The Carlsberg Group, in cooperation with innovation experts EcoXpac, packaging company BillerudKorsnäs and post-doctoral researchers from the Technical University of Denmark, have been working on "Green Fibre Bottles" – a "paper bottle" for beer.
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Rombat is the largest producer of car batteries in Romania. Since 2005, the company has been collecting vehicle batteries to extract the lead they contain, recycle them and manufacture new batteries. The batteries are processed at the 3.7 ha Rebat facility in Copșa Mică.
The Hungarian fashion brand Sharolta makes upcycled denim clothes and bags in Budapest. They collect jeans at several collection points in the city, and work with companies that can provide them with textile waste.
PDR is a German company with extensive expertise in recycling materials, which has developed a groundbreaking technique to reuse polyurethane (PU) foam cans. In Germany, about 25 million cans are used each year, and a federal legislature has classified used PU foam cans as polluting waste which must be recycled.
Fortunale: thanks to 100% organic wool and natural dyes, these Italian sweaters combine high recyclability with style
Fortunale is entirely eco-friendly, and it is inspired by modern principles of circular economy: a Fortunale sweater is designed, from its origin, to be recycled at the end of its natural use until 80%, because it is made of pure wool, and this precious characteristic allows us to regenerate its fibers into new prime materials.
Nuova Sara oil separator centrifuges apply centrifugal force to separate shavings and metal waste. The de-oiled shavings can be recovered and valorised as secondary raw materials.
PeelPioneers is the first company in the world to use citrus peel to create new raw materials. The peels are left over from making fresh juice, collected from supermarkets and the catering industry.
The City of Turin is financing some circular-economy oriented projects, among them the Balon Marketplace, an e-commerce portal for stakeholders who are active in the antiques, second-hand, vintage and reuse sectors, for a sustainable consumption of goods with a high cultural and heritage value. The portal aims to share ancient and past know-how and skills by promoting handycrafts shops.
Quid provides jobs for vulnerable people, especially women, in a field for which Italy is renowned: fashion. Quid markets its ethical and sustainable clothing under the label Quid Project. The project sources the raw material from the Italian fashion and textile world, using production surpluses and end-of-series fabrics. It therefore combines social and environmental impact.
Remix El Barrio engages with stakeholders and innovative designers to support a circular transition which revalues surplus food and biowaste.
Circular economy strategies and roadmaps in Europe: Identifying synergies and the potential for cooperation and alliance building – Study
Circular economy strategies and roadmaps in Europe: Identifying synergies and the potential for cooperation and alliance building
Circular economy strategies have been under development in European cities, regions, and countries in the last few years. 33 strategies have been adopted since 2014, and at least 29 more are under development. Existing strategies were reviewed for this study, to identify similarities and differences, and to assess the involvement of civil society organisations, and potential for collaboration.
The study argues that documents developed in the future should put more focus on including broader sections of value chains, and on ensuring inclusive partnership approaches in all phases of the strategy’s cycle. To date, circular economy strategies show different degrees of inclusiveness in terms of value chains and partner involvement. Limited inclusive approaches can be explained by the exploratory nature of most strategy documents. This includes a stronger involvement of civil society organisations in earlier phases of strategy development, and not just for dissemination and citizen involvement.
The study highlights the role of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform in gathering and sharing civil society’s knowledge and making sure it is fed into the policy cycle for circular economy.
This study delivers the first empirical findings on the relevance of digitisation to improving material efficiency based on the German company survey ‘IW-Zukunftspanel’.
German manufacturing firms have up to now only rarely digitised material efficiency measures to a great extent. If they are - particularly in large companies - they tend to be used for process optimisation. Around two fifths of the companies are at least moderately digitised in relation to the most important industrial efficiency measures, namely process optimisation and the use of new techniques, but there is still more than a third that is not at all. Companies have most frequently digitised cross-company materials cycles, but this instrument is only applied by two fifths of industrial companies. There is still potential for more digitisation of measures relating to product design, materials cycle management and new business models.
At least every other manufacturing company reuses residue and waste materials via internal circulation systems. Nevertheless, for two fifths of these companies digital networks do not play any part and in the case of a further two fifths, the part they play is minor. Only one in ten companies is heavily digitised. More than half of industrial companies use resource-saving measures that begin at the product design stage. To date, almost half of these companies are not digitally networked, or if they are, it is only to a small extent. One third of the industrial companies up to now have considered new business models as an efficiency-raising way. Of these, three out of ten have not been digitised yet with a further two fifths having only a minor level of digitisation.
Companies that have already embedded digitisation in their strategy are frontrunners for greater material efficiency, since they more frequently use material efficiency measures intensively, are more likely to recognise further potential savings and their efficiency-saving approaches are also clearly more often highly digitised.
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Eines von zwei Unternehmen macht Ökodesign digital
Mountain areas face specific natural conditions, such as slope, climate, and soil types, that make the exploitation of mountain resources difficult.
Other challenges associated with connectivity and transport make economic activity all the more challenging.
The adoption of the circular economy will be particularly important in mountain areas which contain exceptional primary resources such as forests, water, and minerals, and provide ecosystems services such as carbon sequestration, clean water, landscapes, and recreation. Maximizing the value of extracted resources and managing them sustainably is particularly important for maintaining a high quality of life in mountain territories.The circular economy can create new economic opportunities that will provide much needed employment and economic growth in mountain areas.
The development of the circular economy in mountain areas will allow inhabitants to benefit from resources and services available in the mountains. It will also drive the development of new approaches, for example in governance, technology, or in the building of novel tools, in so doing providing new opportunities for jobs and growth in mountain regions.
This study focuses on the forest sector as the sector is particularly adapted to a circular approach in mountainous areas in Europe.
Since 2000, the “Slovenian Entrepreneurship Observatory” publishes a report annually providing analysis of the situation of Slovenian companies and insight into Slovenian entrepreneurship. In 2018 this report had a thematic focus on the circular economy (CE), with the authors centring in on the drivers and barriers to SMEs integrating CE into business practice.
This report first provides a theoretical framework for the CE, which aims to raise awareness and facilitate information exchange between companies and individuals looking to spread circular innovation. Simultaneously this report also provides an overview of the barriers companies face in transitioning towards circularity, which include a lack of comparable indicators to benchmark and track progress; cost of eco-design; administrative burden; access to finance and a lack of awareness about the concept itself: in 2017, a survey of businesses indicated only 32% had some understanding of what a circular economy is. This survey also revealed businesses perceive economic, environmental and regulatory opportunities as the main drivers towards circularity.
The report concludes with practical aspects of CE implementation at the level of enterprises, presenting a case study which highlights the situation and the possible use of eco-design in Slovenian SMEs operating in the construction sector and conclusions with recommended steps to overcome the barriers identified.
The built environment, consuming almost half of the world's resources extracted every year and responsible for a massive environmental footprint, is a fundamental sector in the circular transition. The circular economy has great potential to help meet global sustainability targets and the Paris Agreement's goals in particular. Moving towards a circular built environment involves a shift in roles and business models for stakeholders active in this sector. However, barriers related to culture, regulations, market, technology and education are slowing down the transition. The private and public sector need to create a level playing field in order for circular materials, products and services to become the new normal in the built environment.
Within the discussion on possible instruments that policy-makers can use to achieve waste collection targets and implement the 2015 Circular Economy Action Plan, deposit-refund systems (DRS) are often cited as a promising & useful policy tool.
In this report, ACR+ explored DRS experiences across ten European countries: Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. This analysis concludes that the launch timing in relation to other waste management systems and the positive participation of producers are both decisive in determining the success of the system.
To learn more about the hands-on implementation of DRS in Europe, read the full report here.
The Centro de Documentación Europea de la Universidad Francisco de Vitoria (European Documentation Centre, UFV) has completed a project titled Economía Circular y Empleabilidad de los Jóvenes en la Comunidad de Madrid (Circular Economy and Employability of Young People in the Autonomous Region of Madrid).
The outcomes include a report on communicating the circular economy through the lens of employment opportunities circular business models provide for young people. The project has also created a guide on communicating the circular economy to students, which introduces the subject, presents the 7R model and shows how innovative companies provide opportunities for employment in circular business.
Start-up of a microalgae-based treatment system within the biorefinery concept: from wastewater to bioproducts
Within the European project INCOVER, an experimental plant uses low-energy photobioreactors to cultivate micro-algae and transform wastewater into bioproducts.
This article describes this new experimental plant and the start-up stage, starting from the new design of three semi-closed horizontal photobioreactors with low energy requirements, for microalgae cultivation (30 m3 total), using agricultural runoff and urban wastewater as feedstock.
The inflow nutrients concentration is adjusted to select cyanobacteria, microalgae able to accumulate polyhydroxybutyrates, which can be used for bioplastics production. Part of the harvested biomass is used as substrate for anaerobic co-digestion (AcoD) with secondary sludge to obtain biogas. This biogas is then cleaned in an absorption column to reach methane concentration up to 99%. The digestate from the AcoD is further processed in sludge wetlands for stabilization and biofertilizer production.
On the other hand, treated water undergoes ultrafiltration and disinfection through a solar-driven process, then it is pumped through absorption materials to recover nutrients, and eventually applied in an agricultural field to grow energy crops by means of a smart irrigation system. This plant presents a sustainable approach for wastewater management, which can be seen as a resource recovery process, more than a waste treatment.
The publication presents a state-of-play for Slovakia's circular economy transition and introduces its circular economy policies. It also contains interviews with representatives of the Slovak State administration, NGO representatives and scientists, as well as examples of good practices from municipalities, businesses, and NGOs.
With an average of 79.5% recycled across Europe in 2016, steel for packaging is already the most recycled packaging material in Europe.
This report compiles examples of good practices from countries across the EU showcasing the varied projects, systems and processes by which steel for packaging is recycled, bringing significant reduction in emissions, resource and energy use.
Steel, a permanent material that can be infinitely recycled to make high quality products, can be easily sorted from the waste stream owing to its magnetic properties which make it the most economical packaging material to collect, sort and recycle over and over again.
Good practices in separate collection, sorting and recycling of steel for packaging contribute to improving its recycling rate, but can also serve as a guide for any stakeholder interested in improving these essential steps in a circular perspective.
An online certificate course to get a profound knowledge about the social, economic and ecological challenges of a sustainable transformation in the private and public sector, in just seven weeks.
Re-think - Circular Economy Forum is an international event that brings together various actors operating at different levels in the Circular Economy fields who present a medium and long term vision on Circular Economy topics. The event will be online for the audience while the speakers and the main stakeholders will attend the event physically
SAVE THE DATE - MONDAY 31st of August 14:00-16:30 - AN AFTERNOON WITH CIRCULAR CHANGEMAKERS.
The Life Cycle Innovation Conference (LCIC 2020) takes a systems perspective when discussing sustainable innovation. It will look at both, innovative approaches and methods to address sustainability challenges as well as innovative products and services that will help the transition towards a more sustainable world.
Chile, The Netherlands, and Slovenia are joining forces in this webinar on 23 July to discuss sustainable recovery in Chile and what is the role of the circular economy. Join the international webinar at 15:30 CEST.
Circular Week is an international campaign which will consist series of events and initiatives devoted to the subject of circular economy and sustainable development that will take place throughout Europe. The Circular Week’s goal is to promote the idea of a circular economy, support sustainable business models and establish cooperation between interested stakeholders.
Nordic Innovation launches a series of workshops, free of charge, to develop collaborative pilots across industry ecosystems, that can be scaled to successful transition towards a circular economy, critical for innovation and economic growth around the Nordics.
The Valumics webinar "Putting solutions on the table", to be held on 16 July, at 15.00-16.30 (CEST), aims at discussing challenges and opportunities to support Europeans to transition towards more sustainable food consumption behaviours.
The webinar is organised in the context of the United Nations High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development. It will look into practical ways to accelerate a just transition to a circular and carbon-neutral economy in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), while engaging all sectors of the economy and society.
The EU Ecolabel "pop-up shop": the Showroom will take place in Berlin from 28 September to 4 October, and and will showcase a selection of the best EU Ecolabel products and services.
Official launch of the GrandParisCirculaire.org platform on 5 October 2018.
The European Commission and UN Environment are jointly convening an event with the objective of inspiring new commitments to reduce plastic waste.
Deadline extended for the WRI Ross prize for cities: applicaitons close 31 July 2018
Transformative projects igniting citywide change are invited to apply for a $250,000 cash prize and exposure to a world-class advisory council.
The WRI Ross Prize for Cities is a global, biennial competition supported by Stephen M. Ross to celebrate transformative projects that have ignited citywide change. Five finalists will be chosen in Fall 2018 and one winner of the $250,000 prize will be announced in April 2019.
Urban transformation is more important than ever, and often goes unnoticed beyond its immediate environs— help us spotlight the best cases from around the world to elevate these stories and inspire others.
Five European Circular Hotspots signed an agreement at the Holland Circular Economy Week to continue and intensify cooperation, joining forces in accelerating the transition to a Circular Economy in Europe.
Recycling Europe – The European Circular Economy Package
Tonight at 21:55 CET don't miss the latest SmartRegions episode on Euronews, dedicated to one of the most important recycling projects (biological waste treatment) in Europe. RCERO Ljubljana combines 37 municipalities and serves a third of the Slovenian population.
Businesses making a difference: call for pledges open and extended. The goal: 10 million tonnes in recycled plastic finding their way into new products by 2025.
Metals are permanent materials that can be recycled over and over again without loss of their properties.
Increased sustainability and competitiveness with circular economy in the Nordic industry.
Funding of over £3m was announced on Wednesday 6 June for four projects comprising a new plastics recycling partnership.