The main goal of the European SPARTA project, coordinated by AIMPLAS with the participation of TEKNIKER, is to find a new method of recycling and reprocessing composite thermoplastic materials that reduces both the amount of waste generated by the aerospace industry and its environmental impact. Another goal is to design more eco-efficient manufacturing methods.
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Ms. Bay is a handbag brand that creates products made of rescued waste material and following fair-trade manufacturing ethics. The main material in their collection is salmon-leather. This has qualities similar to regular leather but is processed in a more environmental-friendly way and is highly durable.
VICAT produces materials for the construction sector (cement, concrete, aggregates) and believes that the act of building should no longer be disconnected from deconstruction. VICAT has therefore rethought its production systems to include circular economy loops focused on the recovery of local construction & demolition waste.
Calefa is a Finnish company specialized in the reuse of residual heat from industry by redirecting the excess heat from industrial processes either to the customer company’s own use or to the district heating network, instead of wasting it as condensed water or air.
Svenska Retursystem contributes to the circular economy through a reusable transit packaging system. It offers an alternative to the single use transit packaging, such as wooden pallets or cardboard boxes, that often contributes to global waste.
Coolrec has launched a project with two Dutch household goods chains: Blokker and Marskramer. During Tefal Swap Weeks, they offer customers a 20% discount on new Tefal frying pans when they return old ones.
Coolrec makes skating medals from discarded mobile phones in cooperation with KPN and the Royal Dutch Skating Association
Coolrec, KPN and the Royal Dutch Skating Association have initiated a partnership to make skating medals from discarded mobile phones.
Versalis produces plastics, rubbers and chemicals from renewable sources, maintaining plastic products and materials in a closed loop. It has developed the Versalis Revive® range of polymer based products containing recycled plastics, in collaboration with leading Italian companies in the recovery and recycling of post-consumer plastic at European level.
Unverpackt in Kiel opened in February of 2014, becoming Germany’s first packaging-free store. Their goal is to reduce packaging and food waste and at the same time motivate customers to reflect on their own consumer behaviour.
Cork-A-Tex is a project that uses recycled cork to create a yarn with high incorporation of cork. Cork is a 100% natural material made from the oak cork trees which can be recycled after its use as cork stopper in wine bottles.
Britain faces huge economic challenges in its use of labour and scarce natural resources. Although unemployment is now falling, the risk of being out of work is higher in some regions and for some types of occupations. While Britain has significantly increased its resource efficiency in recent years, supply risks in an increasingly competitive global economy mean that we need to get better at using natural resources. A new research study, undertaken jointly by WRAP and the Green Alliance, shows that these challenges are linked: improving our resource efficiency can make a valuable contribution to improving Britain’s labour market situation.
One route to improving resource efficiency is to develop a circular economy. This involves keeping products and resources in use for as long as possible through recovery, reuse, repair, remanufacturing and recycling. In addition to protecting the environment, this potentially offers substantial economic benefits. These include greater economic stability through increased resource security and new business and employment opportunities from an expanding industrial sector. This study focuses on the second aspect and identifies the scope for the growth of the circular economy to offer new jobs.
The study finds that regions where unemployment is higher, such as the North East and the West Midlands, could see the greatest impact on job creation, especially among low to mid-skilled occupations where job losses are projected for the future.
The study finds that if we stay on the current development path for the circular economy in Britain, then by 2030 the sector could:
- require an extra 205,000 jobs;
- reduce unemployment by around 54,000; and
- offset 11% of future losses in skilled employment.
Alternatively, under a transformational scenario where there was a more extensive expansion of circular economy activities, by 2030 the sector could create over half a million jobs, reduce unemployment by over 100,000 and potentially offset around 18% of the expected future losses in skilled employment.
Aimed at defining, identifying and quantifying employment opportunities that are needed in the circular economy, Circle Economy and the Erasmus Research Institute for Happiness Economics (Ehero) have developed a standardised and replicable methodology that measures circular employment in cities around the world.
Once identified, the circular jobs were categorised according to the seven key elements of the circular economy, showing that a large majority are focused on ‘incorporating digital technology’ and ‘preserving and extending what’s already made’. In the past fifteen years, activities that involve ‘repair & maintenance‘ have remained stable in numbers, with the ‘incorporation of digital technologies’ becoming an up and coming job provider.
The Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Utrecht University, the Netherlands and Deloitte have jointly carried out research on barriers to the Circular Economy (CE) in the European Union. For this research, a survey with 153 businesses, 55 government officials and expert interviews with forty-seven thought leaders on the circular economy from businesses, governments, academia and NGOs have been carried out. Two types of barriers emerged as main barriers.
Firstly, there are the cultural barriers of lacking consumer interest and awareness as well as a hesitant company culture. This finding is at odds with claims that the circular economy concept is hyped; rather, the concept may be a niche discussion among sustainable development professionals.
Secondly, market barriers emerged as a core category of barriers, particularly low virgin material prices and high upfront investments costs for circular business models.
Government intervention might be needed to overcome the market barriers which then may also help to overcome cultural barriers. Cultural barriers do also need to be overcome by circular start-ups. And, even though there is still no circular startup that has made global headlines, this may change soon.
Textiles waste is relatively small in terms of weight as compared to other waste streams, but it has a large impact on human health and environment, and its rate is increasing due to the ‘fast fashion’ model. In this paper, the authors examine the French national programme for managing post-consumer textiles and clothing through a case study research.
France is the only country in the world implementing an extended producer responsibility (EPR) policy for end-of-use clothing, linen and shoes. The case highlights the benefits of using an EPR policy and provides interesting insights about the challenges faced by the textiles waste sector. For instance, the EPR policy has contributed to a threefold increase in the collection and recycling rates of post-consumer textiles since 2006. In addition, the material recovery rate of the post-consumer textiles can reach 90%, 50% of which can be directly reused. However, the ‘reuse’ stream is facing some challenges because its main market is in Africa and many African countries are considering banning the import of used textiles to encourage a competitive textiles industry locally and internationally.
The EPR policy shows a great potential to identify new markets for ‘reuse’ and to improve the textiles waste sector. Such an EPR policy also could drive societies to financially support innovation and research to provide feasible solutions for fashion producers to adopt eco-design and design for recycling practices. This paper provides guidance for policy makers, shareholders, researchers and practitioners interested in diverting post-consumer textiles and clothing waste from landfills and promoting circular textiles transition.
The principle of Circular Economy is to keep raw materials within the economic cycle as long as possible while generating the lowest possible amount of waste and emission. To do so, end-of-life products and materials must be kept at the highest possible level of value creation according to their original use. Adapted logistical concepts to coordinate both material and information flows - in addition to innovative business models and new approaches to product design for recycling - are necessary to realise circularity in the economy.
The megatrend of digitalisation, especially through Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things, offers solutions that have not yet been applied extensively. Possible disadvantages of rebound effects due to Circular Economy and increased demand for resources caused by the deployment of digital technologies must also be taken into consideration. Due to its strong integration into the processes of production, there is scope for digitised management of resource and waste logistics to make a substantial contribution to a sustainable economy.
The white paper discusses the various dimension of logistics that support the Circular Economy transition by reflecting upon the following trends: atomisation of shipments, information logistics and data sovereignty, new manufacturing technologies, autonomous systems in Industry 4.0 and Social Networked Industry. Uses cases are developed for each of these trends, whose respective impacts on respectively producers, consumers, recycling businesses and the environment are also analysed.
Further scenario analysis for both a gradual and radical transition to Circular Economy shows the differing impact these trends might have in varying intensity on manufacturing, logistics and recycling. The white paper concludes that logistics is crucial in all levels of the transition to a circular economy, as it forms the core of transporting goods, transferring information in self-organising supply chain networks and developing new business models.
Over the last decade, the concept of the circular economy has regained attention, especially related to efforts to achieve a more sustainable society. The ‘revival’ of the circular economy has been accompanied by controversy and confusion across different actors in science and practice. With this article the authors attempt at contributing to advanced clarity in the field and providing a heuristic that is useful in practice. Initially, they take a focus on the historical development of the concept of circular economy and value retention options for products and materials aiming for increased circularity.
The authors propose to distinguish three phases in the evolution of the circular economy and argue that the concept – in its dominant framing – is not as new as frequently claimed. Having established this background knowledge, they give insights into ‘how far we are’ globally, with respect to the implementation of circularity, arguing that high levels of circularity have already been reached in different parts of the globe with regard to longer loop value retention options, such as energy recovery and recycling. Subsequently, the authors show that the confusion surrounding the circular economy is more far reaching. They summarize the divergent perspectives on retention options and unite the most common views using a 10R typology.
From their analyses, the authors conclude that policymakers and businesses should focus their efforts on realization of the more desirable, shorter loop retention options, like remanufacturing, refurbishing and repurposing – yet with a view on feasibility and overall system effects. Scholars, on the other hand, should assist the parties contributing to an increased circular economy in practice by taking up a more active role in attaining consensus in conceptualizing the circular economy.
Is the current circular economy paradigm enough? Will it get us to a fairer society and flourishing planet? Will it allow us to meet the UN's Sustainable Development Goals? Perhaps not. There could be a different way: by combining social enterprise and circular economy (= social circular economy), to deliver benefits to people, planet and profit.
The Social Circular Economy report provides insights from our engagement with 30+ organisations from around the world that are using the value creating approaches of the circular economy to deliver environmental, societal and economic benefits. From a recycling hub supporting a disability rehabilitation centre to corporate uniform repurposing with women's collectives, there are organisations innovating business models and processes to do business better and help meet UN Sustainable Development Goals. This report covers:
- What is the social circular economy?
- What are the themes across social circular enterprises?
- What are examples of these organisations?
- How can you or your organisation participate?
How does a transition to a more circular economy affect jobs and skills demand in Europe?
This report looked at trends of circular economy activities across different sectors and quantified these activities as modelling inputs to provide employment changes for different sectors. The analysis also provides estimates of the occupational shifts and skills requirements that a shift to a more circular economy could entail.
The aim of this report is to develop an understanding of how a transition towards a more circular and resource efficient economy in Europe will affect labour markets across the Member States. Our analysis is the most comprehensive quantification of the EU jobs impacts from the circular economy to date. By using a fully integrated energy-environment-economy model (E3ME), our analysis considers both direct job losses and job creations that result from a shift to a more circular economy. It also captures indirect, induced and rebound impacts from interactions between sectors, Member States, and between economic, environment, material, energy and labour market indicators.
Our findings suggest that the EU is on the right track by making the circular economy a policy priority as circular economy policies will contribute to reducing negative environmental impacts, while simultaneously contributing to higher employment levels. By moving towards a more circular economy, GDP in the EU increases by almost 0.5% by 2030 compared to the baseline case. The net increase in jobs is approximately 700,000 compared to the baseline through additional labour demand from recycling plants, repair services and rebounds in consumer demand from savings generated through collaborative actions Although the magnitude of job creation is driven by our assumption of the rate of circular economy uptake in the scenarios, our analysis confirms that it is possible to become more resource efficient and increase employment at the same time.
The study analysed the economic effects of the transposition of Directive 1999/44/EC concerning warranty rights, which had to be transposed into national law by January 2002. A number of publications had suggested that strengthening warranty rights for consumer goods as foreseen in the directive could increase the price level of these goods, possibly resulting in a reduced purchases. The study addressed both questions by analysing data from several EU countries. The first question was addressed by analysing inflation rates of general prices and of prices for the consumer goods affected by the directive in the time period 1998 until 2002. The second question was analysed by looking at the share of consumers who used online consumer-to-consumer markets, which were not covered by the warranty rights foreseen in the directive.
The comparison of inflation rates for consumer goods showed that inflation rates for consumer goods were below the general inflation rate between 1998 and 2004. Therefore, between 1998 and 2004 prices for the different groups of consumer goods covered by the directive did not increase but actually appear to have decreased slightly. This effect has been found for all countries analysed with no significant differences between countries transposing the minimum standards and those that went beyond. The second part of the analysis addressed the question if a developed market for online consumer-to-consumer selling of goods exists, for which the new seller's warranties weren't valid. In case of price increases for business-to-consumer markets – which have not been found in the first part of the analysis – part of the transactions could be transferred to these markets. The analysis showed that the vast majority of consumers in Western European countries used the internet regularly to purchase goods, including the online-platform Ebay. In case of increasing prices for consumer goods because of strengthened warranty rights, part of the transactions would move to online consumer-to-consumer markets rather than resulting in an overall decline of consumer goods purchases. The general conclusion was that over the analysed time period no negative impact of strengthened warranty rights on the price level of consumer goods could be found.
Ce document est une synthèse des échanges qui ont eu lieu lors du séminaire « Financement de l’économie circulaire » organisé par le SPF Economie le 6 juin 2017 et réunissant les différents intervenants du secteur public et bancaire ainsi que des entrepreneurs de l’économie circulaire.
Il présente brièvement le concept de l’économie circulaire avant de développer les solutions de financement public et privé. Il souligne également les difficultés de financement auxquelles les entreprises et les banques sont confrontées.
Enfin, en comparant les initiatives belges en matière d’économie circulaire avec celles des pays voisins, ce document montre le rôle que la Belgique joue en Europe dans l’émergence de ce nouveau système économique. Différents points d’attention sont repris sous une rubrique « recommandations » à la fin du document.
Ook verkrijgbaar in het Nederlands.
L'édition 2020 de l'Ecole d’été internationale et francophone, autour du thème “Ville, territoire et économie circulaire" aura lieu du 14 au 28 juin 2020 à Montréal, Paris et Bruxelles. Les inscriptions sont ouvertes!
The European Recycling Conference ERC 2020 will be linked to the International Recycling and Recovery Trade Fair, co-organised by EuRIC and FER (Federación Española de la Recuperación y el Reciclaje). At the ERC 2020, you can visit stands of more than 200 exhibitors from over 20 countries, grow your network and listen to the view of the European Recycling Industry.
“To learn, experience, observe, adapt, network and to match-make”
The Regional Council of Lapland, in cooperation with the European Commission, Digipolis Oy and the City of Kemi in Finland, is organising a conference on 11-12 February, entitled “Responsible Industry Leading the Sustainable Development on the example of Industry Clusters Connecting Circular Economy".
Les "Rendez-vous de l'économie circulaire" d'UniLaSalle continuent au Campus de Rennes le 14 février 2020. Il s'agît de repenser son modèle économique grâce à l'économie circulaire.
The next big thing in design is circular!
Die Umstellung zu einer zirkulären Wirtschaft fängt bei der Gestaltung an! Ecodesign beschreibt einen umfassenden Gestaltungsansatz, um die Umweltbelastungen von Produkten und Dienstleistungen über den gesamten Lebenszyklus hinweg zu minimieren, denn 80 Prozent des Ressourceneinsatzes eines Produktes werden bereits in der Produktentwicklung festgelegt.
Due to the recent developments with respect to the coronavirus (Covid-19), the 2nd OECD Roundtable on the Circular Economy in Cities and Regions in Oslo, Norway is cancelled.
However, in light of the significance of the Roundtable the OECD and Nordic Innovation kindly invite you to register for two dedicated webinars. Click here for more info.
Join this two-day international conference and exhibition from 18 to 19 November 2020 to discuss the latest recycling technology, materials recovery solutions, green electronics, sustainable materials, non-toxic substitutes, and end-of-life strategies, as well as regulatory and business models to help reduce the environmental impact of all forms of consumer and industrial E-Waste.
The School of Engineering Management with co-organisers The Ministry of Education, Science, and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia, and the Engineering Management Society of Serbia invites you to take an active part in the International Scientific Conference “Circular and Bioeconomy – CIBEK 2020”, which will be held on 22 April 2020.
The next instalment of the Frugal Innovation and Circular Economy Conference InnoFrugal UK will be held at Cambridge Judge Business School on 17 March 2020.
Join 80+ industry professionals at Europe's leading packaging waste event, Achieving a circular economy through packaging and packaging waste, from 23 to 25 March 2020 in Brussels, Belgium.
How do we assess projects' circularity? We need your opinion! Questionnaire on the assessment criteria launched by SCREEN Policy Lab.
Less than a tenth of the billions of tonnes of resources pumped into the global economy every year are reused, and this waste incurs a huge economic, environmental, and social cost.
Time to radically rethink fashion.
The future of our environment may seem bleak, but a growing movement believe a circular economy is the future.
The 2nd annual conference of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform will take place on 20 and 21 February 2018.
Study on the benefits case for remanufacturing.
Reducing marine litter: action on single use plastics and fishing gear
Circular economy for modern growth: EU and the Baltics
CNBC: There’s a new type of economy in town
The first-ever Europe-wide strategy on plastics was adopted today as part of the transition towards a more circular economy.