What is the circular economy?

Accelerating the transition from the economic model of linear resource consumption, in force since the Industrial Revolution (Resource – Product – Waste) to a model of circular economy (Resource – Product – Recycling – Resource) is one of the economic, political and social emergencies to bring us closer to the sustainability goals set by the agendas of the main governments and international organizations. This new paradigm is aimed at preserving the planet and its natural resources for future generations.
Circular economy requires a shift from product design to packaging, transport and distribution systems to product use. Finally, it focuses on recycling or reuse (which must be designed with sustainability in mind to reduce the waste we generate and maximize the usefulness and reuse of the products and the elements that compose them).
The impact of the circular economy in Europe is expected to generate €1.8 trillion by 2030, according to a study by McKinsey, SUN and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, endorsed by the European Union.

Decarbonization of the economy

The linear economy extensively uses virgin raw materials as a basic resource, increasing the impact of CO2 emissions on the atmosphere and exacerbating global warming.
The model proposed by Ecoplanta is an example of low carbon activity, reducing the emission of greenhouse gases.
Thanks to the production of advanced biofuels from the circular methanol of molecular recycling in Ecoplanta, the decarbonization process of transport sectors that are difficult to electrify, such as heavy transport, maritime transport and aviation, will be favored.

European framework for waste treatment

Avoiding and reducing waste generation is one of circular economy’s main challenges. In this environment, the Ecoplanta project adapts to current legislation. The European Waste Directive (2008/98/EC) establishes waste prevention as the overriding principle and promotes the reduction, re-use and recycling of waste, makes energy recovery a priority and considers landfills as the last option in its treatment. In this sense, the European targets for 2035, foresee that landfills will only represent 10% in waste treatment and incineration 25% while recycling and material recovery should account for 65% of this treatment.
The Ecoplanta project was one of seven projects shortlisted in the European Innovation Fund, from over 300 large-scale projects submitted for its contribution to the fight against climate change.

Co-funded by the European Union

The Spanish Circular Economy Strategy, Circular Spain 2030

The Spanish Circular Economy Strategy (SCES) aligns with the objectives of the two European Union circular economy action plans, “Closing the Circle: an EU action plan for the circular economy” of 2015 and “A new Circular Economy Action Plan for a cleaner and more competitive Europe” 2020, in addition to the European Green Pact and the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.
Within this context, the Strategy establishes strategic guidelines as a ten-year timeline and sets a series of quantitative objectives to be achieved by 2030, which Ecoplanta would directly support:
• Reducing the national consumption of materials by 30% in relation to the GDP, taking as reference year 2010.
• Reducing waste generation by 15% compared to 2010.
• Increasing reuse and preparation for reuse to 10% of municipal waste generated.
• Reducing greenhouse gas emissions to below 10 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent.

What does Ecoplanta contribute in this context?

Through the recovery of waste in a real circular economy, Ecoplanta will contribute in a very favourable way to the improvement of material recovery rates in Catalonia, according to the PRECAT20 waste management program, achieving the Spanish Circular Economy Strategy (SCES) objectives and the EU goals for 2035 to reduce the volume of solid urban waste currently destined for landfills, consolidating itself as a lower environmental impact alternative to incineration.

Objective: to minimize waste

At Ecoplanta, carbon-free process waste is treated and can be used to develop new products. In this way, Ecoplanta contributes to minimize the volume of waste.

From waste to resource, a model for the future: Secondary Raw Material.

We are facing an environmental, economic, industrial and social paradigm shift to make a more sustainable society viable. In this context, waste must be treated so that it becomes a resource: it is the secondary raw materials, which come from products already used and remnants of materials, which, once treated, are usable as raw materials in another production process.
Thanks to the application of technology developed by the Canadian company Enerkem, today we can convert waste that went to landfills or were incinerated into raw materials for the chemical industry, contributing to grow the circular economy.
We are facing a pioneering project in Europe that inaugurates the renewable chemical industry and contributes to the decarbonization of our economy and a more sustainable future.