Circular Economy, E-waste

Date: 24.01.2024

In a groundbreaking dialogue held on November 8th, 2023, between Emilia-Romagna and Veneto territories, the focus shifted towards advancing Circular Economy principles within the Electric and Electronic Equipment (EEE) sectors. The catalyst for this discussion was the CIRCOTRONIC project, taking center stage at the Emilia-Romagna Region’s expo area during the Ecomondo Fair.

The CIRCOTRONIC project, an international collaboration, marked a significant achievement with the unveiling of a comprehensive Mapping of the E-waste value chain. This included a detailed SWOT analysis of the EEE value chain, setting the stage for productive workshops in project countries. These workshops provided a platform for engaging with enterprises, SMEs, experts, and communities to exchange ideas and explore solutions for fostering a more circular approach to Electric and Electronic Products.

Policy strategies and financial instruments were key topics discussed at the Ecomondo fair, with representatives from Emilia-Romagna (E-R) and Veneto regions taking the lead. Future regional calls were highlighted as a crucial mechanism to support SMEs and enterprises in adopting innovative measures for circular production chains.

Emilia-Romagna emphasized the significance of involving the Regional Clusters network to raise awareness among SMEs and enterprises about available financial opportunities. The region is committed to sharing its policy vision, advocating for an “Industrial Renaissance,” and expediting environmental transition to achieve decarbonization by 2050 and 100% renewable energy by 2035. The need for an integrated approach across all regional policies, coupled with government support for regulatory and planning innovations at the national level, was underscored.

From the Veneto side, the focus was on EEE waste management trends, existing Italian regulations, and potential measures to reduce waste. Discussions delved into effective waste collection, streamlined regulations, and a broader value chain approach to enhance re-use quotas in the sector.

Both regions acknowledged the “pains and gains” experienced by SMEs and enterprises operating in the EEE sectors. Attention was directed towards preventive measures, not only in the product design phase to minimize waste but also in incentivizing efficient waste disposal. The aim is to encourage users to dispose of waste in a way that facilitates the re-use of components and materials, discouraging illegal activities in the black market trade.

In essence, the dialogue between Emilia-Romagna and Veneto, fueled by the CIRCOTRONIC project, has set the stage for a transformative approach to EEE waste management. By combining efforts, these regions are pioneering initiatives that go beyond traditional fair discussions, paving the way for a more sustainable and circular future in the EEE sectors.

Written by A. Tiziana De Nittis – Project manager Emilia-Romagna Region