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Queen Máxima's Working Visit to Leading Waste-to-Product Company Renewi

02 February 2024

Her Majesty Queen Máxima paid a working visit today to the waste-to-product company Renewi at its facility in Acht, Eindhoven. The visit focused on the opportunities and challenges in material recycling, such as legislation that encourages recycling and the importance of raising awareness about circularity in society. Currently, the Queen is making a number of visits relating to sustainability and circularity. 

Every day, numerous material streams arrive at Renewi, including construction and demolition waste, organic waste, glass and hard plastics. These used materials are transformed into many circular raw materials. Queen Máxima showed interest in practical examples and the high-quality technical innovation involved. For example, recycled hard plastics from discarded refrigerators can be used in new refrigerators or even in toys. 

Sorting at the Source 

The working visit began with a tour of Renewi's facility in Acht, Eindhoven. Queen Máxima first conducted a waste scan, which provides insight into the sorting of waste. The method of sorting and processing the incoming waste stream determines the purity and quality of the secondary raw material. The better the sorting at the source, the better discarded materials can be processed into new material.  

Renewi staff then explained to the Queen about the new sorting facility that separates hard plastics from other waste at a high quality. Queen Máxima was interested in gaining insight into all innovative possibilities in the field of plastic recycling. 

Encouraging High-Quality Recycling

Queen Máxima also spoke with Renewi's management and experts from the recycling industry about opportunities and challenges in recycling. During this conversation, the management emphasised the importance of improved legislation and regulation. To enable the transition to a circular economy, it is necessary that material reuse and recycling receive sufficient attention. Unfortunately, many recyclable materials still end up in residual waste and are incinerated. Thus, they are lost from the economy and we remain dependent on scarce primary resources. For example, virgin plastics are currently cheaper than recycled plastics. Renewi believes that a stable and increasing demand for recycled materials will arise when the use of a fixed percentage of recycled content in a product becomes legally mandatory. 

High-quality recyclates have a smaller ecological footprint than new materials and therefore play an important role in achieving climate goals. By giving used materials new life and reintroducing them into the economy, we make a significant contribution to reducing emissions and lowering the pressure on primary resources.

Collaborations in the Chain 

Queen Máxima is a member of the Dutch Committee for Entrepreneurship. This Committee was established by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate to promote entrepreneurship in the Netherlands, focusing on strengthening the growth potential of small and medium-sized enterprises. 

As a European operating company, Renewi is a link in the circular chain. Collaborations with start-ups, are an important part of Renewi's innovation strategy. The vision of the Dutch Committee for Entrepreneurship aligns with the ambition of the waste-to-product company; investing in innovation, producing high-quality secondary raw materials and helping to support the circular economy.