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Qualification of waste: an obstacle for circular business projects?

The development of a circular economy is promoted as being one of the crucial pillars of the transition to a more sustainable economy. A circular economy is based on the reuse of goods. However, as soon as goods qualify as waste, waste management rules apply. To what extent do these rules hamper the development of circular businesses? Should the rules regarding the qualification of waste be reshaped to address, more effectively and efficiently, the contemporary societal sustainability challenges and the transition towards a more sustainable economy? Join us in discussing our findings regarding the legal concept of waste.



We will dive into criteria that are to be fulfilled to qualify a product as waste and develop our view on how this qualification can be avoided. We will also examine whether the possibility to obtain “end-of-waste status” is sufficiently accessible for circular businesses of all sizes to develop circular activities.


Our material footprint has increased at an alarming rate. A fundamental reshaping of our production and consumption patterns is urgently required if we want to reassure sustainability. Such reshaping may entail that certain of those patterns, such as the linear economy, are “exnovated”, i.e., abandoned.

How we treat waste and if we allow it to be re-used, will play a crucial role in this.

We wish to initiate discussion and raise awareness that some legal notions, such as “waste” and its associated criteria, can have an impact on the “exnovation” of the linear economy. More specifically, depending on the interpretation given to waste, it can be an obstacle in the transition towards a more sustainable, circular economy. The corresponding areas of concern will be explored form a Brussels Capital Region (BCR) point of view, but can be applied more generally.

Prof. Dr. Régine Feltkamp and M. Tim Hermans will elaborate more in detail their findings and conclusions of their research paper: “Waste: an obstacle for circular economy activities in the Brussels Capital Region?”, prepared as part of the interdisciplinary VUB/ULB research project, funded by Innoviris. Prof. Dr. Ela Callorda Fossati will introduce the discussion by explaining the context of research and by proving the conclusions of her research on exnovating the linear economy, from an environmental perspective.

Please find here the Powerpoint presentation: GOSETE_Case2-CE-WP4-LegalConceptOfWaste_Workshop


Date: 17 March 2022
Time: 12h30 – 14h
Location: MS-Teams


  • Welcome speech (+/- 10min)
  • General Introduction by Dr. Ela Callorda Fossati (+/- 15 min)
  • Qualification of waste: an obstacle for circular business projects?
  • Prof. Dr. Régine Feltkamp and M. Tim Hermans   (+/- 45min)
  • Questions/ discussion (+/- 15min)



Are you intrigued, excited or curious to know the answer as to whether this concept can either be considered an « obstacle » in the transition from a linear to a circular economy or, on the contrary, is conducive to the #exnovation of the linear economy? Do you wish to participate in an interactive debate?

Make sure to sign up and join our discussion:

Any question? Please do not hesitate to contact Tim Bony Hermans:

Le 17/03/2022
à 1212120404



chantier concerné

Circular economy

domaine de recherche

Approche juridique

type de public

Acteurs bruxellois
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