Transition towards the circular economy, a core priority of the EU 2020 Strategy, is particularly relevant for central European industrial areas due to the outstanding use of primary natural resources in various production stages: processing, packaging and transportation. Recycling rates, however, are still far from directive targets and one main reason for this is that reuse of by-products is often left to companies’ individual initiatives. Central European countries are characterised by numerous business organisational models but the same cross-value relationships are not fully exploited for waste valorization and reduction of primary natural resources.

The CIRCE2020 project aims to facilitate a larger uptake of integrated environmental management approach in five specific central European industrial areas by changing patterns from single and sporadic company recycling interventions to an integrated redesign of industrial interactions based on the circular economy. The goal is to introduce innovative cross-value chain waste governance models and transnational analytic tools to improve capacities of concerned waste public-private sector to reduce dependencies from primary natural resources within industrial processing. It should also provide robust evidences about environmental and economic benefits from shifting to enhanced industrial symbiosis.