On January 1st 2017, three former Flemish initiatives (Plan C, SuMMa and Agenda 2020) decide to work closer together. From then on they became Circular Flanders . The cooperation is built on the Flanders' Materials Programme, with approval of the Flemish government, an focuses on the transition of a linear to a circular economy.
Circular Flanders consists of authorities, companies, non-profit organizations, civil society and academics. Together they will fine-tune the concept of a circular economy in Flanders, but the heart of the whole organization is a team of people with various specialties embedded in the structure of OVAM.
A circular economy is easy to define as a concept, but the practical elaboration is vastly more complicated; Therefore the choice was made to focus on three main targets during the period of 2017-2018:
- The circular city
- Circular business strategies
- Circular purchases
The team of OVAM and its stakeholders will take the initiative into various projects concerning those three themes. Once project are running, the team will stay in close touch with participants and will support them throughout. Since Circular Flanders is not the only organization active on circular economy, it embraces initiatives from other parties too by giving them aid on demand of things like materials, food, energy, water and so on.
The ultimate goal of circularity will be the valorization of former landfills, the icons of the linear economy. On October 16th 2015, the Flemish Government approved the OVAM-memorandum on the new concept of Enhanced Landfill Management & Mining (ELFM²). ELFM² aims at a sustainable long-term management of (mostly former) landfills, including internim use, and the valorization of its contents and surface. Since 2017, this innovative concept is also endorsed by the European Commission and resulted in three approved research projects: COCOON (Interreg Europe); RAWFILL (Interreg NW Europe) and New-Mine (MSCA).
More information about this subject can be found on: www.vlaanderen-circulair.be (in Dutch)