The city of Almere, working together with local stakeholders and the company Millvision, has developed an innovative circular economy partnership.
Due to Almere's establishment on land reclamed from the sea, its Weerwater lake is the home of fast growing aquatic plants, that cause a burden to the local watersport and catering businesses.
The mowed plants, instead of just being disposed of, are now being integrated by Millvision, a paper company, in to biomass blends used to produce sustainable paper.
Instead of being discarded as waste, collected plant material is re-valued as a raw material used in production
Paper being produced in this way involves both new technologies that use residual biomass blends but also addresses a challenge in a circular way.
Indeed not only the aquatic plant is a local and renewable input to the production of the paper but it also "circular" as it is something that would be discarded as waste, and that would needed to be transported away and incinerated, is re-valued as a raw material used in production. Products that have used biomass paste using the aquatic plants have proven to be cheaper than their non-circular counterparts. Therefore these plants have been transformed in many products including paper and airplane lunch boxes.
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The project has not only resulted in the improving of the recreational use of the lake, but also has contributed to the costs' reduction of the city lake management and maintenance for the local authorities as well as the creation of a local supply of raw material for the paper and pulp industry.
Moreover, because of the aquatic plants project, 7 other projects started to make abundance out of nuisance.