Foto: Boyka Todorova

Circular Economy in Tromsø

Have you heard about sharing economy or circular economy? If these do not sound familiar, think about Uber, AirBNB, or if you live in Tromsø, about Remiks second-hand shop, TURBO, Fretex. The circular economy influences people more and more, therefore it also raises interest among people. A proof for that is the amount of attendees that came to the public library in Tromsø on Wednesday, 21st September to the Frokostseminar Delingsøkonomi (Breakfast seminar on Circular Economy).

Firstly, a professor Ove Jacobsen from the Nord Universitet in Bodø told the audience about changes concerning environmental issues that have already started to take place in economy. He appealed to the audience and made people such as politicians and economists realize that there is a need for fundamental changes, and conveyed the idea of circularity in our economy systems, referring to various famous minds in history (i.e. Adam Smith, Leonardo da Vinci). This circularity is to be found in nature around us. For example, take a look at any place that is untouched by humans – you will not find a single waste dump there because nature always finds a way to make every output into something new. The more territories humans occupy, the more waste can be found everywhere. We have not yet succeeded in finding solutions that would adapt this natural system to our human actions so far.


However, professor Jacobsen does not mean to frighten the audience and that there is nothing to do about the issues. In fact, he states that we live in a time in which changes are only starting to take place. Still, there is a lot to learn from nature, and we should start learning from it instead of dominating it by using natural resources and not recycling them.  In order to know how to propel the circular economy, we should finally realize that everything we recycle will eventually come back to us in another forms, and keep this circulation.

Øivind Østbø, a representative of a local waste management, also told the audience about the solutions Remiks is working on in order to decrease the amount of unrecyclable waste in Tromsø. This year, 38% of local waste was recycled. The company is planning to raise this amount up to 56% by finding more effective ways to collect waste and educate people about the importance of waste management. Moreover, Remiks intends to establish a recycle spot on the first floor of a building where a second-hand store is located (see Info Box for more information), a café where meals made of leftovers will be served, and a flea market.

Framtiden´s representative Svein Gunnar Karlstrøm approved of the results that the circular approach has achieved in Tromsø. He referred to the local library, which is a perfect example of shared property, housing shared media, the local cinema and the TURBO Outdoor Shop. He also mentioned the opportunity of introducing carsharing industry in the city and said that Framtiden is working on opening a bicycle rental service for Tromsø´s citizens. The company also organizes second-hand markets in Tromsø every month.


After their presentations the three speakers answered questions from the audience and moved on to further discussions about how to make the public more aware of current changes within the circular economy and how to make politicians invest in it. A local politician from the Labour Party told the audience that they are making progress on it, yet admitted that they lack good solutions. She encouraged the audience to participate and help find answers to the known issues.

Get involved, change your way of thinking, and reduce your consumption so that there is no unnecessary waste!

Fact Box:

These places help you save not only some money, but our planet as well:

  • TURBO – Lending Outdoor Equipment (located in the library/cinema building);
  • Miljøbutikken – Second-Hand Shop (Ringveien 180);
  • NLM Gjenbruk – Second-Hand Shop in the centre (Søndre Tollbodgate 3A);
  • Fretex Tromsø (Strandgata 5);
  • Remiks Miljøpark – Return rubbish that does not fit into colourful bags (Ringveien 180);
  • hanging-clothes

What can you do to reduce your consumption?

  • shop in second-hand shops (reusing things = less waste);
  • don´t throw away old clothes, furniture, etc. – bring them to second-hand shops if they are still usable;
  • manage your home waste!
  • share things – the more you share, the less has to be purchased, produced and ultimately thrown away;

Written by Johanna Schirra