Our society consumes large volumes of goods and resources resulting in severe consequences for our environment due to increased waste generation. The best way to reduce waste is not to generate it in the first place which starts with extending the lifetime of products. In order to produce new goods energy is needed and raw materials must be excavated. Re-use is therefore a viable way to reduce consumption and conserve natural resources. The SURFACE project, officially launched on 24 January 2018 in Kempten, brings together partners from nine European countries in order to open up possibilities for using our things longer instead of prematurely throwing them away. SURFACE aims to facilitate re-use practices in Central European countries starting in selected cities with the greater goal to establish the ideas in other partner cities.
The core of the SURFACE project is the formation of Smart Re-Use Parks in five pilot regions (IT, AT, DE, PL, HU) and preparing of feasibility studies in other four regions (IT, CZ, SI, HR). The Smart Re-Use Park will be a place where unwanted objects and materials will be re-used or up-cycled instead of ending up as waste or as recycled material with a lower value. Beyond that it also provides a space where people encounter each other and have the opportunity for exchange and knowledge transfer in the area of re-use. Courses and workshops on waste prevention will be organised and accompanied by artistic activities of selected regional artist who will help disseminate the re-use idea through creative channels.
The re-use sector is full of promising initiatives, activities and innovative ideas. However in order to be better established it needs not only support from the national governments but also projects like SURFACE that create guidance for establishing re-use practices and inspire other urban areas to follow suit.
Jana Zurkova, RREUSE, Communications Officer
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