According to a study by the European Parliament, the European Union produces 2.5 billion tonnes of waste every year. These figures have led organizations and companies committed to sustainability to increasingly rely on initiatives related to eco-design and waste reduction which favour the circular economy cycles. Predictions already suggest that these actions would create up to 580.000 jobs in the EU and a save €600 billion*. These numbers were the starting point when betting on a strategy for Ecoembes to promote these measures within Spain and abroad.
Motivated by this goal, we have created the TheCircularLab, a project that aims to further develop sustainability as a key element of our social role. This Centre is a project pioneer in Europe in the field of the circular economy that was born with the aim of bringing together all the proposals aiming to promote the best lines of innovation in the field of containers and their subsequent recycling. Therefore has an impact on all stages of the life cycle of packaging: from its conception, through eco-design, until their reintroduction to the cycle of consumption through new products.
Located in La Rioja, it is the only laboratory focused on this area, and could soon turn this region into a great experimentation hub. TheCircularLab works to face the different challenges in the recycling industry. First, there is research in design and development tools for designing solutions to integrate. This includes data obtained in plants using artificial intelligence to predict the best treatment patterns. Secondly, information management systems are created across the whole value chain, from citizenship to public administration.
The Project is supported institutionally by the Government of La Rioja and the European Commission’s Directorate General for the Environment entailing an investment of around €10 million over the next four years. It will involve the creation of 40 on-site jobs and over 200 throughout open innovation programs, company integration and different entrepreneurial ecosystems.
TheCircularLab is the result of our philosophy at Ecoembes: sharing knowledge and innovation. The idea was born from a collective dimension and is now a reality summing up and condensing our triple perspective: the power of collaboration, citizens as the heart of our activity and innovation as the lever for transforming and improving realities in the circular economy paradigm.
At Ecoembes, we are very proud of the reception of this initiative and the proliferation of start-ups developing their activity in the centre itself. Commitment to sustainability as main focus for companies starting their activity supported by our center reminds us that promotion and support for recycling, eco-design and waste reduction is also one of the values most young entrepreneurs bet for. And that encourages us to continue betting for the function and objectives of our company at present and in the future.