Meeting with Free Trade Fairs and Local Recyclers: Eurochile Business Foundation Promotes Recycling and Circular Economy Initiative in Osorno
Under the programme “Strengthening Recycling and Circular Economy in the Province of Osorno”, the Eurochile Business Foundation travelled to the region of Osorno, where it established links with free fairs and local recyclers, the main actors of the programme; where they were able to recognise the different circular measures that were being implemented in the area.
Eurochile Business Foundation is implementing the programme “Strengthening Recycling and Circular Economy in the Province of Osorno”, which has the financial support of the Regional Government of Los Lagos through the National Fund for Regional Development. The objective of the project is to strengthen and improve the associative processes to mitigate the negative environmental impact of inadequate management of organic and inorganic waste from household and industrial activities in the province.
Three main actors are involved in waste management and recycling: citizens, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and waste managers. For this reason, the Foundation has decided to classify waste into two categories according to its origin: industrial waste and household waste. These two categories share similarities both in terms of their nature and the synergies that can arise between treatment infrastructures, which could generate economic benefits for the actors involved in the management of these types of waste.
In this context, at the end of September, the Sustainability and Circular Economy team travelled to Osorno to develop the programme’s lines of action. They carried out an activity called “Industrial Symbiosis with a focus on organics” in order to establish the first contact with potential beneficiaries of the programme. This activity stood out for its focus on the free fairs, which represent a clear example of the reality of the province, in particular the Rahue and Río Negro fairs. In addition, they took the opportunity to meet with the local authorities of the Municipality of San Pablo, presenting the project and extending an invitation to join this initiative.
One characteristic that stands out for free fair producers is that they operate from fixed stalls, which means that they do not need to transport their products from long distances to the local fair. They are small-scale local producers who work at the fair at the community level, which allows them to recycle resources effectively, making free fairs an enabling environment for the implementation of sustainable and circular practices.
In this sense, it was revealed that many of these producers are intuitively adopting circular measures. Therefore, the main objective is to help them identify these sustainable practices, and then give them visibility and empower them according to the objectives of the project. In addition, local producers are employing various reuse and recycling practices, one of which is composting, as they reincorporate vegetable and fruit waste from the fair into the soil of their own plots.
In this context, Maud Breyne, head of projects in the area of Sustainability and Circular Economy at the Eurochile Business Foundation, says that “We spent hours observing the work that takes place at the free fairs, focusing on observation, gathering information and even opening the waste containers to understand what the flow is and where this waste comes from. Our goal is to identify the amount of waste generated at the fair and find ways to use it as raw material for the benefit of the fair itself“.
In summary, the purpose of the visit was to engage in discussions, to understand the current situation and the work being carried out, and to identify the circular practices already in place in the region. It also allowed to present the programme to them and to encourage them to participate in the planned activities, to disseminate good practices and foster collaboration between the key actors of the project.
It should be noted that next October 16, at 15:00 hours, the International Seminar of the programme “Strengthening Recycling and Circular Economy in the Province of Osorno” will be held at the Sonesta Hotel, located in Ejército 395, Rahue, Osorno, Los Lagos Region. The purpose of this seminar is to present the current situation of the province of Osorno in terms of implementation of circular economy, identify the main gaps and opportunities to promote a conscious and circular waste management. In addition, leading European experts with extensive knowledge on the subject will participate and successful cases of local circular businesses will be presented.