36 Circular Economy Demonstration Projects in the Basque Country

Type of organisation or company
Language for original content
Project elaborated in partnership
Submitted by
Ihobe, the Environmental Management Public Agency of the Basque Government
Start/End date
Type of funding
Ihobe - Ander Elgorriaga

The Circular Economy Demonstration Projects programme was launched in 2014 and has been repeated yearly, having developed 36 projects by 2016. Its purpose is to establish new solutions on the market and Circular Economy business opportunities by conducting semi-industrial or industrial tests that confirm the environmental-economic-technical feasibility of new solutions to separate, collect or recover secondary materials, manufacture products with a high secondary material content, or recovery of parts, components, products or equipment.

There have been significant interrelationships and synergies between sectors, as most of the projects searched for solutions in other value chains (industrial symbiosis), showing that closing cycles is only possible if businesses look beyond their normal framework.

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Main activity field
Main results

In a successful outcome, the potential results of the 36 projects:

  • 276,000 t of waste annually diverted from landfill and converted from a low-value recycled material to high-value or enable the direct manufacture of new end products;
  • Potential turnover of the new solutions or business lines: 38.7 million €. The cost-effectiveness ratio of the initiative is 21€ generated per public € spent;
  • 156 new jobs.

The projects have accelerated the circular economy in the metal and construction sectors. In other sectors, like the automotive, plastic, paper and textile industries, the projects have created synergies with important potential innovators.

The projects have shown that the recovery of products and components generates greater added value than the recovery of materials.