In May 2019, the Belgium-based fruit and vegetable cutting business Allgro set up its own water plant. The facility turns wastewater into drinking water, thereby slashing the food company’s mains water consumption.
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Veolia and Knauf have established a partnership to collect, process and transform waste glass into mineral wool for use as an insultating material.
Charity shops are the most basic form of circular economy-driven supply chains: people donate unwanted items rather than throwing them away so that they can be put to use by someone else. La Poubelle is a variation on the theme of charity shops: it's a goods bank tailored specifically to the needs of people facing hard times.
ALBA Group is a major company active in recycling, environmental services and the supply of raw materials. It has come up with a method for producing plastic using secondary raw materials.
Upcycling is a straightforward way to reuse items which would otherwise be considered waste. Lucirmás has found a way to upcycle bottles.
Peecycle aims to reduce the production and import of fertilisers from all over the world while making more efficient use of an inexhaustible source of minerals which is currently viewed as waste: urine!
In cooperation with VA Syd, the City of Malmö has established a pilot project in which kitchen waste disposers have been installed as an easy-to-manage method of dealing with food waste.
Each of the companies in the Envien Group produces a biofuel component, with waste used for specific purposes, such as manufacturing pelleted animal feed or as a co-substrate for biogas production.
Entocycle upcycles local food waste to feed black soldier fly larvae, which grow very fast and become protein-rich animal feed.
The Ressourcerie Namuroise in Belgium provides collection and processing services for bulky household waste, while also helping people with scant marketable skills to break into the labour market. In 2017, the cooperative established a partnership with Namur's waste management authority, which enabled municipalities to outsource the collection of bulky items with a view to their reuse.
This working paper, prepared by the ILO, looks at the future of work in textiles, clothing, leather and footwear (TCLF) industries.
It explores how technological advances, climate change, globalisation and changing demographics will shape these industries. It then analyses how these challenges and opportunities will impact decent work, and looks at the future of TCLF production in three categories of countries (least developed, middle income and high income). It concludes that at the present rate, the TCLF industries will not move to a circular economy approach for years.
The EU Ecolabel is the official European Union label for environmental excellence.
It is awarded to sustainably-designed products, thereby encouraging innovation, and contributing to the EU’s goal of climate neutrality by 2050 and to the circular economy.
Industry can use the EU Ecolabel to offer consumers an eco-friendly alternative to conventional products and help them lower their daily environmental impact.
Ambitious criteria have been set, focusing on the main environmental impacts generated over the lifecycle of these products. This ensures that EU Ecolabel hard covering products are among the best on the market in terms of environmental performance.
Access the full list of EU Ecolabel criteria for hard coverings products here.
Circular Economy Report 2021 in Italy - Focus on the role of circular economy in the transition to climate neutrality
The Third Circular Economy Report (2021) by the Circular Economy Network and ENEA, besides providing the updated analysis on circular economy in Italy as compared to the main EU countries, includes a focus on the role of circular economy in the transition towards climate neutrality, as well as an update on the most important measures implemented at the national and European levels.
This report updates the analysis on the state of circular economy in Italy, assessing the results achieved in the areas of production, consumption, circular waste management, as well as investments and employment in recycling, repairing and reuse, with a comparison among the main economies in the EU: Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and Poland.
To read the report in full (in Italian), please click here.
Next Steps: Tackling Plastic Litter - A Nudging Strategy for Reducing Consumption of Single‑Use Disposable Cups
In this report, nudging is explored as a complement to traditional policies (regulation, economic incentives and information campaigns) to reduce the use of single-use plastics. Behavioural insights are used to develop different options to nudge consumer preferences from single-use cups to more sustainable alternatives.
Based on careful reviews and analysis of previous nudging projects, three green nudges are proposed to catalyze this shift.
This report examines the relevant literature on behaviour change, psychology and environmental issues to learn which strategies can be effective – and which might be counterproductive – when it comes to shifting people’s actions around plastic.
The aim is to radically alter patterns of consumption and production so that Sweden becomes the world’s first fossil-fuel free welfare state. The use of plastic will play an important part in the strategy.
From the review of scholarly articles, media reports and surveys of the public, a number of recommendations emerge that can be put to use by anyone creating a campaign about plastic use.
Industry faces major challenges with regard to handling the transition to an economy with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. As yet, we are far from fully understanding the potential wider environmental impacts of this transformation. Furthermore, we are largely unaware of the untapped potential of industrial facilities in sectors covered by the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) to contribute to the circular economy.
The study aimed to provide an initial overview of the potential wider environmental impacts of industry's transition within the scope of the IED to a low carbon economy, and to gain a better understanding of how IED facilities could contribute to a circular economy.
The Circular Economy and Society Hub of Utrecht University has prepared a white paper analysing the key strengths and weaknesses of the way in which Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is organised in the Netherlands. Based on this analysis, it then sets out three pathways for improving EPR with a view to enabling it to contribute to the circular economy goals:
- Optimising EPR as an instrument for post-user circularity
- Re-designing EPR as an instrument for circular economy transformations
- Beyond EPR: other means of support.
Across the world, cluster organisations have taken a leading role in the green transition. Cluster Excellence Denmark recently released a new e-book titled Towards a New Greener Normal – How Clusters are Dealing with Circular Transition in Times of COVID-19, exploring how this work has continued despite the current pandemic.
The e-book contains informative insights into how clusters are integrating the green transition and digitalisation, leading to brand new and innovative solutions with market potential.
Relevance of Biodegradable and Compostable Consumer Plastic Products and Packaging in a Circular Economy
Relevance of biodegradable and compostable consumer plastic products and packaging in a circular economy
In 2015, the European Commission adopted the Circular Economy Action Plan to help stimulate the transition towards circular economy. The growing number of plastic products and packaging marketed as ‘biodegradable’ or ‘(home) compostable’ raises the question of the extent to which biodegradability and compostability of plastic is beneficial in the context of the transition towards a circular economy.
The study assesses this question, identifying conditions in which (home) compostability of products could be of added value, compared to reuse and other forms of recovery. The results indicate weak evidence in favour of beneficial agronomics associated with compostable plastic material. Choices of materials for products and packaging should prioritise recyclability over compostability.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA) has issued a report on how to make the textile sector more sustainable. It provides proposals for a more resource-efficient and smart textile sector, covering topics such as challenges and definitions of solutions towards a smarter sector. It suggests, for instance, to introduce tax relief programmes and industrial parks for resource-efficient textile production.
This report is one of several sector reports from IVA project Resource Effectiveness and Circular Economy (ReCE). The purpose is to make Sweden more competitive in a future with finite resources in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
The project has established platforms for dialogue between actors in the public and private sectors.
Circwaste is a 7-year LIFE IP project that promotes efficient use of material flows, waste prevention and new waste and resource management concepts. It is coordinated by the Circular Economy Service Centre established by the Finnish Environment Institute.
The Service Centre provides regional operators with expert support and disseminates information on good practices in the context of the circular economy. It distributes information on material-efficient public procurement, harmful substances, establishing industrial symbioses and the possibilities of funding new initiatives. In particular, it supports regional working groups and a select number of pioneering municipalities in preparing their own circular economy roadmaps, which should be adopted by late 2019.
A regional cooperation network provides support and expert assistance for developing the circular economy and implementing the national waste plan in Southwest Finland, Central Finland, South Karelia and North Karelia.
The circwaste.fi portal (in English), which distributes information on national good practices in circular economy, similar to 'Good news from Finland', is an abridged version of the Finnish-language service materiaalitkiertoon.fi.
To learn more about circwaste activities watch the video below:
The Swedish Life Cycle Center is an initiative by the Swedish Energy Agency, hosted by Chalmers University of Technology, which strengthens collaboration and engages more organizations to apply a life cyle perspective in Sweden.
The platform, designed for academia, industry, research institutes and government agencies, has been active for 20+ years, counts 14 partners and is supported by 7 government agencies. In 2018, it organized 80 meetings for 370 lifecycle professionals.
The lifecycle center accomplishes its objectives with partnerships for several activities such as: network conferences, seminars, webinars, education, initiating research projects, collaboration and communication activities.
The Circular Economy Academy is a free mentoring and support programme, set up by the Rediscovery Centre, which is the National Centre for the Circular Economy in Ireland. The programme assists social enterprises and community organisations in any part of Ireland to move their activities towards sustainability and embrace the circular economy.
The Academy provides business support services built on the Rediscovery Centre’s vast knowledge of social enterprise development and design thinking concepts. The service includes advice for start-up, circular business planning, development, funding, diversification, and training. The Academy also supports organisations to replicate the Rediscovery Centre’s successful paint, furniture, fashion and furniture reuse initiatives.
Each service is tailored to suit the needs of the participating organisation. The Academy also offers incubation and regional clinics.
State of Green is a not-for-profit, public-private partnership from Denmark. It facilitates relations with international stakeholders and is a one-point entry to more than 500 leading Danish players working to drive the global transition to a sustainable, low-carbon, resource-efficient society.
As "Moving towards a circular economy" is one of the network's four global challenges, State of Green is highly active in communicating Denmark's policy and business leadership in this field. Since inception, the platform has:
The UK Circular Plastics Network (UKCPN) brings together diverse users of plastic products to reduce plastic waste entering the environment through a programme of networking and knowledge-sharing events, and related support activities.
- Eliminating the volume of plastic waste arising from within the UK.
- Raising awareness and sharing best practice to improve the rate of UK plastic recycling.
- Sharing best practices to reduce confusion among citizens and highlighting user-centred design.
- Showcasing innovation focused on reducing the amount of plastic ending up in the environment.
With support from UK Research and Innovation, UKCPN forms part of the Plastics Research Innovation Fund (PRIF), which is engaging Britain’s best scientists and innovators to help move the country towards more circular economic and sustainable approaches to plastics.
The two-year programme brings together those with solutions to the problem and facilitates circular supply chain engagement with those solutions. The UKPCN will host more than 12 events during this period and launch a website for the community to interact directly, while also publishing a directory of companies active in this sector as a landscape map accessible to all members.
UKCPN also has signed up as an engagement partner of the UK Plastics Pact.
The Network Economia Circolare (Circular Economy Network) is a multi-stakeholder platform hosted by the Fondazione per lo sviluppo sostenibile (Sustainable Develpoment Foundation) to promote the Italian circular economy.
A mix of professional and technical associations, innovative companies and civil society organisations promote the network, which is open to all companies that intend to share these goals by taking concrete actions and commitments. As of 2019, the network counts 13 promoters and a couple dozen members.
The Network Economia Circulare focuses on three core activities:
- yearly conference on the circular economy
- annual report outlining the state of the circular economy
- Sustainable Development Prize for journalists and creatives
Circular Oslo promotes multi-stakeholder collaboration to accelerate the circular transition in the Oslo Region by sharing knowledge and expertise for reduced material consumption, while supporting regional activities having positive social, economic and environmental impact. To achieve this, Circular Oslo:
- encourages and inspires by identifying and highlighting municipalities, organizations, projects and initiatives that implement circular solutions and innovative business models
- develops and provides access to tools, workshops, and educational resources for public entities, communities, NGOs, businesses, entrepreneurs, and students to better understand and implement circular solutions
- collaborates with similar initiatives whose values and mission align
- strengthens links with other regions, both nationally and internationally.
In 2019, Circular Oslo has begun mapping circular economy policy actions from the Nordic region and wider Europe to support the development of a national CE strategy for Norway.
The Circular Economy Initiative Deutschland (CEID) was founded in 2019 on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research to promote Germany's transformation into a circular economy (CE) through a multi-stakeholder approach. It aims to develop a joint target vision+concrete plan on how to foster this transformation. CEID also stimulates practical implementation in the form of collaborative projects.
CEID is structured in 3 working groups (WG) and based on a life-cycle approach: the Circular Business Models WG and the Packaging and Traction Batteries WGs, whose insights will serve as a basis for recommendations for action (politics, business and science) to be summarised in the Circular Economy Roadmap for Germany by 2021.
Circular Economy Transition aims to accelerate the transition of Switzerland to a Circular Economy. The programme operates in 5 Swiss cities: Basel, Bern, Geneva, Lausanne and Zurich.
In close collaboration with all Impact Hubs throughout Switzerland, sanu durabilitas and support of the MAVA foundation, this initiative will contribute to drive the new paradigm for the future of business, policy making and society through 4 main pillars:
- project & startup incubator
- community events
- business lab for corporates & SMEs
- research & policy recommendations
The Policy Hub (founded in 2019) unites the apparel and footwear industry to speak in one voice and propose policies that accelerate circular practices. It consists of five partner organisations representing more than 500 stakeholders:
- Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC)
- Global Fashion Agenda (GFA)
- Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry (FESI)
- Textiles Exchange (TE)
- Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC)
The Policy Hub’s vision is to encourage an ambitious policy framework to accelerate the transformation of the apparel and footwear industry towards circularity. It focuses on:
- guiding the industry towards circularity
- educating the industry and the policy makers
- cooperating and facilitating policy discussions.
As the Horizon 2020 research programme becomes Horizon Europe, now is the time to see how great ideas have turned into real projects.
LOOPS is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the cutting-edge research carried out and how it can change our communities. For those who are not familiar with it, LOOPS is a live webinar series committed to exploring innovation in the circular economy.
Within its main topic “Economic resetting in the post-Covid period”, the Economic conference of Montenegro 2021, which will take place in Budva on 2-3 December, will try to provide answers relevant to the economic future of the Western Balkans region.
The conference will be organized at the same time as the Central European Initiative CEI Summit of the Heads of Governments as the concluding event of the Montenegrin CEI Presidency. Circular economy framework will be discussed during the panel on “Green Circular Economy – economic recovery and a different culture of living and doing business.”
Since 2020 the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) Circular Economy Community has been engaging with civil society, EU and international stakeholders as well as the EIT network by supporting actions to strengthen and optimise the transition towards a more circular and innovative future.
Join this webinar on 17 December to find out more about EIT's work on the ground and hear the stories of involved actors working with EIT to increase the uptake of circular innovative solutions. Participants will get the opportunity to interact with the panel of experts and find out more about opportunities coming from the EIT Circular Economy Community programme.
Join this Nordic debate, co-hosted by Danish MEP Pernille Weiss and ANE, the Association of Nordic Engineers, on how to ensure that engineers and STEM professionals have the necessary skills for the Circular Economy.
As the Horizon 2020 research programme becomes Horizon Europe, what better time to witness how great ideas turn into real projects? LOOPS is the opportunity to show what cutting-edge research has been produced, and the changes it can bring to our communities. For those who are not familiar with it, LOOPS is a live webinar series committed to spotlighting innovation in the field of circular economy.
German industry commits to the goals of the Paris Agreement. Furthermore, industry is a crucial enabler to reach the SDGs of the Agenda 2030. The circular economy is already offering a wide array of innovative solutions. However, we need international dialogue between stakeholders, the right framework and a global approach if we are to achieve a sustainable world society.
Follow the webinar on Circular Economy: Examining Toolkits To Combat Climate Change on 30 November.
You are welcome to join this workshop on microplastics from tyres on 24 November. It is being organised in connection with a study which will provide the European Commission with environmental, technological and economic analysis and support regarding possible action to reduce the presence of unintentionally released microplastics in the environment, in particular from plastic pellets, synthetic textiles and automotive tyres.
This week is European Week for Waste Reduction! A celebration of community initiatives driving circular economic action.
The International Seminar on Plastics Recycling organised by Aimplas will focus on the current challenges and opportunities related to managing and recycling plastic waste. It will also raise awareness about ongoing initiatives designed to scale up efforts to achieve the objectives set.
The event "Circular Economy - Governance and Scale: Europe & Latin America and the Caribbean in conversation about circular transition", co-organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia, the EU-LAC Foundation, Exchange 4 Brasil, Circular Change and the Brazilian Center for International Relations takes place on 22 and 23 November 2021. It offers a platform for business leaders from selected sectors to share their experience and expertise as well as engage in the dialogue about openings for new circular partnerships.
The Commission would like to hear the European citizens' views on the revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive.
The EU Industry Days is Europe's flagship annual event on the industry. The EESC was present with a workshop on circular procurement. The workshop aimed to walk policy- and decision-makers through the circular procurement process and share the daily concerns and massive change in mindset for those involved in procurement.
The RepescaPlas closed its third year with the collection of 4.2 tonnes of marine litter and excellent results in terms of recovery of this litter through chemical recycling. The project has now entered its fourth phase, in which it is expected to strengthen the industrial-scale management and treatment of marine litter.
At 12.00 CET today, watch the launch of the Global Alliance on Circular Economy and Resource Efficiency (GACERE). The alliance brings together governments and relevant networks and organisations to provide a global impetus for initiatives related to the circular economy transition, resource efficiency and sustainable consumption and production, building on efforts being deployed internationally.
In a call for projects the PREVENT Waste Alliance was searching for innovative and sustainable solutions contributing to a circular economy in low- and middle-income countries. The eight selected pilot projects will now be implemented in 15 countries worldwide.
The third Global Bioeconomy Summit (GBS) organised by the International Advisory Council on Global Bioeconomy (IACGB) was held in an interactive and virtual format in November 2020. The conference report and other highlights from the event are now available.
The New European Bauhaus is a creative and interdisciplinary initiative, a space of encounter to design future ways of living, at the crossroads between art, culture, social inclusion, science and technology, in the name of simplicity, functionality and circularity. Its team is planning a series of information sessions to present the opportunities to contribute to the initiative.
Have your say on industry’s role in supporting the circular economy and improving the EU’s environment! Take part in the public consultation on the revision of the European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register. The feedback period closes on 23 March 2021.
Have your say on industry’s role in supporting the circular economy and improving the EU’s environment! Take part in the public consultation on the revision of the Industrial Emissions Directive. The feedback period closes on 23 March 2021.
The call for tender ‘Operation of the Circular Cities and Regions Initiative’s Coordination & Support Office (CCRI-CSO)’ is now open for submission with deadline 1 March 2021.