The Port of Rotterdam Authority was in Brussels today as an active stakeholder and co-signatory of an international agreement that is set to facilitate the international exchange of residual and raw materials. "An important step, especially for the circular economy," said Monique de Moel, business developer at the Port Authority. "But it is also a significant boost for international trade in these materials."
For example, the Rotterdam-based company Inashco has developed a technique to extract small particles of aluminium, lead, zinc, silver and gold from ash in incinerators, which can then be used as 'secondary' materials. However, due to classification differences, companies from neighbouring countries are not allowed to export their residual products to the Netherlands and vice versa. As such, perfectly usable residual materials too often end up as waste: An obstacle to the circular economy.
For some time, the Port Authority has given its support to a government initiative to find solutions for this issue. The signing of this agreement today by State Secretary Dijksma (Infrastructure and Environment), Minister Kamp (Economic Affairs), the British, French and Flemish Environment Ministers, industry and environmental organizations marks the start of the so-called North Sea Resources Roundabout (NSSR) to help overcome these barriers.
Minister Kamp: "With this agreement, Dutch companies active in the raw material and waste processing industries will be able to benefit from the growing market. This Green Deal shows that the circular economy creates both economic activity and jobs, as well as a better environment. For example, compost will be easier to trade because our neighbours will recognize it as fertilizer instead of waste."