zero waste

Zero Waste and the shift to circular construction

The European Commission has just released a report on the techno-economic and environmental assessment of construction and demolition waste management in the European Union.

The report reviews and analyses data on the generation, composition, and management of CDW at the EU level, representing approximately 40% of all waste generated in the EU. It also conducts an environmental and techno-economic assessment of the most important management technologies through Life Cycle Analysis and costs for different materials.

The results are clear and show that whenever the best available technologies are adopted, recycling and preparation for reuse are preferred over incineration and landfilling for most individual material fractions of CDW due to the associated environmental benefits outweighing the economic costs.

With appropriate techniques, a total reduction of approximately 48 Mt of CO2 eq. could be achieved with a net saving of approximately 7.3 billion euros.

The JRC (Joint Research Centre) of European Comission has published this report that reviews, analyses, and reconciles data on the generation, composition, and management of CDW at the EU27 level. more info.

On the occasion of International Zero Waste Day (last week), Secretary-General António Guterres reminds us that mass consumerism is depleting the planet and calls on businesses, consumers, and governments to take action.

The new legislation is key to the transition towards circular construction.

Currently, insufficient prevention of waste production at its source is compounded by low levels of recycling of generated waste. Among the environmental impacts this causes, pollution of soils and aquifers in uncontrolled landfills, landscape deterioration, and disposal of these wastes without utilizing their valuable resources stand out.

One of the current difficulties in achieving satisfactory levels of recycling of construction and demolition waste is the fact that most of it is deposited in landfills at very low cost, without prior treatment, and often without meeting the requirements established in landfill regulations.

To address this situation, Royal Decree 105/2008 of 1 February, which regulates the production and management of construction and demolition waste, prohibits deposit without prior treatment and demands the establishment of fee systems that discourage the deposit of valuable waste in landfills or those where prior treatment has been limited to mere classification.

zero waste - circular construction

This recent Spanish regulation aims to establish the legal framework for the production and management of construction and demolition waste, to promote its prevention, reuse, recycling, and other forms of valorisation, ensuring that those destined for disposal operations receive appropriate treatment, and contribute to sustainable development in the construction sector.

It assigns responsibilities in the management of construction and demolition waste to waste producers and holders, as well as to public administrations, which also acquire obligations to promote prevention and the use of products from the valorisation of construction and demolition waste.

Furthermore, they will ensure that alternative design and construction options that generate less waste and those that facilitate environmentally sound dismantling of the work at the end of its useful life are taken into account in the project phase.

Sustainable construction involves choosing safe and healthy materials.

The starting point for advancing in sustainable construction is to choose safe and healthy materials, free from added toxins and capable of positively influencing the building they are installed in, the people who occupy it, and the environment.

At Honext, we rely on third-party certifications to ensure that our materials come from waste and are safe for both people and the environment. Certifications such as Cradle to Cradle Certified® or C2C Certified Material Health Certificate™ GOLD LEVEL endorse our products.

The choice of HONEXT® for the design of Garbi’s stand at Hygienalia 2023 prevented 2,920 kg of industrial fibre waste from ending up in a landfill, as it is a material whose origin is waste.

Furthermore, the easy dismantling of the stand for future editions was taken into account, and it was agreed that at the end of its use, the material would be returned to be reincorporated into the process of creating new HONEXT® boards, thus closing a 100% circular cycle.

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