On the October 27, 2017, the third round table discussion on the circular economy “Circular (closed cycle) economy situation and perspectives in Lithuania” has taken place in the City Hall of Klaipėda. The event was attended by many stakeholders from Klaipėda: representatives of business associations, trade unions NGOs, Šarūnas Jonas Tamulis, deputy director of the Klaipėda Regional Waste Management Center, Chief of Klaipėda SFVS Antanas Baužas, as well as Klaipėda City Mayor Vytautas Grubliauskas, who also addressed waste recycling issues in Lithuania. He declared the position of the city on the issue of circular economy and emphasized that there is still some room for improvement in this area in Klaipeda. In his opinion, this discussion is very important for the non-governmental sector and supported it in the words of his greeting speech. He emphasized that Klaipeda could serve as an example in implementing important governmental projects, including the circular economy.
During the conference, three examples of circular economy operating in Klaipėda city were presented:
- In the port of Klaipeda, 5000 cars are imported from the USA each year, and the mechanics working in Klaipeda refurbish and turn them into new ones again.
- There are also two companies in Klaipeda, which make up about 12% of the total European plastic granules. They are both involved in recycling plastic into granules. In addition, in the future plastic will be converted to cellulose from biomass.
- The Klaipėda Regional Waste Management Center is currently able to produce construction materials from waste incinerator ash.
In general, there is currently an increased demand for secondary raw materials that could stimulate investment in sustainable economic processes. As the member of the Environmental Protection Committee of the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania could not participate in the discussion, Virginija Vingrinė, a Member of the Seimas, spoke in his turn. She highlighted the importance of tackling ecological issues and the prospects of the circular economy in creating new businesses that are pursuing EU sustainable development policies.
The Lithuanian Carriers’ Union is pleased to be able to contribute to these series of events, as we not only educate civil society and institutions, but we also learn a lot about the areas in which gaps still exist and how they can be filled. During the event, we heard a lot of different opinions and problems in the field of circular economy, and not only about that. There are still a number of cities in which these discussions will be organized, since only discussion helps to identify and solve all the problems.