Circle Economy analyses Prague material flows to help city's circular transition
3 Aug 2021
in 2019 the Amsterdam-based impact organization Circle Economy (CCD support partner), in collaboration with the local NGO INCIEN and the City of Prague, analysed the material flows, GHG emissions and value generation of Prague’s economy. Their goal? To provide the city with action plans for key industries to embed the circular economy into their practices. Two years have passed since the ‘Circle Scan’ and the circular transition in Prague is well underway.
“The Circle Scan helped us set priorities and measure the scale and issues of what we were dealing with. This allowed us to focus on what matters. So, we’re not just focusing on plastic straws, but on larger flows like closing the biomass loop, or looking at our tonnes of construction and demolition waste. There are so many bigger problems – and opportunities,” Petr Hlubuček, deputy mayor of Prague for the environment.
Each year, Prague households consume approximately 307,000 tonnes of non-food products. Of this, nearly 10% is bulky waste – materials or items too large for household waste, such as electrical goods, appliances and furniture – which are destined for landfill. And as the average household income has risen, so has the level of tossed bulky waste. The Circle Scan identified the potential to reuse 70% of this, giving furniture and appliances a second life and reducing the overall demands for brand new products.
Bringing to life the action plan laid out in the Circle Scan, Prague now touts a growing network of Re-Use Points throughout the city: cashing in on the value this ‘waste’ provides when the circular strategies of reuse, refurbish and repair are utilised. In only half a year of the pilot being active, nearly 2,000 pre-loved items were processed: the equivalent of 14 tonnes. These reuse points have been integrated into collection yards – so far, three out of the 19 in the city – and upgraded to feel vibrant and accessible for all citizens. Praguers can drop off their unwanted yet still-functional furniture, sports equipment or appliances, amongst other items, which are then uploaded to an online portal and can be collected for free by residents, NGOs and charities.
To find out more about Prague's work with the Circle Scan, click here.