Ingrid Zeegers of Circulair Fryslân suggests that, following the success of European Capital of Culture 2018, the city of Leeuwarden should try to become European Green Capital 2025
Translated by Thomas Ansell
As reported in the Omrop Fryslân, Zeegers was in Brussels this week to give workshops about building a circular economy, during the ‘European week of the Regions’.
Indeed, Zeegers herself is not fond of the term ‘circular economy’, “I prefer ‘common-sense economy’. Striving for the minimum amount of waste is, for me, a question of healthy-mindedness, an the reduction of food-waste is the same”.
A circular economy has several undertakings within it- becoming waste-free is on, but also maintaining biodiversity and socially-conscious production techniques. “If you order a book on Bol.com in the afternoon, and it is delivered the next day, then there is someone working through the night for you. That’s not really circular”, says Zeegers, referring to international companies.
One of the main themes of this week was ‘a greener Europe’, and a quarter of all the themed-meetings regarded sustainability or ageing. Across all corners of Europe, there was high interest shown in the examples set by Circulair Fryslân, because the organisation has tens of active participant companies joining in is seen as special in the European context.
However Zeegers thinks that we have much tolearn from projects in both Scandinavia and Italy. “The Italians are very developed in the field of sustainaible textiles, and we can learn from them about that.” Zeegers herself gave her presentation in a circularly-produced blouse, which she had ordered online.
Zeegers has high expectations for the European Green Deal, which was presented on Thursday by European Commissioner Frans Timmermans. “Europe is very busy with this, the theme will become all the more-important in the coming years.”
Friesland and the Northern Netherlands are following trendsetters, but they are certainly not done yet. It seems likely, therefore, that a plan is in the offing for Leeuwarden to apply for European Green Capital 2025. “Frisians are stubborn and persistent. And, I think, we can find a great outcome.”