14 June 2024

‘Recycling industry crucial for the circular economy’

Annual Review 2023 published

The Dutch Waste Management Association (DWMA) published its Annual Review 2023 on 14 July 2024. ‘Creating the circular economy depends on its economic viability,’ says DWMA president Boris van der Ham. The Annual Review was presented at PreZero’s new plastics sorting facility in Zwolle.

Boris van der Ham, president of the Dutch Waste Management Association:
‘Recycling is only possible if we separate our waste properly and if the recycled materials are actually used. Materials from Asia are much cheaper than our own recycled raw materials, making recycling an increasingly unprofitable enterprise. That’s bad news for the circular economy and for employment. The recycling industry is crucial for the circular economy,’ says Boris van der Ham, who will stand down after 8 years as DWMA president.

Nout van Kempen, Chief Material Officer at PreZero:
‘Entrepreneurship is crucial for the circular economy. When we talk of the circular economy, we are talking, funnily enough, about waste policy and not the economy. This means that sustainability policy is not sustainable; it can’t stand on its own two feet. And that makes it vulnerable,’ says Nout van Kempen, Chief Material Officer at PreZero.

‘We can only make real progress towards the circular economy if we pursue a consistent policy that holds prospects for the longer term. Then entrepreneurs will innovate and invest. The technology is there and entrepreneurs see opportunities. But at the moment the circular economy is under pressure because it’s not economically viable. To maintain our leading position, we need the Dutch government to set targets and introduce specific economic incentives. The government and the recycling industry should benefit from each other’s expertise and work together on this policy.’

The DWMA and its members are launching a social media campaign called TrashTalks. The campaign is designed to appeal to consumers, manufacturers and government. ‘We want to raise awareness about the reuse and recycling of products and materials.’

Boris van der Ham (DWMA president) and Nout van Kempen (DWMA board member and Chief Material Officer at PreZero)

Derek Middleton

Derek Middleton on LinkedIn