Veolia and Knauf have established a partnership to collect, process and transform waste glass into mineral wool for use as an insultating material.
You are here
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.
Thanks to Eco Veneta, construction and demolition waste goes back to construction sites for a new adventure
Eco Veneta specialises in the collection and recycling of waste from construction and demolition sites in the Italian provinces of Verona, Vicenza, Padova and Rovigo.
In 2019, Carrefour Belgium introduced a range of reusable and recyclable carrier bags made from marine waste. The retailer collaborated with Seaqual, an organisation that cleans up the oceans and seabed, to source the plastics needed.
Based in the Danish capital Copenhagen, Veras operates several initiatives to reduce waste in the fashion sector by making it easy for everyone to swap and sell clothes. Veras is primarily an online webshop shipping to all Europe, where users can send in their own clothes. It also hosts weekly clothing markets for everyone to buy and sell clothing and has a flagship store in Copenhagen.
Complementing traditional mechanical recycling efforts, Plastic Energy has developed a patented Thermal Anaerobic Conversion (TAC) technology to convert end-of-life plastic waste into a new feedstock, called TACOIL, that can be used in the manufacturing of virgin-quality plastics suitable for food-grade packaging.
ReBlend develops textiles and textile products made from textiles that otherwise end up in incineration. Textiles made from recycled fibres offer a positive alternative for designers and companies. In collaboration with waste collectors, producers, designers, makers and visionaries, ReBlend organises a full supply chain from start to finish to accelerate a new ecosystem for circular textiles.
Niaga® and its partner future-proof everyday products by making sure materials don’t have to end up as waste. Ever. Niaga designs producted to be used again. It makes them healthier and recyclable.
“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.
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.
This UNEP report aims to apply an evidence-based value chain approach, mapping the textile value chain with its stakeholders, as well as environmental and socio-economic impacts along different value chain stages.
Based on this analysis, the report identifies associated hotspots in all sustainability dimensions. Giving examples of the many initiatives that are already being undertaken, the report outlines gaps, barriers and opportunities to work towards a more sustainable and circular textile value chain, highlighting priority actions.
The report concludes that circularity goes beyond incremental improvements and requires a system-wide approach, transforming the way textiles are designed, produced, consumed, and disposed of.
European consumers lack the means to improve the durability of their products. In addition to harming the environment by emitting CO2, extracting non-renewable resources unnecessarily and creating waste, premature obsolescence in all its forms affects citizens’ purchasing power, their right to repair and their freedom to make their products last longer.
This white paper aims to give all stakeholders suggestions and ideas to move towards a world in which repair and responsible consumption are the norm. This will necessarily imply new constraints on manufacturers, that can no longer make products without taking durability and repair into account. It will also require new tools to inform citizens so that they are empowered in their consumption choices.
Guidelines on Pre- and Co-processing of Waste in Cement Production – Use of waste as alternative fuel and raw material
Different types of waste have been successfully co-processed as alternative fuels and raw materials (AFR) in cement kilns in Europe, Japan, USA, Canada and Australia since the beginning of the 1980s.
In 2006, the first edition of the GTZ-Holcim Guidelines on Co-processing Waste Materials in Cement Production was published (GIZ-Holcim, 2006), aiming to gather the lessons of these experiences and offer it particularly to low and middle income countries as an option to improve approaches to waste management. Since then, waste management has earned a much more prominent place on the political agenda.
This revised edition of the guidelines updates technical, institutional, legal and social aspects of the original document as well as incorporate new ideas and information.
Pollution caused by incorrect packaging of waste is a serious problem. It can be addressed by designing products that are easier to recycle and by investing in collection and recycling systems. Establishing these kinds of systems requires a strong coordination body, backed up by transparent and stable sources of funding.
Experience suggests that the principle of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) can have significant potential to achieve a range of policy objectives. The EPR Toolbox contains detailed information about EPR and provides an introduction to a number of distinct issues.
Preserving value in EU industrial materials - A value perspective on the use of steel, plastics and aluminium
So far, the debate on material use and recycling has primarily been held in terms of tonnes, cubic metres, and environmental impact. This is all highly relevant, but a focus on volumes and flows also leaves important questions unanswered.
The report takes a step towards painting a more complete picture, taking an economic value perspective on material flows, and it assesses Europe’s use of steel, plastics and aluminium in terms of Euros instead of tonnes. Its objective is to answer the following questions:
- When 100 Euros worth of raw materials enter the European economy, how much economic value is retained after one cycle of use?
- What are the main reasons for loss of material value?
- How could more value be retained?
- What business opportunities arise as a result?
The study sheds light on the background of the prevention of plastic waste from packaging and disposable products by explaining the need for action, the environmental impacts and risks to human health.
Experiences of the members of the PREVENT Waste Alliance and their partners in the prevention of plastic waste by multi-actor partnerships are presented by means of 17 best practice examples.
Finally, the study gives recommendations for the reduction of plastic waste and the further work of the PREVENT Waste Alliance. These include success factors for waste prevention, necessary next steps and conclusions regarding the necessary political framework conditions.
The academic paper "Analysing European Union circular economy policies: words versus actions" comprehensively reviews and analyses the EU’s circular economy (CE) policies. Results show a dichotomy between words and actions, with a discourse that is rather holistic, while policies focus on “end of pipe solutions”.
To address these limitations, the paper proposes a set of 32 science-based policy recommendations which can help strengthen circular economy policies both within and outside the EU. This research thus brings key insights for practitioners and academics seeking to better understand the EU’s CE policies and how to improve circular economy implementation at both national and international level.
See here for more results, insights and recommendations.
Circular Czechia 2 - A circular economy as an opportunity for successful innovations of Czech firms
This report follows on from the publication Circular Czechia from July 2018, exploring the circular economy in the Czech Republic.
The report explains how innovation has developed in this field since 2018, and aims to be an inspiration for firms, organisations and authorities on how to implement circular principles. It sets out a wide selection of good practices from the Czech Republic, and includes the retail, wastewater treatment, transport, construction and furniture sectors.
The report analyses the relationship between resilience and the circular economy.
It presents socio-ecological resilience mechanisms, with particular reference to the impacts of COVID-19.
It explores various relevant topics such as resource efficiency, shared resources, regenerative resources, decentralisation, skills transferability, lifelong learning, flexible labour contracts and the strengthening of the sociological foundation.
It also presents three case studies from the Netherlands, Ecuador and India, showing how local companies enhance resilience and reduce vulnerability in various sectors.
Lastly, it gives recommendations for educating stakeholders in how to improve and implement stronger circular economy strategies.
This report describes innovation competition as a method of tackling major environmental challenges, specifically how to provide food sustainably and resource-efficiently in the future.
Two teams with expertise in plastics, logistics and sustainability developed solutions focused on a more regional food supply enabling us to reduce the amount of plastic, packaging and transport used. The winning submission is a conversion tool describing the principles of sustainable production and consumption of food.
The GLOPACK project is investigating food packaging with no environmental footprint and the ability to extend the shelf life of food products.
The project is focusing on three food packaging areas:
- biodegredable and home compostable food packaging made from agro-food residues,
- bio-packaging with advanced active functionalities to improve food preservation and shelf life without additives,
- battery-free RIFD bio-sensor to track food freshness.
The GLOPACk project operates a multistakeholder platform to gather the experts of the whole food and packaging supply chain. The members of the Stakeholders' Platform are involved in the actitivies of the project via webinars, stakeholder events and joint development of documents.
Circular Economy IL (CE-IL) is a non-profit organization serving as the Israeli Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform. CE-IL acts on national, regional and international levels to integrate new resource strategies and circular based business models with Israeli innovation capabilities.
CE-IL aims to connect between Israeli initiatives, start-ups, companies, municipalities, academic, researchers and policy makers and European circular economy stakeholders, in order to collaborate and find common ground, making reference to European policies, to accelerate the circular transition, inter alia, to exchange know-how, knowledge and information.
These goals are already set into action in several cooperation projects with many European experts.
ReThink is a platform aiming at promoting sustainable and circular economy in Ukraine, through education and advocacy campaigns, multi-stakeholder dialogue and innovation facilitation.
A prominent activity for the platform in 2019 focused on single-use plastic bags, with a call to the Ukrainian government to tackle the issue, and partnering with law firms for the drafting of a law proposal to restrict the use of plastic shopping bags and plastic packaging in Ukrainian retail stores.
The project „Prosperkolleg“ in Bottrop started on the 1st of June 2019 with the objective to explore how to transfer the idea of circular economy to the industry. The "Hochschule Ruhr West", the "WiN Emscher-Lippe GmbH", the city of Bottrop, the "Effizienzagentur NRW" and the "Prosperkolleg association" joined forces to research and demonstrate innovative circular product and business model developments. The project is funded by the ministry of economics, innovation, digitalization and energy of the land NRW.
The Slovak Environmental Strategy prioritises the transition to circular economy. Building on the Transition to Green Economy process, the Slovak Ministry of Environment, alongside the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Institute for Circular Economy, PwC Slovakia, Slovak Business Agency and Slovak Environment Agency joined forces to by establishing Circular Slovakia in October 2019.
This platform aims to increase discussion between the public and the private sector, as well as between businesses about opportunities and barriers in the circular transition to result in new projects and partnerships. Simultaneously, Circular Slovakia will share good practice examples nationally and internationally while raising awareness of circular economy.
Making the transition to a circular economy requires a pressing need for new skills, competences and approaches. Education, and training have a critical role to play in delivering and updating these skills.
The Erasmus+ CYCLE project created a set of tools and resources to support adult trainers in developing and expanding their professional and educational skills in the circular economy.
The Cycle Competence Centre (CYCLE CC) is a platform where educators can find training and guidance tools in 6 languages to help them introduce circular economy in different learning environments.
The Italian Phosphorus Platform was set up to mirror the European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform, following an agreement between ENEA, the platform manager, and the Italian Ministry of Environment. This platform aims to reach national self-sufficiency in the Italian phosphorus supply with a circular approach.
Phosphorus a European critical raw material, with Europe being almost completely dependent on third countries for its supply (phosphate rock: 81%, phosphorus: 100%), and its end-of-life recycling rate is very low (phosphate rock: 17%, phosphorus: 0%) (source: 2017 list of Critical Raw Materials).
The platform features 4 working groups: market, technologies, legislation and good practices. More information on good practices in phosphorus recycling is available here (in Italian).
The Inštitút cirkulárnej ekonomiky (Institute for Circular Economy) is Slovakia’s circular economy network, connecting public actors and private to accelerate the transition to a circular economy in Slovakia.
The Institute regularly publishes overviews of the circular economy in Slovakia, and supports municipalities with improving waste management locally, while also developing circular business models with companies. One such innovative programme specifically targets festival organisers, helping them reduce waste at large scale events.
The Institut Cirkulární Ekonomiky (Institute for Circular Economy) is the Czech Republic’s foremost circular economy non-profit focusing on innovative environmental management. Together with its partners, the Institute works on projects that further the transition from a linear towards a circular system.
These include analytical and educational programmes as well as project management tools for various organisations and individuals, such as:
- Annual Waste as Resource conference for local authorities
- Zajimej.se, the Czech language web portal on circular economy
- Uplatni.se portal connecting companies with students looking for internships and thesis in circular economy
Additionally, the Institute also engages private companies and public sector institutions with research, events, workshops and policy development in the Czech Republic.
The Prague Circular Hub is a joint initiative by the Institut Cirkularni Ekonomiky, Alliance for Renewable Energy and the Brno Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Its vision is to build a cultural and innovation centre which seeks to acquaint the general and professional public with circular economy. With discussions, seminars, conferences, as well as pilot projects aimed at testing new research methods in the field of circular economy, the Prague Circular Hub contributes to the active transformation into a circular system.
While the Hub has already completed a Prague Circular Scan with the support of Circle Economy, it continues to organise regular ‘buzz talks’ and conduct further research to promote the adoption of circular business models in the Czech capital.
PlastiCircle Final Forum on 13 April will display technologies for the circularity of packaging waste.
The 2nd International Conference on Circular Packaging on 9-10 September aims to connect industry, academia, design studios, brand owners and anyone involved in the packaging life cycle. It will focus on sharing knowledge, good practices and ideas, and forging new links in the shift from linear to circular packaging supply chains and business models.
The Environmental Coalition on Standards (ECOS) is organising a webinar on Durable, repairable and mainstream - how ecodesign can make our textiles circular. The webinar will take place online, on 20 April at 10.30 a.m. CEST. It will last around an hour, including a Q&A session.
During the event on 8 April the Innowo Institute will launch the report "Circular Business Opportunities in Poland" commissioned by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. After a presentation of the main findings of the report, a panel will discuss the possibilities of business development of circular solutions in Poland.
On 11 May at 3 p.m. CEST, join Rijkswaterstaat, Madaster, Restado/Concular and Institut National de l’Economie Circulaire for online interactive workshops showcasing success stories and identifying challenges and opportunities in fields such as public procurement, digital logbooks and circular design for infrastructure work. Registrations are open!
On 15-16 April, the Netherlands and Sitra will be organising a high-level digital conference, the World Circular Economy Forum + Climate, to meet up and discuss the crucial role of a circular economy in achieving climate neutrality.
In the run-up to the WCEF+Climate event in April 2021, the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management is organising a WCEF+Climate pre-event: the Circular Climate Booster, hosted by Holland Circular Hotspot and Springtide International.
RREUSE is organising its second online study tour designed to help public authorities implement re-use activities. The tour is tailored for representatives of local, regional and national authorities, municipalities and public waste companies wishing to develop re-use activities in their area using a social enterprise model.
As the Horizon 2020 research programme becomes Horizon Europe, what better time to witness how great ideas turned into real projects? LOOPS will be the opportunity to show what cutting-edge research has been produced, and which changes it can bring to our communities. The topic of the episode on 12 April will orbit around the concept of circularity in the textile industry.
TCO Development has invited H&M to talk about their work on the sustainability initiative “Double Sales – Half Impact”. The session will explore how the initiative changed the organisation and what H&M has learned from it.
On 10 December 2020 the Commission proposed a new Batteries Regulation to ensure that batteries placed in the EU market are sustainable and safe throughout their entire life cycle.
New EU Ecolabel criteria have been adopted for Electronic Displays and Printed paper, stationery paper and paper carrier bag products. Stringent criteria ensure that EU Ecolabel products are among the best on the market in terms of environmental performance. Follow the webinars on 9 and 10 December to learn more about these new criteria.
The LOOP-Ports circular economy project, coordinated by Fundación Valenciaport and co-financed by EIT Climate-KIC, will organise its final conference in an online format open to the public, on 16 December as an official side event of the World Circular Economy Forum Online hosted by the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra and its partners.
SECOND HAND COUNTS is a market survey on second-hand clothes in the EU. It aims to provide facts needed for decision making on second-hand clothes both in general and on a country by country basis for all EU countries plus the United Kingdom, Norway and Switzerland.
How to stop plastics ending up in the ocean? The Rethinking Plastics – Circular Economy Solutions to Marine Litter project is working on solutions together with seven countries in East and South East Asia.
Cillian Lohan, Green Economy Foundation CEO, is also EESC vice-president and representative of the ECESP Platform. In this video for Euronews, he gives strong arguments for the circular economy as a motor to regenerate ecosystems, economies and a more sustainable future.
Is your SME providing digital solutions to make our cities more circular? Join the transformation of European Cities by applying to DigiCirc Accelerator Programme! DigiCirc Circular Cities Open Call is now open for applications!
The Circular Plastics Alliance aims to boost the EU market for recycled plastics to 10 million tonnes by 2025. The alliance covers the full plastics value chains and includes over 175 organisations representing industry, academia and public authorities. New stakeholders can join the alliance by signing its declaration.
Discover the 24 members of the new Coordination Group of the Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform for its new mandate November 2020 - May 2022.
A “Bach Forest” for the climate! To offset the CO2 footprint of the Bachfest, which every year draws Bach friends from all over the world to Leipzig (DE), organisers aim to plant 72 acres of mixed forest on a former opencast mining site over the next few years.