On July 1st, 2022, the last meeting of the stakeholders of the REDUCES project was held in the city of Stara Zagora, in the hall of "Zachary Kniazhevski" Regional Library. The meeting was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Environment and Water, the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, WWF – Bulgaria, Agency for Regional Economic Development - Stara Zagora (ARIR), representatives of the Municipality of Stara Zagora, representatives of youth organizations from Bulgaria and the REDUCES project partners.

The main objective of the meeting was to validate the drafted Action Plan and to discuss how circular business model can spur growth, reduce costs, and build resilience. Special attention was given to the importance of communication when we talk about circularity and climate change. Views were shared on climate change and the resulting social and economic challenges the society and local authorities are facing.

Circularity is underway in some industries, often led by new entrants mainly start-ups with innovative business models. Business and local authorities also recognize that well-designed circular products and business models can boost growth, cut costs, and build resilience, all while preparing the enterprise and the region for a low-carbon future.

It was concluded that waste reduction and even better prevention, eco-design, reuse repair and similar measures can save money and reduce overall annual greenhouse gas emissions. The transition to a circular economy will reduce environmental pollution, ease problems with the procurement of raw materials, and strengthen innovation and competitiveness and creat new more qualified working places. All this is for the benefit of the society, the region and the environment.

Finally, the activities and planning foreseen for the second phase of the project were presented to the stakeholders, with the focus on the communication campaign for awareness raising among municipalities, beneficiaries under the OP Environment demonstration projects for development of new, non-traditional successful activities and intervention for transition to circular economy.

V. Andonova