By Hildagarde McCarville
CEO, Veolia Netherlands
The Netherlands has a longstanding, ambitious environmental policy with regard to the recovery and recycling of materials. Currently, 79%1 of its waste is recycled and the residual waste is mainly used for energy generation, which in turn is part of the solution toward a shift in energy production through renewables. The initiative “Netherlands as Circular Hotspot” aims at positioning the Netherlands as an international example for circular business and develop a circular economy in the Netherlands by 2050. Based on this political ambition, the Dutch ecosystem has started a transition toward a circular economy. The plastics recycling market in the Netherlands is constantly evolving in parallel with the adaptation of more circular business models due to the impact of climate change and resource scarcity.
To accompany the intense development of the circular economy in the Netherlands, Veolia decided to acquire in 2015 a Dutch company named AKG Polymers that now has almost 50 years of experience in plastics recycling. This plant in the Netherlands is now Veolia’s global center of excellence for recycling polypropylene. Veolia is accompanying brands, such as Philips, in their commitments to making their products and services more environmentally friendly. This innovative dynamic around recycling is also encouraged by a more collaborative approach, breaking down the traditional silos, and creating new markets and business models in the Netherlands and abroad.
1. Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management of the Netherlands.