January 27, 2023

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The government approved the circular economy in Romania. What does the national strategy announced by Ciucă entail

The government will adopt, on Wednesday, a decision regarding the approval of the National Strategy on the Circular Economy.

“We will adopt a government decision for the approval of the national strategy regarding the circular economy. It is a field of great perspective for the sustainable development of Romania. We are looking for and will identify with certainty the most effective solutions for the collection and reuse of all types of waste”, said Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă, according to News.ro.

The announcement comes after the European Parliament approved the Circular Economy Action Plan in 2020, following several European Union directives regarding the environment and the climate crisis. Thus, Romania, being an EU member, will follow the strategy of the European Commission, which was voted by the MEPs.

How the circular economy differs from the traditional one

Currently, Romania’s traditional economic model is based on buying, consuming and throwing away and using huge amounts of energy and accessible materials.

In 2018, Romania’s ecological footprint was 3.5 global hectares per person, exceeding its biocapacity by 0.3 global hectares per person and thus leading to a national ecological deficit.

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The circular economy to which the rulers want to lead our country is a model of production and consumption that involves sharing, renting, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products as much as possible, so that the life of goods is extended.

Furthermore, waste is minimized as the materials of an end-of-life product are kept in the economy whenever possible, according to the European Parliament.

Romania, the last in the European Union in circular economy

Romania is last in the European Union in terms of circular economy, due to poverty, but also due to education, according to sociologists. Only 1% of Romanians pass on the objects they no longer need in order to be reused, unlike in the Netherlands, for example, with over 30 percent.

According to last year’s Circularity Gap Report, circular economy strategies can reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by 39%.

At the same time, green economic measures can increase the EU’s Gross Domestic Product by 0.5% by 2030 and create around 700,000 new jobs in recycling plants and repair services.

The national plan is closely related to the objectives of the European Union (EU) Circular Economy Action Plan (PAEC) and follows the principles and actions encouraged by the EU Green Deal.

“In this transitional period, we must take into account the fact that the evolution of economic and social capital can no longer be separated from the impact that human activity has on the natural environment”, states the National Strategy.

However, Romania’s national strategy does not foresee, at the time of writing this article, the implications for the country’s budget and funding sources. In the document published by the Government, it is specified that these aspects will be established through an “Action Plan”.

What problems for our health and the health of the planet have been identified in various economic sectors in Romania and what are the solutions

In this sense, the Government analyzed 14 economic sectors, specifying the problems and the impact of each field on the environment and on our health and identifying opportunities for development.

For example, in agriculture and forestry, the health of the planet and ours are put at risk by greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, water pollution and water scarcity. Among the problems identified are the illegal cutting of forests and the reduced use of compost, and among the opportunities, the reuse of the water used as much as possible.

Food, drinks and tobacco are also responsible for GHG emissions, the Government also noted, drawing attention to reduced food waste recycling and waste prevention through food donations and packaging avoidance.

The car manufacturing industry and the automotive sector are also responsible for significant GHG and energy consumption, which causes the acceleration of global warming. That’s why the analysis released by officials encourages the application of low-carbon technologies and fuels, in addition to repair, refurbishment and recycling.

The tourism sector, a major contributor to emissions as well as water pollution, presents the opportunity to promote ecotourism, which involves more sustainable ways of travelling. This type of tourism can be achieved through the use of greener transport by people (trains instead of planes and personal cars), but also through local food production.

And the textile industry is mentioned for water consumption and pollution, but also for GHG. The Government’s report points out that there is a “low awareness” among clothes consumers of the importance of repairing and reusing clothes they already own, instead of buying new clothes, but also of selective collection of clothes, so they can be recycled instead of ending up in landfills. to the landfill.

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