Everywhere around us we see terms such as sustainable development, recycling, circular economy, green economy and many others – as a part of businesses, as a lifestyle, as an obligation to join the European Union, as a problem or solution. Among all these terms we as citizens remain overwhelmed, surrounded with waste and concrete, with less greenery, but more and more pollution. We are overwhelmed because we don’t know how to act and even more when to act, but most importantly, we do not know whether any of our actions can make a change.
The circular economy at Mikser Festival is a concrete proposal for improving our immediate environment. It is a proposal for a new lifestyle, new work ethic, new ways of moving and thinking. Circular economy at Mikser are not only numbers and calculations but a new culture of living. With our term „Circulate“ we want to trigger everyone to think before buying a new product, before taking the car to go somewhere or before throwing a product in the garbage – to think about whether we need the product at all.
If we in fact need the product, the first step is to check the origin, the components and the methods of production of all products. If the product has a long-term purpose, if it can be repaired, if parts can be changed, if it can get a new purpose during its lifetime or if it can be decomposed as organic waste – this already shows a circular behaviour. At the end of a product’s lifetime, we come to the question of what to do with it – do we throw it in the garbage, sort it as specific waste, leave it on the street? Circular economy, unlike the linear economy where a product finishes at the landfill at its end of lifetime, promotes the return of what would be waste in the production process as a resource. Our grandmothers call it „bring me back the jar when you finish the jam“, and innovative companies call it „let’s turn this organic waste from the field into biogas that will fuel the tractor.“ Sorting waste into plastic, glass, paper and other materials contributes to the return of these products to be used in a new, different shape and is just one small step on the long road to circular practices.
And now that we know this, the question is where to go from here. How do we as citizens, companies and a society move forward? What strategies do we need? Who needs to act? In what form?
In the process of „Circulate“, the SHIFT conference connects citizens with important actors who have the responsibility and obligation to provide smart solutions for these challenges. At the panel „Circular Serbia – steps towards a national plan for a circular economy“. Together with experts from abroad and relevant actors from Serbia, we will talk about necessary steps for the implementation of a circular economy plan.