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Exhibition at the Palais des Nations showcases how wood-based materials offer solutions for recycling

You want to order online but hate the non-recyclable packaging material used in e-commerce in addition to cardboard? You are a restaurant owner and want to cut down on the dozens of Styrofoam boxes that your fish is delivered in every day? You are thinking of building a house but worry about the carbon emissions linked to using concrete and steel?

It can seem difficult to find adequate alternatives for these seemingly ubiquitous, carbon-intensive materials but alternatives do exist. Recyclable packaging and wood-based construction materials exist and are ready to be used on a much bigger scale.

The exhibition “Forests and the Circular Economy. A future without plastics”, opening today   at the Palais des Nations in Geneva shows that the wood sector offers available products made of renewable and sustainably sourced raw material that can offer solutions to global challenges as part of a circular economy.

Opening the exhibition, UNECE Executive Secretary Olga Algayerova, recalled that “wood-based industries have a significant capacity of recycling that has been strongly imbedded in their operation for decades. Forests also are powerful actors in climate change mitigation”.

The use of wood-based products instead of carbon-intensive materials such as plastics, steel, and concrete, for every-day objects and construction would contribute to mitigating climate change, which harms forests, thus diminishing their ability to absorb carbon emissions, which in turn accelerates climate change. In recent years forests have suffered from increased storms, beetle infestations, and wild fires that are likely to have been caused by climate-change related weather events such as heat waves.

The exhibition will be on  show from 4 to 15 November 2019 at the Salle des Pas Perdus of the Palais des Nations as part of the European Forest Week held in conjunction with Forêt2019, the joint session of the UNECE Committee on Forests and the Forest Industry and the FAO European Forestry Commission.

The exhibition was organised by the UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section in cooperation with the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), and Uusi puu – the New Wood Project, a network of Finnish organizations aimed at promoting a wood-based bioeconomy. Comprising more than 20 organizations ranging from forest owners and small and large companies to research institutions, the network aims at highlighting new and existing wood-based products and their impact on society.

The  exhibition also features a booth from the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Convention (BRS), which shows concrete ways of managing chemicals and waste to protect human health and the environment, thus paving the way for a safer future.


Flyer of the exhibit:


European Forest Week:




Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Convention (BRS):