The circular economy is an economic and production model that aims to maximize efficiency in the use of resources, reduce waste generation and promote environmental protection. Unlike the traditional model, in which raw materials are extracted, goods are produced and then disposed of as waste, this proposal seeks to close the life cycle of products while maintaining their value and utility for as long as possible. However, a paradigm shift of such magnitude requires a comprehensive approach that transforms the production and consumption systems, for which the involvement of all the actors that are part of the process is necessary: consumers, companies and governments. This is the objective of the course 'Transition towards a circular economy: challenges and opportunities in waste management', which was inaugurated this Tuesday by the mayor of Fuenlabrada, Javier Ayala. Together with him have been the rector of the university, Javier Ramos, and the director of the course, Jovita Moreno.
“Years ago there was a negative perception of the recycling industry that, luckily, we are managing to change. In Fuenlabrada there are already more than fifty companies linked to the circular economy and we will continue working together with the Rey Juan Carlos University to leave a better world for future generations”, explained Ayala. For his part, the rector has influenced the challenges facing the planet and how to face them from the university: "According to the World Economic Forum, there are already more than 150 million tons of plastic in our seas and the generation of waste It will multiply in the coming years due to population growth and increased consumption. Saving the planet requires everyone's commitment, so teachers, researchers, and students must be an example and guide to society." Ramos recalled that the market will demand more than 7000 jobs related to environmental conservation in the coming years, so it is essential to train future specialists in these fields.
The course is part of the Circular Economy Chair for Sustainable Waste Management that the Rey Juan Carlos University and the Fuenlabrada City Council launched in 2022. This research project seeks to take advantage of the synergies between the scientific and training capacity of the university and the experience and management capacity of the municipal administration. Among the speakers participating in the conference there will be experts from Spain, France, Portugal and Chile, who will present the waste management models of these countries to exchange knowledge.