By 2050 two-thirds of the world’s people will be living in urban areas. Like many cities around the world China faces the challenge to develop innovative plans on how to manage the pressures due to increased urbanization: rapid population growth, a dwindling stock of finite resources, high volumes of waste, and environmental and social externalities. Taking first steps toward a circular economy involve developing a sound waste prevention policy based on an understanding and restructuring of waste streams and effective waste management.
The Netherlands has made the commitment to create a zero waste economy by 2050 – wherein the Dutch economy will be run completely on reusable raw materials – with the expectation to have achieved half of that by the year 2030. The only way to reach that ambitious goal is to make a profound transformation in the way we work and produce, and the way we design, teach, invest, and buy. And, most importantly, to treat that most unfavourable by-product ‘waste’ as a valued resource and building block rather than thrown in landfills, or incinerated.
To make the transition to a complete circular economy, cross-sectoral international partnerships are inevitable. In the Netherlands, a number of companies and organisations are already implementing strategies which aim at treating waste as a resource. The Dutch government is working closely with parties in Public Private Partnerships because it understands its responsibility in creating a more sustainable nation and recognizes the opportunities that a circular economy presents.
One of those Partnerships is the Partners in Business Waste Management & Circular Economy (PIB), a consortium of Dutch waste management companies and Dutch government with the aim to share Dutch waste management technology with China. The partnership offers an integrated solution for creating value from waste, starting with the analysis of waste streams to the design and implementation of waste management systems. The partner companies – WTT, TNO, WSS, Bollegraaf, Hyva, Dolphin Solutions and ABN Amro – represent the best waste management practices the Netherlands has to offer.
As China liaison for this consortium, Dr2 Consultants Shanghai helps the PIB companies to expand their awareness across the Chinese market and facilitates the networking process. The PIB waste management project aims to create new partnerships between Dutch and Chinese companies and government parties in order to collaborate on waste management matters.