Dutch gov't pushes €80 million into promoting a circular economy

The Dutch government made an additional amount of 80 million euros available for promoting a circular economy in 2019 and 2020. The money is intended for projects that "fit in with the transition to an economy without waste", and thereby contribute to reducing CO2 emissions, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management announced.

The Netherlands' goal is to have a 50 percent circular economy by 2030, and have its economy be 100 percent waste-free by 2050. 

"An economy without waste and therefore smart use of raw materials is the missing link in the Paris climate agreement. We will not achieve the targets agreed upon in 2015 without this link", State Secretary Stientje van Veldhoven said. "The world population continues to grow and more and more people will use more resources. So we can either look for a second or even third planet, or we can work on a circular economy, starting in the Netherlands." 

17.5 million euros of the amount is reserved for projects in the field of ground, road, and hydraulic engineering. An amount of 22.5 million is intended for projects in recycling and application of bio-based plastics. And the remaining 40 million euros is for other projects that promote the circular economy.

The government is specifically looking at start-ups and scale-ups. "It is my experience that very good ideas exist especially in SMEs", Van Veldhoven said. I can already see examples of this throughout the Netherlands. Companies that process uniforms into towels, or who have a clever idea for replacing plastic packaging for tomatoes in the supermarket with cardboard boxes that can easily reach the waste paper."

Van Veldhoven called on the business world and local governments to propose projects that may be eligible for subsidies. Interested parties can find more information here