Diana Maria Ceapraz
Conference: International Symposium “The Environment and the Industry”
Date: October 13-14, 2016
Location: Bucharest, Romania
Published: 2016
Circular economy
Waste generation
Integrated waste management
Linear economy
Circular economy should define the new model for a sustainable environment and
sustainable resource utilization. The traditional linear economy no longer supports the
demands of an increasing population for new and better products. Reckless
consumption threatens the viability of the current “take-make-dispose” model, and a
shift in the mentality of both companies and customers is required, supported also by
institutional and policy measures. Consumers will shift to users and producers and
sellers will become service providers.
Long term benefits and opportunities of circular economy outweigh short term costs
and threats, and all stakeholders should keep in mind that beyond fulfilling the needs
for material consumption, there is a responsibility towards the environment. Design
and innovation will play a key role for the transition to circular economy, and waste will
no longer be considered as such, but as a valuable resource, while the emphasis will
be on reuse, repair, reconditioning and recycling.
This paper assesses the potential of applying the concept of circular economy to
integrated waste management, by analysing the available statistical data for Romania
and European Union regarding waste management. The main improvement measures
to apply are the implementation of a collection and sorting system partly funded
through extended producer responsibility schemes, charging for waste generation,
encouraging recycling, and transforming waste into energy instead of storing it in
landfills. As the results show, a slight increase has been recorded for recycling rates
in Romania and EU. However, there is place for improvement, and circular economy
could represent the solution.

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