EU breathes LIFE into environmental innovation

Over a hundred projects will receive funding from a new EU programme to help protect and enhance the environment. €69 million is being invested into LIFE projects to help implement EU environmental legislation, such as a Belgium programme to re-examine plating, electronics and paint manufacturing in view of tighter regulations and better environmental practices.

The LIFE-Environment programme is primarily concerned with land-use, urban, waste and water management, the environmental impact of the economy and green products. A Viennese project will turn a concrete canal into a natural river, while the Danish public will be introduced to three new composting techniques. Estonia’s e-community programme will enable the public to join the urban planning process online, while eco-efficiency and environmental management will be promoted across Finland.

France is focussing on waste management, with projects for biodegradable plastics and lagoon water treatment systems. Germany is cleaning up its act with better storm water management and prototype Ultrasonic Resonance Cleaning equipment for waste water. Italy is embarking on an ambitious solar-powered railway project while Greek olive oil waste is becoming organic fertiliser. The Hungarians are adopting more environmentally friendly disposal methods for their pickling acid.

Sustainable water management covers a third of the EU budget, with economic impacts taking the next quarter for clean technology and sustainable tourism projects. €4.4 million is being allocated to projects looking at eco-design, eco-labelling and green products. Selecting a hundred projects from the 500 proposals was not an easy task, but the European Commission was able to approve, and rank, projects according to their merit.

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