Circular Economy

Since the Industrial Revolution a linear growth model „take, make, use and dispose” became fixed, based on an assumption of resources being widely available in large amounts, easy to extract and inexpensive to dispose of. However, it’s becoming more and more obvious that our economies are losing valuable materials and this is threating the global competitiveness of Europe. On of examples of this are the anthropogenic minerals (AM) from power sector combusting fossil fuels and biomass, designated as Coal Combustion Products (CCP) which are utilised on the national level in approx. 30%, and including their application in land reclamation and restoration at approx. 60% of the generated amounts. Switching into a more circular economy is indispensable to implementing the initiatives for saving of resources envisaged in „Europe 2020” strategy towards intelligent and sustainable growth. In the case of AM this will be an opportunity for finding in economy a place for almost all of them meeting at the same time a significant part of demand for binders and aggregates without creating new production capacities and increasing CO2 emissions. Systems of the Circular Economy allow for preserving the value added of products for possibly long time and eliminate waste. The resources are kept within economic cycles when life cycles of products are being closed allowing for their repeated and multiple use in a productive way, while creating new value. Such switching for a more circular economy requires changes at every link of the value chain, from product design and engineering to new business and market models, from new methods of processing waste into resources to new consumer attitudes. This involves a complete system transformation and innovations not only in technology but also in organisation of economy, public awareness, financing methods and public policies.