Presentation of biobased planters as an alternative to plastics.

Representatives of the Institute Josef Stefan attended on the 5th of February 2020 in St. Kanzian am Klopeiner See in Corinthia/Austria a conference entitled «Circular economy: creating sustainable future in the Alps-Adria region».
The conference was organised in the scope of the Interreg Slovenia-Austria cross-border cooperation project Connect plus organised by the Slovenia's Economic Assotiation from Klagenfurt and by the Chamber of Economy Maribor.
The project can be a benchlearning example also for the Circular 4.0 project as this  bilateral event was a great opportunity to get acquaitned with some of best practices of companies in the Alpine region in Slovenia and Austria implementing circular economy practices.



Woody is a company in Corinthia making wooden clogs as traditional Alpine footwear innovatively designed using local materials and circular economy principles.

At the same time it was an opportunity to meet some of the key stakeholders from Austria, Slovenia and European Uniton from business and policymaking areas in order to learn about good practices with implementing circular economy principles and an occation to set up working relationship with the key stakeholders that will collaborate also in the Circular 4.0. project to whom the Circular 4.0 project was introduced.
The following companies from Slovenia and Austria presented their good circular business practices.

The Aquafil Group which is one of the leading manufacturers of synthetic fibers made of polyamide 6 in the world, producing part of its products through the regeneration of various types of waste. This waste includes discarded fishing nets, used textile floor coverings, fabric scraps and plastics.
Plastika Skaza is a company where create consumer and B2B products that are part of the circular management without waste. They are using recycled polymers or bio-based polymers and they do an LCA analysis for products to see where they can improve.

Gojer (Austria) a waste management company using a circular model.

The SIJ Group presented reuse of slag- a steel manufacturing byproduct once used as waste which is now used in their own production processes as a selling product.
Rifuzl is a grocery shop where buyers shop for local, quality, organic food with own packaging to avoid collecting household plastic waste.

Separate collection of waste material, separation by type and division into different material flows was presented by the Goyer, Partner Entsorgungsdienst GMB.
At Krushitz GMB they produce high quality granulate from various plastic waste, which is then used to produce a wide variety of plastic products. They help other companies close the loop of the circular economy.

Plastika Skaza (Slovenia) presented it's circular production.

AfB takes over IT — Hardware collects waste from large companies and public institutions, performs certified data deletion, and then resells the devices. Their work specialty is also social responsibility where steps within the company are barrier-free and taken jointly by people with and without disabilities.
In addition to getting acquainted with good cicrcular economy cases on product development, optimal use and value recovery in small and medium size companies the event was used to network with the key regional policy makers (ministers and regional policy leaders) and funding stakeholders in Austria and Slovenia (SPIRIT funding agency in Slovenia, SRIP Circular Economy, Slovenia's Economic Association from Klagenfurt, European Circular Economy stakeholder platform to whom Circular 4.0. project was presented in more details at the conference as well as during the following months. Some of them have started their active involvment in the Circular 4.0 project since than and are involved now as stakeholders with the project implementation.


Prepared by: Bojana Omersel Weeks, Institute Jo┼żef Stefan, Ljubljana, Slovenia