Overcoming the
Challenges of a Circular Economy

  • Avoiding, reducing, reusing and re-valuing waste

The network has been funded as a research network by AU via a grant of DKK 1 million. The funding period was from 1 August 2019 to December 2021. The network continues without funding and in a more informal setting.

Resources are limited, waste incineration is an inefficient use of resources, and dumping waste at landfills is a source of environmental pollution. Therefore, we need to prevent waste creation, sort our waste, and reuse as much as possible in order to limit the negative environmental impact and save the resources of the planet, and we need to educate the citizens accordingly.

Waste and recycling constitute a key focus area in the modern world. We need to go from a linear to a circular economy where reuse and recycle are key words.

Preventing waste creation and facilitating better waste management are major parts of UN's Sustainable Development Goal 12 Responsible Consumption and Production and appear in several other SDGs. For example SDG 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities speaks directly of the necessity to improve current municipal and other waste management.

Wrongly handled waste may lead to environmental pollution, thus endangering the environment (SDGs 6, 14 and 15) and public health (SDG 3). Waste prevention and proper waste management also facilitate climate action (SDG 13).

Furthermore, societal stakeholders as well as broadcast and social media increasingly focus on issues such as food waste (SDG 12), green energy (SDG 7), and a circular economy (SDG 9) – all of which are topics that ultimately relate to ways of avoiding, reducing, reusing and re-valuing waste.

However, for a circular economy to materialize in the future, we need to solve the complex problem of efficient waste and resource management holistically, on a large scale, and with the involvement of all societal players (SDG 17). OCCE will work towards these goals.

The network conducts research to help fulfill UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Possible impact of our research is:

  • Consumer engagement toward zero waste behavior
  • Sustainable waste behavior
  • Change consumer preferences
  • Develop better waste handling infrastructure
  • Reduce waste management costs
  • Reduce negative environmental impact