EUPAVE: Concrete Roads – An Integral Part of the Circular Economy
The European Concrete Paving Association (EUPAVE), announced that “resource efficiency” and “the circular economy” are words on everyone’s lips at the moment. In December, the European Commission will release its new “Circular Economy Package”, which will introduce various pieces of legislation or initiatives designed to move Europe towards a more efficient, less wasteful economy.
The package will include initiatives to encourage greater recovery and recycling of construction and demolition waste. Often an emphasis is put on buildings, but roads and infrastructure have a contribution to make too.
Resource-Efficient Concrete Roads: Roads built using cement and concrete solutions embody circular economy principles. Taking the European Commission’s own waste hierarchy (Prevention, Reuse, Recycling, Recovery, Disposal), it is clear that concrete practices in general, and pavements in particular, lie in the upper – i.e. more “virtuous” – levels of this hierarchy.
Concrete pavements have always been appreciated for their durability and low maintenance – and it’s not hard to grasp how this translates into sustainability benefits. The advantages of concrete in pavements span the three pillars of sustainability: social, economic and environmental.
Policy Requests: Given these considerations, EUPAVE wishes to put forward the following policy suggestions:
1. Policy should recognise the benefits of both open and closed loop recycling
2. Public procurement must take a long term view and avoid focusing on initial costs or impacts: durability contributes to resource efficiency
3. Recycling is one of the means to greater sustainability, not an end in itself. All measures leading to greater resource efficiency should be encouraged.
To continue reading, please click here.
To read the position paper, please click here or click on the image to the right.