The Circular Economy is a flagship initiative of the European Union: it appears in ecological and economical discussions and is becoming more and more important in research, development and innovation activities as well. One of the most important actors on the subject in Hungary is the Bay Zoltán Nonprofit Ltd. for Applied Research. The organisation undertakes a number of research activities focusing on this subject. However, dissemination and education actions related to the circular economy are very important too, and are supported by our newly established Science Shop. For us, participating in the European Waste Reduction Week by organising several events, was an obvious thing to do.
On 19 November 2019, Bay Zoltán Science Shop participated in the „Science Mosaic 4.0.” festival at the CsoPa Science Centre, Budapest. The main focus of our programme was the circular economy, and our aim was to show how applied science can contribute to achieving circularity within the economy. Representatives of Bay Zoltán Science Shop organised a game, in which children were invited to play in order to learn about the proper storage of food and how to avoid wasting food. Additionally, participants could take a look at critical raw materials and there was an opportunity to clean water or to make recycled paper.
On 23 November, an open event was held in Szimpla Kert, called „Waste reduction in everyday life”. The aim was to show ways to re-use everyday waste and reduce quantity of food waste. Our young and enthusiastic scientists showed how to make jewellery from PET bottles and lip balm using ingredients found at home. There was an opportunity to refresh old metal items and learn give old clothes a new life.
Bay Zoltán Science Shop hosted a workshop on “The role of re-use in the circular economy”. This interactive discussion started with a presentation, in which participants could hear about waste produced in the European Union. It was surprising to learn that such a low percentage of this waste is recycled or re-used. Re-use was in the focus of the workshop. The idea of Smart Re-use Centres was presented and some good examples were shown. After the presentation, participants discussed their own experiences related to waste management and re-use. It was agreed that sometimes it is hard to be “green” in everyday life. Changing people’s way of thinking is time-consuming, but participants could see very positive movements. It was agreed that re-use parks will be useful only when they are accessible to the general public. There was no consensus about the best method to change people’s behaviour: both rewards and punishments can have positive and negative effects as well.