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Urban Case Study #7: Facilitating sustainable circular consumption in cities – The Kringwinkel, Flanders

The challenge

Enabling a circular economy transition in cities requires a much stronger focus on the role of waste prevention, repair, reuse, and recycling, as opposed to current models of disposal. Cities play an active role in this regard, as they can help motivate or push citizens in the right direction.

In the development of a circular economy, cities act as enablers of potential measures by which they can influence both consumers and business. In short, a strong involvement at a local level can help to create new visions of circular strategies at a more global level.

How to help citizen with waste prevention? 

In line with the Urban Agenda objective of Better Knowledge, the Urban Agenda Partnership on Circular Economy seeks to showcase different local approaches from European cities where so-called Urban Resource Centres have been established. 

The Kringwinkel is one of the many innovative initiatives of its kind in Europe.

It is a network of reuse centres in the region of Flanders, Belgium. The shops primarily looked at promoting and selling second-hand products to make them available to vulnerable groups but also to offer a strong social focus through providing vocational training for low-skilled and long-term unemployed persons.

Developed in collaboration between KOMOSIE and the Flemish authorities, the network of shops offers a strong link between the environmental benefits of re-use and the social economy, providing new jobs and supporting vulnerable target groups.

Today, the network is an example of a successful collaboration between social enterprises and the regional authorities, working together to professionalise the re-use sector in Flanders.  In 2015, there were around 125 re-use shops in Flanders, communicating and operating in a uniform way through the Kringwinkel brand.

For more information

About the Urban Resource Centres 

About the Partnership on Circular Economy

About the Partnership's Action Plan