Leef has eliminated plastic waste by producing 100% biodegradable plates from (non-palm oil) palm leaves grown in mixed plantations in Tamil Nadu, India.
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Signify was the first lighting company to develop 3D printing of luminaires at scale. As part of its commitment to doubling its positive impact on the environment and society, Signify has committed to doubling its circular revenues to 32% by the end of 2025.
The URBAN WASTE project focuses on urban strategies for waste management in tourist cities. It involved stakeholders from 11 pilot areas and studied the challenges inherent in waste management so that appropriate strategies responding to real-world needs can be devised and implemented.
Varusteleka, a webshop selling military surplus and outdoor gear in Finland, buys back products it has sold to customers and resells them as second-hand products.
The Serbian company Feplo manufactures waterproof eco-boards from recycled beverage cartons.
Tabor is a marketplace initiative introduced in the city of Maribor, Slovenia. Tabor was designed as a second-hand market, where people can participate by selling their goods to others.
SCALITE® is a material produced by SCALE and is made completely from fish scales, a by-product of the fishing industry. The material is manufactured in stone-like blocks which are suited to many applications in interior design and decoration for the hospitality and retail sectors, offices and homes.
The RiceRes research project, launched in 2016 by the CNR (National Research Council) and the Universities of Milan and Pavia and financed by the Cariplo Foundation, aimed to make the most of waste materials from processing Italian rice.
Remix is a shop based in Bulgaria, which sells second-hand and outlet clothing online to nine countries.
The Danish company GHform produces outdoor furniture and inventory, such as benches, waste bins and street lights. The company is now also offering municipalities the chance to lease its cast iron lamp posts.
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.
Between 2017 and 2020, Aalborg (Denmark), Malmö (Sweden) and Smiltene and Pļaviņas (Latvia) piloted innovative new approaches to buying circular goods and services as part of the Circular PP project. Their experiences have been collated in this report, which is a very useful guide for public buyers interested in trying out circular procurement. A summary of the report is also available.
The main results and lessons from six public procurement pilot schemes are outlined in the report:
- Buying back ICT equipment (City of Aalborg)
- Outdoor learning environment tender (City of Aalborg)
- Non-new furniture tender (City of Malmö)
- Waste management tender (City of Malmö)
- Catering services for schools (Latvia)
- Furniture for school dormitories (Latvia)
Knowledge Hub is an open access collaborative library of circular economy case studies from Europe and around the world. It contains over 2000 case studies.
Knowledge Hub is based on the following three principles:
- Everyone contributes: the knowledge base grows quicker if everybody adds case studies.
- Everyone edits: It's not meddling, it's co-authoring! Version history ensures nothing is lost.
- Everyone curates: See any irrelevant, duplicate or promotional content? Report it to the Knowledge Hub admins!
European environment policy for the circular economy: Implications for business and industry stakeholders
EU institutions and agencies are increasingly raising awareness about the circular economy agenda. They are encouraging marketplace stakeholders to engage in sustainable production and consumption by reducing, reusing, restoring, refurbishing and recycling resources throughout their value chain.
This research evaluates the latest European environmental policies including the new circular economy plans for a cleaner and more competitive Europe. It then goes on to present a systematic literature review focused on the circular economy in the EU context. The findings suggest that there are a number of opportunities and challenges for the successful planning, organisation, implementation and measurement of circular economy practices.
This publication is the first outcome of the Policy Lab 2.0. It sets itself as the result of the fruitful collaboration between cross-regional officers and stakeholders in their attempt to co-build new standards for circularity. They are also willing to provide effective solutions for the main challenges European regions need to face in the transition towards a circular economy (CE).
This report provides valuable insights into the creation of a common set of circularity criteria for the overall assessment of CE projects, with the aim of providing European regions with the right tool to foster a smooth transition towards a CE. It also emphasises the importance of promoting cross-regional knowledge through education and training.
The European Green Deal provides the impetus to find more resilient, fair and sustainable economic systems. To deliver this ambition and recover from the economic impact of COVID-19, a systemic approach is needed.
The System Change Compass re-examines the driving forces of our socio-economic system, addressing the issues of resource consumption and environmental pressures.
The report presents future-fit policy directions and economic ecosystems (among them, nature-based, circular materials), and shows how these can better serve our societal needs and work within planetary boundaries. It also highlights 50+ champion orientations outlining a next-generation industrial landscape, with investable opportunities for jobs and a more sustainable future via COVID-19 recovery funds.
The report on Sustainable Plastics Strategy was prepared by the European Technology Platform for Sustainable Chemistry (SusChem) and its partners: Cefic, PlasticsEurope, European Plastics Converters (EuPC) and the European Composites, Plastics and Polymer Processing Platform (ECP4).
One of the keys to tackling plastic waste is the creation of a circular economy. However, the circular economy for plastics is not just about waste. Eliminating leakage and stepping up the use of secondary materials may be part of the picture, but the transition to renewable inputs completes it.
This report outlines the future research needed to fulfil the objectives of the European Strategy for Plastics and the Green Deal priorities.
Initiated under the patronage of the German Development Minister Gerd Müller, the PREVENT Waste Alliance was launched in May 2019. It serves as a platform for exchange and international cooperation. Organisations from the private sector, academia, civil society and public institutions jointly engage for a circular economy.
The PREVENT Waste Alliance wants to contribute to minimising waste, eliminating pollutants and maximising the reuse of resources in the economy worldwide. Members of the platform work together for waste prevention, collection, and recycling as well as the increased uptake of secondary resources in low- and middle-income countries.
The platform focuses on waste from plastic packaging and single use products as well as waste electrical and electronic equipment.
CircLean is a network of businesses and SMEs that participate in the reuse of raw materials through industrial symbiosis. The network aims at mobilising industries and relevant stakeholders to overcome the challenges of industrial symbiosis today for its increased uptake in Europe.
The network will create:
- a common methodology to measure and report on resource exchange and benefits from symbiotic exchanges;
- an online tool for matchmaking and assessment of transactions;
- and a CircLean Label to accredit members that comply with it.
CircLean is an initiative of the European Commission. It is implemented by a consortium led by Technopolis Group, involving Trinomics, International Synergies, and Arctik as partners, and supported by A’SPIRE, EIT Raw Materials and ACR+.
RCUBE is a Federation of French companies active in the Reuse/Reduce/Repair sectors and covering a very wide range of products and services (such as smartphones, computers, tyres, toys, electronics and bicycles).
By promoting the exchange of best practices with regard to reconditioning, training and public affairs, RCUBE helps and supports companies as they shift to circular economy business models.
REFLOW is an EU H2020 funded project that seeks to understand and transform urban material flows, co-create and test regenerative solutions at business, governance, and citizen levels to create a resilient circular economy.
The project aims to develop circular and regenerative cities through enabling active citizen involvement and systemic change to re-think the current approach to material flows in cities. For more info, read the Reflow whitepaper.
Hosted on the REFLOW website, the Community of Practice (CoP) houses a Forum for exchange, a Best Practice Database and a host of Circular Resources. By becoming a member of the community, you join an ecosystem that is designed to share resources, knowledge and practical solutions to accelerate the transition towards circular cities.
The Circular Plastics Alliance (CPA) is an open platform for public and private actors in the European plastics value chain that want to help increase the EU market for recycled plastics to 10 million tonnes by 2025.
Companies and business associations are encouraged to submit their voluntary pledge here. Voluntary pledges consist of a quantity of recycled polymer(s) to be produced or used by your organisation by 2025. The CPA is an initiative under the European Strategy for Plastics. 240 signatories work together to implement the content of the CPA declaration. For more information, you can watch the CPA video or visit the EU Commission website.
The Circular Economy for Flexible Packaging (CEFLEX) initiative is a collaboration of over 160 European companies, associations and organisations representing the entire value chain of flexible packaging. CEFLEX wants all flexible packaging to be designed for easy collection, sorting and recycling, with valuable new markets and applications created for the recycled materials.
CEFLEX stakeholders represent the full value chain including: raw material producers (plastics, paper and aluminium foil), ink, coating and adhesive suppliers, film producers and flexible packaging converters, brand owners, waste management companies, recyclers, extended producer responsibility organisations and technology suppliers.
InnovaWood speaks for research, innovation and education in the field of wood science and technology. It is a European network of 60 organisations in 28 countries, including research institutes, universities, VET actors and regional cluster organisations throughout the value chain from forestry and wood processing to construction, furniture and the circular economy.
The network promotes greater impact from innovative uses of wood, Europe’s chief and abundant renewable raw material, through dedicated communication. It supports project consortia and collaborative initiatives, forging links with other industry sectors and promoting crosscutting RTDI cooperation. Collectively, its members are involved in at least 1 500 national and 250 international projects.
The European Recycling Industries’ Confederation (EuRIC) promotes recycling among local and European industrial members
The European Recycling Industries’ Confederation (EuRIC) represents the recycling industry at European level. Gathering the national recycling federations from EU/EEA Member States, EuRIC represents over 5 500 companies, from market leaders to SMEs, who recycle waste streams, i.e. household or industrial and commercial waste, end-of-life vehicles, Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment, packaging (paper and plastics), end-of-life tyres or textiles.
It serves as a platform for the cooperation and exchange of best practices, actively promotes recycling and contributes to European projects.
EuRIC’s event, the European Recycling Conference (ERC) discusses key questions with industry professionals and EU policy-makers.
Read about EuRIC's top five priorities from 2019-2024 here.
The platform is a virtual learning and collaboration environment for all interested stakeholders, using an interactive and collaborative online structure:
- Knowledge Hub: interactive resource centre gathering useful information for Vocational Education and Training teachers and professionals
- Online Training Course for EduZWaCE Manager and EduZWaCE Technician
- Partners Section for the partners in the EduZWaCE project
- Collaborative Section to inspire professionals from companies
- Diagnosis Tool for companies to investigate opportunities for circular economy and zero waste solutions.
ASPAPEL, the Spanish Association of Pulp and Paper Manufacturers, promotes a competitive and sustainable development of the sector by encouraging circular methods
ASPAPEL is a Spanish association for pulp and paper manufacturers. They work to promote sustainable and competitive development of their member companies, especially focusing on the improvement of industries by applying circular methods in the recycling of used paper processes.
Their key areas are:
- industrial relations,
- occupational risk prevention,
- public communications.
The association is governed by a General Assembly and a Management Board with assisting committees and working groups.
Circular Threads is the first sector study carried out to measure the level of circularity of the textile industry in Italy. In order to promote the transition towards the Circular Economy in the textile industry, Tondo - in collaboration with Fondazione Pistoletto, Associazione Tessile e Salute and Ren - has conducted research that aims to measure the level of sustainability and circularity on a sector and company scale.
Join TCO Certified for a presentation on 16 June of their upcoming report Impact and Insights: Navigating the Sustainable IT Revolution. The report will be launched in June and focuses on the critical role of independent verification and and answers the question: How to avoid false claims and greenwash by getting proof in your IT procurement?
As the largest Extended Producer Responsibility organisation in Europe in charge of household packaging and graphic papers, Citeo is fully concerned by the fight against litter pollution. In order to address the main questions and challenges surrounding this complex issue, Citeo is organising a coffee-break conference on Wednesday 2 June on Tackling litter pollution: from obligations to actions!
Metal recycling plays a key role in Europe’s circular and climate neutral objectives. Thanks to their intrinsic properties, metals can be indefinitely recycled without losing their properties. Yet, more can be done to better reward metal recycling and circular metal value chains, while preserving the competitiveness of Europe’s recycling industry. Join EuRIC Recyclers’ Talks#3 on Circular Metals on 7 June 2021 to learn more!
This roundtable discussion on 10 June 2021 will bring together experts from Europe and beyond to share knowledge and best practices in life-cycle assessment approaches, particularly in the rare earth sector.
Circular Week, an international campaign consisting of a series of events and initiatives devoted to circular economy and sustainable development, will take place on 12-18 October 2021 throughout Europe. Its goal is to promote the idea of a circular economy, support sustainable business models and establish cooperation between interested stakeholders.
The Market-driven Circular & Bioeconomy EU Green Week Partner Event on 8 June 2021 brings together representatives of European projects based on industry-academic partnerships in the fields of biodiversity, forestry, engineering, chemistry, agriculture, and transport.
Recycling plastic is a good thing, but stopping the cycle and the plastic waste before it starts, is better. To cut down the use of single-use items, the current standards need to be disrupted when it comes to our throwaway culture. Join a Loop seminar on Reusable solutions to single-use culture on 25 May 2021, from 16:30 to 17:30 CEST.
The building and construction sector consumes around 10 million tonnes of plastics in Europe each year, which accounts for 20% of all plastics consumption. LOOP's idea was to find out what concrete ways there are both to reduce the use of plastics and to increase circularity of plastics in residential construction.
If you want to learn more about Green Economy investment in the Mediterranean, join this experience-sharing webinar organised as part of the Interreg MED Green Growth Community project. The session will take place online on 20 May 2021. Don't miss it!
Industry faces major challenges with regard to handling the transition to an economy with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Whilst there is a growing body of literature seeking to understand how this transition will unfold, there is currently limited understanding of what the wider environmental impacts could be from the transformation.
Have your say on industry’s role in supporting the circular economy and improving the EU’s environment and participate in the Targeted Stakeholder Survey of the revision of the Industrial Emissions Directive. The feedback period closes 2 April 2021.
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.
In the framework of the Urban Agenda Partnership on Circular Economy, ACR+ co-organised a workshop with its member OVAM, the European Economic and Social Committee, the Council of European Municipalities and Regions and Eurocities.
The Austrian Circular Economy Platform Circular Futures was launched in March 2018 at the House of the European Union in Vienna.
The Coordination Group of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform plays a key role in guiding the Platform's activities: reinforcing interaction between stakeholders, facilitating the exchange of good practices and fostering a European debate on how to transition to a circular economy.
On the 24th of May, C&A Foundation, together with Ecopreneur.EU hosted a Circular Fashion Policy Lab in Brussels at the European Economic and Social Committee in the context of the Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform. The purpose of the event was to bring together representatives from across the fashion industry to discuss key policy measures to make a meaningful impact for a green economy.
Circular Economy Stakeholder Conference on 20/21 February: Delivering on the Circular Economy - What's next?
Two years after the adoption of the first EU Circular Economy Package, more than half of the initiatives included in the Action Plan were delivered. The first Circular Economy Stakeholder Annual Conference took place in Brussels in February 2018 to discuss upcoming deliverables, explore new areas of action, and share the first achievements of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform.