The European Green Deal intends a change to an European circular economy. The online trading platform Secontrade offers a crisis-proof, digital, and especially transparent and safe marketplace for the purchase and sale of high-quality secondary raw materials. This reduces the use of natural resources and protects the climate and the environment.

The European Green Deal aims a fundamental change in production and consumption patterns, making Europe cleaner, more sustainable and more competitive. This also means fundamental changes for the waste management industry, which must be solved in a creative and innovative way. The action plan published this spring aims to reduce Europe’s dependence on primary raw materials. It also aims to create a well functioning internal market for high-quality secondary raw materials. “Natural resources are not infinitely available or unevenly distributed around the world. Europe is therefore dependent on imports of raw materials. However, we do have a large number of secondary raw materials, which are obtained from old electrical appliances and batteries, among other things. And this is exactly our opportunity”, says Brigitte Reich, managing director of SECONTRADE, a company that has been committed to recycling for years. “Through constantly improved recycling technologies, more and more and especially high-quality secondary raw materials are being obtained. It is important that these arrive where they can be reused in the manufacture of new products. After all, the European Green Deal plans to increase the binding specification and quality standards of the proportion of recycled materials in new products (e.g. electrical appliances, batteries, building materials, etc.). This should further increase market demand for secondary raw materials and close the currently still prevailing recycling gap.

Secontrade shows how circular economy works

This is where SECONTRADE makes an important contribution. The Austrian online trading platform for secondary raw materials was founded in 2018 and offers raw material traders and the processing industry valuable secondary raw materials obtained by recycling companies, e.g. from old appliances, used metals and plastic waste. Brigitte Reich, who took over the sole management of SECONTRADE, a subsidiary of UFH Holding, in summer 2020, emphasises: “With the online marketplace we have created a digital, crisis-proof addition to conventional marketing methods and instruments for secondary raw materials. In recent weeks and months, digital solutions have been in greater demand than ever before in all sectors and business areas because they are available anytime and anywhere. We have also seen an increase in access and registrations on our platform, especially from the Northern European countries, which of course makes us very happy!“ So far, over 23,000 tonnes of secondary raw materials have been offered on the online platform.

The users of SECONTRADE, who mainly come from Austria, Germany, Italy and the Scandinavian countries, particularly appreciate the transparency and security of the marketplace, as well as the fact that secondary raw materials can be bought and sold across national borders. “Particularly in view of the constantly increasing demand, we are endeavouring to increase confidence in secondary raw materials and we are very positive about the European Commission’s efforts to develop European quality standards for secondary raw materials and an EU-wide recycling label”, says the environmental and waste law expert.