The port sector serves as ‘matchmaker’ and crossing-point for all kinds of waste and industrial flows, and acts as logistics hub for the import and export of waste materials. Currently, different Circular Economy (CE) activities are being developed, but in isolation. To achieve a real switch to a CE, there is a need to actively involve the port sector in this new model of production and consumption. “LOOP-Ports – Circular Economy Network of Ports”, coordinated by Fundación Valenciaport and funded by EIT Climate-KIC, is the first project analysing a CE approach for EU ports, with the aim to facilitate the transition to CE in the sector, where products, materials and resources are maintained in the economy for as long as possible, and waste is minimised.
In this sense, LOOP-Ports will contribute to the transition of the EU economy towards closed-loop systems through the creation of a CE network of ports, which will stimulate CE initiatives in ports. The network will facilitate the exchange of experiences and good practices; provide policy recommendations; foster skills and knowledge through training and create new business opportunities in both port clusters and other related industries. By now, 44 stakeholders from 14 EU countries have been engaged in the project: 32 Port Authorities, 4 Public Authorities, 3 Industry associations, 4 Port Associations (ESPO, BPO, Medports and Danske Havn) and 1 Environmental Organisation.
The main expected results from the project will be a complete mapping of EU ports characterisation on CE activities (more than 450 ports analysed and 200 CE activities identified); a report on key success stories; an in-depth analysis of the main barriers and enablers; ad-hoc training materials for the port sector; more than 25 workshops on CE with key stakeholders; and finally, 7 business models to be replicated and a tailored web tool showing the project results.