Closing infrastructure material cycles through European cooperation

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Infrastructure makes up a significant part of the built environment and is the backbone of a healthy economy. Delivering infrastructure however is becoming increasingly challenging.

Infrastructure has a significant environmental impact from material use, waste production and CO2 emissions. Population growth, climate change, and the increasing need for more infrastructure in developing countries and for renovation and replacement of existing infrastructure in developed economies pose new challenges and demands on realizing sustainable infrastructure and an unprecedented pressure on the availability of raw materials. At the same time, infrastructure projects are facing shortages and unavailability of materials, and very large price increases due to the Covid-19 pandemic. And this is only expected to increase as global supply chains, already hit by the pandemic, face new disruptions from the conflict in Ukraine.

As European economies are highly material import dependent, closing infrastructure material cycles through high-quality reuse and recycling is essential to address these challenges. But how can we achieve that? What challenges and opportunities for closing material cycles in infrastructure through European cooperation?

This #EUCircularTalks aimed to identify blind spots and activate European cooperation to close infrastructure material cycles. What are the stakes, obstacles, and opportunities? On 22 November, 14:00-16:00 CET, Rijkswaterstaat together with German Sustainable Building Council, the Holland Circular Hotspot and the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform organised roundtable discussions on closing infrastructure material cycles for two value chains: cement/concrete and asphalt. Through an open discussion we want to find possible solutions to define the next steps and facilitate action.


Moderator: Agnes Schuurmans, SGS INTRON


  • Christine Lemaitre, The German Sustainable Building Council
  • Laurenţiu Plosceanu, European Economic and Social Committee
  • Philippe Moseley, European Commission, DG GROW (Presentation)


  • Presentation "Closing the material cycles", Evert Schut, Rijkswaterstaat (Presentation)

Panel Discussion round 1 (incl. Q&A)

Panel Discussion round 2 (incl. Q&A)

  • Brexio Gómez Meijide, European Asphalt Pavement Association (Presentation)
  • Richard Gosselink, Wageningen University & Research (Presentation)
  • Rien Huurman, AsfaltNu (Presentation)

Next steps & closing remarks

  • Agnes Schuurmans, SGS INTRON