“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.
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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.
Confindustria has developed an initiative which targets opportunities provided by the circular economy model, encourages knowledge-sharing and raises awareness about good practices being implemented in Italy.
Coop Norway, Energizer and Swedish Refind Technologies have come up with a battery refund machine. People can drop off dead household batteries and walk away with coupons to put towards the price of new batteries.
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This is the second book published by the Mineral and Energy Economy Research Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences.
It is a collection of contributions by different authors focusing on a proposal for indicators to monitor circular economy in Poland. A large part of the work consists in explaining that circular economy is more than just waste management.
The publication is in Polish, but abstracts of the different contributions are available in English at the end of the book (from page 203 onwards).
This European Environmental Agency Report presents an analysis of approaches and identifies trends, similarities and new directions taken by countries in resource efficiency and circular economy (CE). It is based exclusively on data provided by 32 Eionet members.
Its main objective is to stimulate exchange of information and good practice between countries and to support capacity building within Eionet.
Another objective is to contribute to various policy processes, including work carried out by European Commission, European Parliament and International Resource Panel.
The report addresses 6 elements:
- material resource efficiency and CE in the EU
- policy framework
- monitoring and targets
- examples of innovative approaches and good practice
- other resources
- way forward.
The electrical and electronics industry has been contributing to Europe socially and economically for almost 100 years. However, its production, use and disposal are resource- intensive activities resulting in significant environmental and climate impacts.
Case studies of 4 different electronic product groups show there is potential for significant increases in their actual lifetime use. Extending the lifetime and delaying the obsolescence of electronics can significantly reduce impacts and contribute to meeting EU environment, climate and circularity objectives.
EU legislation includes recycling targets for municipal, construction and demolition, and electronic waste. This European Environment Agency briefing shows that there is significant potential to increase recycling from all of these streams.
However, to fully exploit this potential, current barriers need to be overcome. This also requires strong implementation of targeted regulations to increase separate collection.
Implementing new policy measures, some of which are already included in the EU 2020 Circular Economy Action Plan, can both directly and indirectly exploit the potential for increased recycling.
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.
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.
Circular Conversations is a digital parlour created to host an open and critical exchange of ideas on what the next society and economy should look like and how to get there.
By initiating conversations with people of different perspectives, ideas and ideologies, disciplines and backgrounds, this decentralized and independent platform shares theories and practices able to shape the direction and design of the next economy.
To read more conversations like the interview with Rieta Aliredjo, 2019 circular economy stakeholder conference keynote speaker, on empowering kids to be circular starts, visit the blog here.
R-PVC Hub is an innovative web platform, connected to the site of PVC Forum Italia, that offers the possibility for the exchange of recycled PVC, putting in contact offers and demands. The heart of the service is an online platform on which manufacturing companies, processors and recyclers can find new business opportunities.
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 European Commission, in partnership with the city of Mannheim (DE), will hold a European Social Economy Summit on 26-27 May.
On 23 March (1:30 - 3:00 pm), in preparation of this summit, the EESC is organising a workshop to discuss how to bring a civil society perspective to the debate on the contribution of Social Economy Enterprises to the transition towards circular economy in Europe.
Tondo – an international non-profit organisation working in the field of circular economy – is pleased to announce its first hackathon, realised in collaboration with the Circular Economy Lab of Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center and Cariplo Factory and under the patronage of the Cariplo Foundation. The hackathon on 23-24 April will be held entirely in Italian.
Join representatives of the OECD Environment Directorate on 25 March at 15:00 CET to discuss the role of international trade in the transition to a resource efficient and circular economy.
As a partner event of the EU Green Week 2021, this conference will focus on the opportunities and challenges of the circular economy for SMEs and show how standards support the green transition. It will explore possible gaps and barriers of the current standardisation and legislative system. The conference will also highlight the role of data and digital technologies.
On 23 March an online event is organised to launch Circular Regions - a data-driven platform bridging bottom-up and top-down circular initiatives for mission-oriented eco-system transformation in a network of regions.
A FEAD online event on 12 April on the key role of waste-to-energy in achieving a more circular economy.
The Policy Lab for stakeholders will feature a discussion about the tools that are better able to speed up the transition towards a circular economy and ensure that it is delivered equitably. The findings of the Policy Lab for Regions will be used to kick off the discussion on 26 March 2021.
LOOPS is a live webinar series organised by Veltha to explore state-of-the-art technology and foster knowledge exchange from research to industry in the field of the circular economy. Each episode will feature a discussion with Horizon2020-funded projects, providing valuable insights into the research produced so far in this field.
To access Recovery and Resilience Facility funds, Member States will need to prepare and submit national recovery and resilience plans. What kind of approaches can governments adopt to classify budget headings and measure the impact on climate change and circularity?
Join Recyclers Talks #1 to discuss what needs to be done to deliver on Europe’s Green Agenda.
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.
The Environmental Protection Agency has launched a challenge called 'Innovating a Circular Economy for soft plastic in Ireland' under Enterprise Ireland’s Small Business Innovation Research programme. The challenge focuses on reducing/eliminating soft plastic waste generated through the provision of school meals in Ireland.
WCEFonline - the first fully virtual event as part of the World Circular Economy Forum - will dive into why and how a circular economy can help reboot and build resilience in the economy.
The European Commission is launching an impact assessment for its new initiative: Empowering the consumer for the green transition, and would be keen on some stakeholders' and citizens' feedback until 1 September 2020.
The European Commission Joint Research Centre's (JRC) EU Green Public Procurement (GPP) criteria for Road transport is now open for revision. Be part of the process, register as interested stakeholder and comment on the draft Technical report and draft criteria proposal.
Following the adoption of the Taxonomy Regulation, the European Commission has launched a call for applications to select members of the Platform on Sustainable Finance. The deadline is 16 July.