ReBlend develops textiles and textile products made from textiles that otherwise end up in incineration. Textiles made from recycled fibres offer a positive alternative for designers and companies. In collaboration with waste collectors, producers, designers, makers and visionaries, ReBlend organises a full supply chain from start to finish to accelerate a new ecosystem for circular textiles.
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Niaga® and its partner future-proof everyday products by making sure materials don’t have to end up as waste. Ever. Niaga designs producted to be used again. It makes them healthier and recyclable.
“Staramaki” is a straw made of wheat. It is produced by a social cooperative KoinSep in Kilkis, northern Greece. The most widely produced local product wheat is used to create a viable eco-friendly alternative to single use plastic straws. At the same time they create employment opportunities and promote social cohesion, as well as local and regional development.
In 2020, the Czech bank ČSOB, in cooperation with IDEMIA, launched an eco-friendly recycled card to reduce the amount of virgin plastic which ends up in rubbish bins. By opting for IDEMIA’s eco-friendly product, ČSOB is the first bank in the Czech Republic to take a significant step towards addressing this ecological burden.
CIRAA is a company active in promoting circular economy principles and helping businesses ensure that their plans and projects abide by those principles.
The Flemish municipality of Sint-Amands has transformed an old shoe factory into the unique and sustainable multifunctional de Nestel community centre where residents and local associations can feel at home.
RE-sign has marketed an app matching up supply and demand for reclaimed construction materials.
The NoVAqua project found that the countless thousands of litres of waste water thrown away by the fish processing industry was essentially nutritious stock which can be put to better use than just pouring it down the drain...
Finnish energy company Fortum had developed a circular renewable energy service, dubbed HorsePower, that used recycled materials to provide a bedding management service for stable-owners, as well as using manure for energy.
EcoBirdy has come up with a way to recycle mixed plastics, and then uses the resulting material to make recyclable children's furniture.
More and more plastic products are being labelled as compostable, biodegradable, oxo-degradable or bio-based. However, plastics made from bio-based materials are not necessarily compostable or biodegradable. Moreover, plastics that do biodegrade can be made from fossil fuel-based materials.
What is the difference between compostable and biodegradable? What happens to biodegradable and compostable plastics when they are littered? Can citizens compost such products in their own gardens? Can such plastics be recycled?
The brochure "From Linear to Circular in the Textile and Apparel Industries - Let’s make the circular shift together" aims to give a push towards a circular textile industry. Circular economy strategies and business models have the potential to offer solutions for the textile industry:
- use renewable sources
- phase out dangerous substances
- increase utilisation and
- radically improve reuse and recycling.
The brochure highlights Dutch circular frontrunners that make a change - just a fraction of the initiatives, organisations and technologies available. Only the most inspiring examples have been selected, with a potential to be upscaled and implemented in other parts of the world, hoping that they will also inspire and encourage others to collaborate and make a change.
Bio-waste – mainly food and garden waste – is a key waste stream with a high potential for contributing to a more circular economy.
This European Environmental Agency Report provides an overview of bio-waste generation, prevention, collection, and treatment in Europe.
Bio-waste accounts for more than 34 % of the municipal solid waste. Many countries in Europe are far from capturing bio-waste's full potential. Food waste accounts for nearly 60 % of all bio-waste from households and similar sources. Preventing it is felt as an ethical responsibility for society.
Composting (with oxygen) and anaerobic digestion (without) are currently the two most widely applied treatment techniques. The latter generates biogas - renewable energy - and tends to deliver higher environmental benefits.
The lack of a commonly accepted, inclusive definition of and methodology for measuring circularity hinder the transition to a more circular economy (CE). These two factors obstruct the development of and access to dedicated or non-dedicated finance, credit risk assessment and the transferability and replicability of projects and investments across regions and jurisdictions.
The Expert Group on Circular Economy Financing proposes a sector agnostic CE categorisation system that defines categories of activities substantially contributing to a CE. Guidelines with an indicative list of typical investments/projects for each CE category are included.
Many European countries still lack a national strategic roadmap for transposing the European directives at national level.
Some outstanding issues include the need to have clearer operational guidelines for the adoption of circular models and metrics for monitoring the transition towards circular models.
This study has been prepared in collaboration with Enel and with the scientific contribution of Enel Foundation. It unfolds in three main parts:
- State-of-the-art of Circular Economy in the European Union
- An innovative assessment model for socio-economic and environmental benefits of Circular Economy in the EU, with a focus on Italy, Romania, and Spain
- Policy proposals for successfully managing the transition from a linear to a circular world
This research reviews the long history and diversity of circularity thinking to develop a comprehensive timeline, which identifies and conceptually classifies 72 different CE-related concepts from the Global North and South alike (such as industrial ecology, Gandhian and steady-state economics, buen vivir, doughnut economics, degrowth).
In November 2020 the paper was completed with an interactive timeline that helps researchers and practitioners better situate and navigate the concept of circular economy, both in its rich historical origins and in its theoretical diversity. It thus fosters a cross-pollination of concepts and ideas which can help address the complex socio-ecological challenges of the 21st century.
To learn more about this timeline, please click here.
The European Manufacturers of Electrical Machines and Power Electronics are committed to Circular Economy
The European Committee of Manufacturers of Electrical Machines and Power Electronics (CEMEP) supports the development towards a circular economy (CE), thus actively contributing to more sustainable manufacturing and responsible consumption. This industrial sector follows a business-to-business market model, delivering products for a wide number of economic sectors and applications.
Its three main product groups – electric motors, variable speed drives and uninterruptable power systems – show differences and similarities when it comes to material efficiency, hence the need for sector- or product-specific approaches when pursuing CE.
This position paper describes the CE status of the CEMEP industries and the way forward towards more circularity.
This document is the result of the active involvement of the Interreg MED Green Growth community, together with its projects.
To make circular economy (CE) simpler, more efficient and more competitive, it is suggested to take a holistic, integrated and cooperative approach, by considering all phases in which CE is structured, all levels (from local to European) and all stakeholders involved in the implementation of CE models.
The policy recommendations proposed in the document are structured into six main areas:
- Investments and access to finance
- Technological infrastructure
- Labour market and employment
- Awareness and knowledge
- Cooperation among stakeholders and technology transfer
- Cross-cutting issues.
The Capital Region of Denmark is committed to becoming a fossil-free and circular region by 2050. Inter alia, this entails achieving an 80% recycling rate for the region’s waste by 2035, and growing green business activities by 8% by 2025. New forms of cooperation and dialogues between stakeholders are necessary to reach these goals.
Through a three-year public-private partnership, the Region and its partners aim to pave the way for greater collaboration between the waste sector and the business community. Metabolic collaborated with the Region to undertake a material flow analysis and an environmental assessment of the Region’s waste system, and to identify impact hotspots and circular opportunities.
The fourth Thematic Working Group (TWG) set up by Interreg MED's Green Growth community implemented and assessed solutions to promote competitiveness and innovation of Mediterranean SMEs in a circular economy.
The TWG's White Paper addresses the following issues:
- smart specialisation, public-private partnerships and innovative funding;
- lack of effective clusters for companies and stakeholders to connect, work together and transfer innovations;
- limited access of SMEs to tools, services and funds driving innovation;
- limited consumer awareness and interest in “green” and “circular” products and services.
Enea has designed the first Italian industrial symbiosis platform, as a tool to facilitate the process.
The ENEA methodology is based on a "horizontal" network approach, with the aim of creating synergies and closing the loop between supply and demand for various resources.
The Platform is based on:
- an expert structure that identifies possible solutions of industrial symbiosis
- a complex information structure, also georeferenced, which describes the territory, its structures, the interlocutors and available resources
- a network that connects different interlocutors
- a web interface.
Among other activities and services, Symbiosis is able to send to to each company individual reports containing information on potential matches of interest. It is also developing operating manuals for industrial symbiosis.
The Circular Economy Foundation (FEC) is a private, Iberian ambit foundation working in areas related to circular economy, sustainability, resource use and environment.
FEC has launched PIPEC, a multi-participant Iberian platform (Spain, Portugal and Andorra) whose aim is promoting the Circular Economy and its potential advantages such as sustainable development, eco-competitiveness of companies, new proximity employment, reduction of dependence on raw materials, energy and material efficiency, reduction of the ecological footprint, promotion of local and quality production, prevention and minimization of waste, protection of natural capital, increased ecological resilience and the reduction of carbon emissions.
FEC has launched this platform in order to involve all actors in the life cycle (or value chains), with the aim of discussing the possible orientations and co-build innovative economic initiatives. PIPEC is structured in: "Multiparticipant" Working Groups and Sectorial Platforms.
- an international network of over 3500 circular economy professionals and organizations from over 100 countries.
- non-for-profit, global and open to anyone willing to join the club for free.
The CEC vision: opening a new era where all cities worldwide function through a circular model, setting the end of an age of waste.
- bring the circular economy to cities worldwide by building strong local networks to design and implement circular local strategies; embed the circular economy in the education system; and
- help circular solutions scale.
- the CEC Organizers program: for circular leaders to bring the circular economy to live in their cities, universities, hubs and companies;
- the CEC Mentors program: for members with expert skills to give free advice to the most promising circular talent; and
- the CEC Global events: for members to ccoperate to the solution of local and global challenges.
Cirkelstad is a national platform connecting private entrepreneurs and policy-makers who are delivering the transition to a circular economy in pioneering Dutch cities. By facilitating their networking, the platform enables greater impact by spreading best practice.
In addition to a comprehensive database of good practice, research and policy guidelines to inspire practicioners, the Cirkelstad Academie also provides occassional trainings and provides advisory services to aspiring circular projects in Utrecht and Amsterdam.
To learn more about this hands-on network and connect with the 'spinners' coordinating activities in each city, visit the platform here.
The Polyolefin Circular Economy Platform (PCEP) is a European joint industry value chain initiative, founded by two plastics industry associations (EuPC and PlasticsEurope) in order to advance the circular economy by increasing the reuse and recycling of polyolefin-based products and the use of recyclates as raw material.
Polyofelins are the most widely used family of plastics. They are present in every day life and are fully recyclable. Their main products are high, low and linear low density polyethylene (HDPE, LDPE, LLDPE) and polypropylene (PP). Polyethylene (PE) and PP represent close to 50% of the total European plastic production and are largely utilized in various plastic applications.
PCEP recognises that a business-as-usual approach will not enable the proposed challenging target of 55% plastic packaging "preparing for re-use and recycling” by 2025, as outlined in the European Commission’s Circular Economy Package, so the platform will be working for a 5-10 year horizon based on effective, science-based solutions. It will initially focus on polyolefin-based packaging as it represents the application segment where highest quantities of valuable recycled raw materials can be generated.
PCEP is developing activities in the following areas of work:
- Development of packaging design guidelines and assessment.
- Innovation to increase the recyclability of flexible and rigid packaging.
- EU-wide quality standards for sorted plastics, harmonisation of test methods for recycled plastic materials and certification of plastic recycling operations.
- Innovation & development of end-use markets to encourage demand for recycled plastics.
- Stimulating innovation to improve mechanical recycling, conversion technologies and reuse.
- Driving the R&D of new technologies to convert non-mechanically recyclable plastics into feedstock for the production of new materials.
#gocircularnow (GCN) is a consumer-focused campaign to advance the transition to a circular economy. It encourages a more sustainable way of living and consuming that’s realistic, affordable and simple to incorporate.
As part of this movement, GCN provides consumers with the information and means needed to ask their favourite brands to #gocircularnow, while providing clarity on the many different ways in which circularity can be of benefit to their daily lives.
GCN also promotes makers currently operating within the structures of circular production, bringing them to the attention of consumers so they can be seen as viable alternatives to non-circular brands.
Its mix of engaging content and opinion communicates in ways that take the conversation around sustainability out of its current ‘eco-bubble’, connecting with everyday realities to make conscious consumption the new normal.
MaterialDistrict is a unique platform for innovative materials which empowers global innovation by match-making material needs with material solutions in the name of circularity. R&D and design professionals of all industrial sectors use this platform to discover new material solutions daily via MaterialDistrict's independent collection of materials, annually at MaterialDistrict Rotterdam and periodically throughout the year with travelling MaterialDistrict Expo, MaterialDistrict Talks and MaterialDistrict Pop-Up events.
C-SERVEES is a network aiming at activating Circular Services in the Electric and Electronic Sector through the development, testing, validation and transfer of new circular economic business models based on systemic eco-innovative services that include:
- eco-leasing of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE),
- product customization,
- improved management of waste of electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE),
- and ICT services to support the other eco-services.
ICT tools (relying on QR codes) will be developed as the driver of the proposed eco-innovative services to take full advantage of the potential and synergies of two major revolutions of our time: the circular economy and the Industry 4.0.
C-SERVEES will contribute to transform the E&E sector into circular and 4.0, raising new opportunities for end-users (such as their involvement in design or the access to a product as a service) and for social and solidarity economy (conducted by NGOs employing people at risk of social exclusion to repair and prepare WEEE for re-use). The techno-economic, environmental and social viability of the new circular economy business models will be validated through demonstrations dealing with four target products: washing machines, toner cartridges, telecom equipment and TVs.
The African Circular Economy Network (ACEN) is a registered Non-Profit Organisation in South Africa (195-590 NPO).
Its vision is to build a restorative African economy that generates well-being and prosperity inclusive of all its people, through new forms of economic production and consumption which maintain and regenerate its environmental resources.
The research activities of the ACEN will investigate issues, document findings relevant for the African context and its needs. Researchers will be drawn from ACEN members, academics and other stakeholder partners across Africa, but also Europe, Asia or America, where needed.
Training and Awareness
The priority of ACEN is to raise awareness and undertake training amongst key sectors of the African economy: public (government, educational institutions), private (corporates & SMEs), and civil society (non-governmental organisations) to promote the concept, benefits, principles and practice of the Circular Economy.
Networking and Events
ACEN believes that solutions to current challenges require inter-disciplinary skills, multiple stakeholder involvement and regional, African as well as international partnerships. It therefore aims to create platforms where specialists can collaborate to exchange ideas, experiences and solutions. ACEN has hosted several stakeholder engagements to date to enable a global reach. Members from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (UK), Pavia University (Italy), the South African/European Union Partnership (South Africa), the World Economic Forum (Switzerland) and Green Alliance (UK), to name a few, have joined the discussion.
ACEN currently disseminates and shares knowledge about the circular economy through LinkedIn and Facebook, and in the future, will also use other online channels to develop a strong base of knowledge and information and extend its reach throughout South Africa and Africa.
The network is active in over 24 countries. In 2017 it co-organised the first Circular Economy Conference in Africa with the European Union and the South African Government (World Economic Forum Africa, Durban). It is engaged with the EU to discuss approaches on ways to be inspired by the African continent and enable more circular strategies (less negative impact), and with training, research and knowledge sharing with corporate and universities.
On 18 May 2021, AIMPLAS will hold an online workshop on innovative uses of CO2 for industry. The event is geared to companies committed to recovering CO2 and will present existing innovations in the field of CO2 transformation and new developments in CO2 use.
The Re-Use conference on 19 May will focus on the shift towards the circular economy in the textile sector. There will be exciting contributions on textiles and the circular economy from speakers such as Dr Willi Haas. The conference will be accompanied by the Theater im Bahnhof. Please note that the conference will be in German!
The conference on "Young Researchers’ Innovative Ideas: Science - Start-Ups - Industry" will be held on 27-28 May 2021. The organisers are inviting young researchers and PhD students to prepare presentations about innovative solutions (social, organisational, marketing, product and process-related) relevant to businesses.
Save the Date for FEAD's online event which is a registered EU Green Week 2021 Partner Event:
Waste management: combining the circular economy with the zero-pollution ambition
Tuesday 1 June 2021 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. CEST
This is the registration for a general training on Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) method. The webinar will take place on 27 May 2021, from 14:00 to 16:00 CEST.
How do data and data-based solutions support the success of circular businesses?
Join SITRA to find it out on 12 May at 9:30-11:30 CEST.
The Recycling Expo and Conference “eREC” on 3-8 May 2021 is a virtual platform for the recycling industry that facilitates the national and international exchange between companies and customers. Companies can use this platform to present themselves, their newest products, and innovations, and enjoy the advantages of online networking.
As the Horizon 2020 research programme becomes Horizon Europe, what better time to witness how great ideas turned into real projects? LOOPS will be the opportunity to show the resulting cutting-edge research, and the change it can bring to our communities. The 22 April episode will focus on smart and circular composite materials.
For the occasion of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the EU, from January to June 2021, CECOLAB (Portuguese COLAB for the CIRCULAR ECONOMY) was invited by the Portuguese Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education to organize an International Conference on circular economy on 20-21 April 2021.
Join Recyclers’ Talks #2 on 4 May to discuss what is needed to achieve a true circularity in textiles while lowering the impacts on the environment & climate and find out how different players in the textiles chain can contribute to this goal.
The Sustainable products initiative, which will revise the Ecodesign Directive and propose additional legislative measures as appropriate, aims to make products placed on the EU market more sustainable. You are welcome to give your feedback on it until 2 November 2020.
The EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste publishes a monthly newsletter to help Platform members stay connected, inform all interested stakeholders about Platform members’ activities and inspire further action in food loss and waste prevention.
The 5th Circular Change Conference, one of key European meeting points of circular economy changemakers, was transformed this year into a “virtual roadshow” consisting of 5 events based on 5 partnerships
We are launching a Call for Expression of Interest for the new mandate of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform Conference (ECESP), that will run from November 2020 to May 2022, open to stakeholders who wish to take part in this unique European initiative.
A new project addressing the systemic complexities of the Circular Economy is being submitted as a Marie Curie (MSCA) post doc proposal. As these aspects build upon multi-stakeholder knowledge and insights, you are kindly invited to join the project community and collaborate.
The European Commission has launched the public consultation on the green claims initiative. It will be open until 3 December 2020.
The European project DigiCirc aims to boost the circular economy using digital tools by supporting very innovative SMEs. In order to define the current challenges of a Circular City, DigiCirc is collecting the testimonies of different key actors of the market (local authorities, companies, citizens, etc.) through a questionnaire.
AIMPLAS employee is the only qualified auditor in Spain for new certification launched by Recyclass to guarantee traceability of recycled content.
On 23 July 2020, Chile, The Netherlands, and Slovenia are again joining forces to create a circular future, discussing how to achieve sustainable recovery in Chile and what is the role of the circular economy.
Last 20 July, the European Commission opened a roadmap for feedback for the "Legislative proposal on substantial green claims". The roadmap is open until 31 August. The outcome will serve for further development and fine-tuning of the initiative.