore, beyond the legislation and the dynamizing role of the administration, corporate commitment, corporate responsibility is essential to advance good practices and the choice of business models with a positive social impact. In this same session was also the official presentation of the Ibero-American Network of Waste Management for the Circular Economy, RIGREC, created this year by the Chair of Circular Economy and Sustainability of the Tecnocampus, the Consortium for the Treatment of Residus del Maresme and the UNINI-Mexico University with the interventions of Mar Illa, representing TecnoCampus held by the Technical Secretariat of the Network, and Alina Pascual of the UNINI-Mexico University.


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