The E-waste Race is an educational competition between ten primary schools to collect old electronic devices. Project participants are given an introductory lecture about recycling and the valuable materials contained in electronic devices. They then start collecting e-waste and the school which collects the most wins an educational - and fun! - school trip.
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Red Orka is a circular babywear brand that aims to do better for people and the planet. Red Orka's product is delivered to people's homes on the basis of a subscription for a fixed amount each month. The baby rompers are made from 100% organic cotton and produced in the most sustainable way possible.
The Italian company Menichetti produces organic glues and adhesives intended for sustainable packaging. The raw material is obtained from leather and tanning industry by-products.
LENA is the first online and offline fashion library in the Netherlands. It has a system for borrowing clothes and provides an extended wardrobe for every occasion. Their aim is to speed up the fashion industry's transition towards a circular system.
The Waste Transformers transforms organic (food) waste in an anaerobic digester called a Waste Transformer housed in 20-foot shipping containers into clean energy, water and high-grade fertiliser whilst also upcycling the waste into new raw materials for paper, textiles or soaps. They do this all on-site where the waste is produced. No transport, no CO2.
Ocean Sole takes the world's most widely worn shoe, the flip flop, and turns it into art, and the Dutch company Nic&Mic sells it in the Benelux countries. Ocean Sole is Kenya-based and began with the desire to clean up beaches that were heavily polluted with plastic and flip flops. Ocean Sole has grown to employ 90 Kenyans.
Back in 1931, EMMA was founded as a social enterprise for injured workers from the Dutch State Mines. Hence, social entrepreneurship is in the DNA of EMMA Safety Footwear. Today, EMMA still employs about 100 people who need some additional support in the labour market. Making sustainable safety shoes was, therefore, a logical next step in EMMA’s journey towards a positive footprint.
Biorizon has been co-creating technologies for the production of bio-aromatics at the Green Chemistry Campus in Bergen op Zoom since 2013. Together with industrial partners, Biorizon creates and develops innovative chemical processes for the production of renewable aromatics from residual biomass. Their aim is to enable commercial production of bio-aromatic building blocks by 2025.
SNEW has developed a circular system reusing the raw materials in existing equipment. It aims to give business telecoms and IT equipment a second life. Companies which hand over their old ICT equipment get either maintenance for their current equipment or money for the old equipment.
Arapaha is a design company which develops and manufactures sustainable, circular household and sports items and clothing. It focuses on circular processes and uses biobased composites. Goods purchased in their webshop can be returned when no longer needed so that the components can be reused.
Ethical smartphones, multifunctional strollers, remanufactured milking robots and bicycles-as-a-service: the Dutch manufacturing industry offers plenty of inspiring and groundbreaking innovations for a circular economy. International cooperation is nonetheless crucial to deliver and accelerate the circular transition as the value chains of the manufacturing industry cover the whole world.
With this publication on Manufacturing: the future is circular, Holland Circular Hotspot and the Dutch Circular Manufacturing Implementation Programme (UPCM) aim to bring insights and case studies from the Netherlands to an international level, in order to inspire everyone around the world to act and kickstart circular development.
Every year, huge numbers of photovoltaic (PV) modules are being installed. This solar energy expansion greatly furthers the ecological transformation of the energy system. But to solve the climate crisis every aspect has to be taken into consideration. This is why this white paper wants to shine light on challenges currently occuring or to be expected in connection with used photovoltaic modules and their disposal in Germany.
To better implement the goals of a circular economy, this paper will retrace the steps in the lifecycle of a photovoltaic module and analyse problems and possible solutions along these stages. After a brief description of the occuring challenges, opportunities and solutions deemed to be effective and sensible in these matters are presented.
The COVID-19 pandemic is having an immense impact on societies across the world. It has caused millions of deaths worldwide and challenged our health systems and economies. The pandemic - and responses to it, involving lockdowns, use of personal protection equipment and stay-at-home measures - has far-reaching health and economic consequences.
This briefing deals with the less visible effects on our environment and climate originating from changed use of single-use plastics due to the pandemic.
Emerging waste streams: Opportunities and challenges of the clean-energy transition from a circular economy perspective
Emerging waste streams: Opportunities and challenges of the clean energy transition from a circular economy perspective
Renewable energy technologies, such as wind turbines, solar photovoltaic panels and batteries, are essential for Europe’s transition to climate neutrality. Deployment, maintenance and replacement of this infrastructure requires significant resources, including many substances included in the EU list of critical raw materials.
Waste arising from end-of-life clean energy infrastructure is projected to grow up to 30-fold over the next 10 years, presenting significant opportunities to reduce consumption of scarce raw materials by recycling metals and other valuable resources back into production systems.
Circular economy approaches such as repair and upgrading of equipment and recycling of end-of-life infrastructure can underpin the sustainability credentials of EU renewable energy.
The extraction/processing of raw materials is associated with potentially significant environmental impacts, including contributing to approximately half of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions globally. In the EU, non-energy, non-agricultural raw materials account for 18 % of GHG emissions associated with EU consumption.
Given the EU's commitment to reducing its GHG emissions, and the European Green Deal's aspiration to achieve a climate-neutral continent by 2050, mitigating climate impacts from raw material production is central to the EU's climate agenda.
All activities associated with collecting waste materials for recycling lead to GHG emissions. Especially for metals, however, their contribution to emissions is only a fraction of the emissions saved by not using primary metals.
Every year, about 100 billion tons of material are taken from the planet - but only 10 billion are circularized. The results of the TOP 10 study clearly highlight the differences between the systems: the waste culture and concepts are different in the Global North and the Global South, as are the objectives of the respective legislations.
In the Global North, the goal is to decouple waste generation from consumption. In the Global South, waste increases with per capita income; here, the old consumption patterns and images of the rich Global North are often emulated.
Scorecards are used in the study to assess individual materials and their circular maturity in the region. The overall score is shown in the summary per material.
Innovation Deal for a circular economy: unlocking opportunities through public-private collaboration
By designing and enabling the use of Electric Vehicle (EV) batteries for multiple use-cycles, valuable materials are maintained, and a range of economic and environmental benefits can be unlocked.
Innovators from the automotive industry, Dutch and French public authorities, and the European Commission have collaborated to identify regulatory barriers to reusing EV batteries as energy storage devices and unlock solutions.
France’s Anti-waste and Circular Economy Law is a great example of cross-sectoral collaboration. Policymakers, municipalities, NGOs and businesses worked together with the public administration to identify a richer range of needs, solutions, and policy measures. As a result, the law is ambitious and contributes to a system-wide transition towards a circular economy.
Wasted bread: New culture medium for growing starters from bakery waste in the fermented food industry
Through fermentation, bread scraps can produce chemical compounds for the pharmaceutical and food industries, fuels and enzymes. The starters (which kickstart the fermentation process) obtained by this project confirm the huge economic and technological potential of a growing substrate obtained from low-cost matrices.
The protocol includes homogenisation of the waste bread (leavened bakery products), with the addition of enzymes and final sterilisation.
The culture medium can be liquid (broth), solid (agar) or dehydrated. The substrate can be used for cultivating lactic bacteria, yeasts and moulds (for the food industry).
About 10% of the bread waste produced monthly can be used to yield a culture medium for bacterial starters.
Promotion of the circular economy in the Hotel Industry in Cyprus and Greece – Preliminary assessment of the current status of circular economy
This report is published by the Cyprus Federation of Employers & Industrialists (OEB), the Institute of Greek Tourism Confederation (INSETE) and the public policy consultancy adelphi (Germany) as part of the European project Hotels4Climate financed by EUKI.
The report aims to assess the current state of circularity in the hotel industry in Cyprus and Greece by conducting national surveys in both countries targeting hotels in order to:
- identify the priority sectors within the main services offered by hotels, the business challenges and opportunities to move to circular economy,
- create successful, flexible and resilient circular business models, and
- identify a number of internal and external barriers that raise obstacles to the transition to circular economy.
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.
Chemical Recycling Europe is a platform that encourages its members to unite for the common goal of closing the loop for the plastics industry through technological innovation and participation within chemical recycling. The platform encourages the goal of recycling all plastic waste into its original components or as value-added materials.
The association was established in 2019 for the European chemical recycling industry to make a difference towards the public and European institutions.
Its members offer technologies to transform unrecyclable plastic waste into new raw materials. In this way, the transformation to reuse ensures the reduction of CO2 emissions and combat global warming and increased CO2 footprint of plastic products.
Turuta is a project of mutual exchange and enrichment. Starting in 2010 as an experimental project of a new microeconomy, it gave birth to the "turuta market", based on a social currency called turuta (a traditional military march played during Carnival parades). This is used to pay for local goods and services, promoting local production and interchange. Each partner in the turuta market has an online account.
It is a living project being developed by the members of the association ECOL3VNG (local ecological economic ecosystem at Vilanova i la Geltrú, Barcelona). The collective history of this ecosystem is being written through minute-taking (agreements of Board, commissions and assemblies, i.e. the "legislation") and account-taking of the exchanges between partners.
The EU-funded DigiCirc project aims at enabling the digitalisation of the Circular Economy by building upon the innovation potential of SMEs. It accelerates innovation by identifying cutting-edge circular economy solutions and by promoting business development and start-up growth.
DigiCirc will build and coordinate an innovative network of stakeholders that will set the foundation for an open space for innovation performed through the DigiCirc accelerators.
45 circular innovations, addressing sectoral challenges and generating new value chain, will be selected through open calls in three domains:
- Circular cities
- Blue economy.
For more information on open calls (the first on Circular cities to be launched in November) and the accelerator programme click here.
The Nordic Circular Hotspot aims to be the leading resource and collaborative learning hub on circular economy in the Nordics.
This Hotspot works to connect stakeholders in the Nordic region, such as local and regional governments, business, communities, knowledge institutions and academia, to (co-)develop and initiate practical circular solutions, business models, projects and initiatives. The aim is to be the go-to place in the region for everything circular in the region to faster accelerate the transition to a circular economy.
The CirQuality OWL project is funded by the EU (ERDF) and the Federal State North-Rhine Westfalia (NRW) with the aim of fostering the circular economy in the area.
Seven regional partners from the different fields (from energy to technologies to food to universities and associations) teamed up to use the circular economy to get the region off the ground in an innovative, crisis-proof, resilient and sustainable way. Together they are jointly striving for the following goals:
- Discover Circular Economy (CE)
- Regional capacity building
- Qualifying stakeholders
- Providing strategic support to stakeholders
- Developing regional identity
- Transfer results
Circular Economy Forum Austria: a learning and dialog platform for enterprises aiming at an innovation ecosystem
Circular Economy Forum Austria is a learning and dialog platform, initiating and promoting the exchange and further development of knowledge, ideas and implementations and identifies potential synergies among companies, politics, science, research and design.
- operates and collaborates in a solution-oriented and innovative way;
- supports and facilitates comprehensive transformation by linking interdisciplinary know-how and ideas for innovation, decision makers and practitioners;
- promotes new business partnerships to increase the visibility of existing and up-coming circular innovation supporting the expansion of the Austrian circular eco-system;
- encourages and fosters collaborative projects and initiatives with contributions to value creation cycles.
On 1 June 2022, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Circular Economy – Sustainable Competences for Youth project will jointly host an interactive conference with experts in circular economy competences and youth, policy makers, academics and business representatives.
During this conference, participants will learn more about the outputs from the CESCY project, but will also be given the opportunity to share their views on the topics at stake, as well as to hear from speakers and participants from different sectors and backgrounds.
Fecc, which represents the chemical distribution industry in Europe, is organising a multi-stakeholder panel discussion. The discussion will bring together members of the chemical distribution sector to discuss their sustainability initiatives and how they can be aligned with the current European regulatory framework on the circular economy and COVID-19 recovery.
During this event, members of the Inclusive Wise Waste Cities (IWWCs) project from China and the Netherlands will explore the transition to the circular economy.
Join the Open Session of ACR+ General Assembly 2022 - under the banner "A circular resilient Europe" - on the morning of 10 June in Brussels. Discuss the path that cities and regions should take to accelerate the sustainable transition. Experts representing the European Commission, the European Economic and Social Committee and two leading NGOs will help navigate through the new instruments and circular economy solutions available at local and regional level.
CITEO is organising a conference on "From innovation to consumption: how new practices accelerate the circular economy" in connection with EU Green Week, which this year focuses on the delivery of the European Green Deal. The conference will take place in person only in Brussels on 31 May from 16:30 to 18:00 CEST.
CITEO considers that it is crucial to connect up the various actors involved in changes to environmental practices, from innovative start-ups to consumers.
The Circular Week is an international series of events and initiatives dedicated to circular economy and sustainable development all over Europe. It aims to promote the idea of circular economy, support sustainable business models and establish cooperation between stakeholders.
Its 5th edition, from 3 to 9 October 2022, will include workshops, debates, meetings, expert panels and matchmaking sessions for business. Its culminating event is the Mazovia Circular Congress on 7 October.
A circular economy plays a key role in halting and reversing global biodiversity loss. Join the webinar on 13 June to discuss the findings of Sitra’s new study and its linkages to key business and policy measures.
As the Horizon 2020 research programme becomes Horizon Europe, what better time to see how great ideas turned into real projects? LOOPS will be the opportunity to show what cutting-edge research has been produced, and what changes it can bring to our communities.
For those who are not familiar with it, LOOPS is a live webinar series committed to spotlighting innovation in the circular economy. The topic of the episode on 3 June will be the EU Soil Strategy.
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 what changes it can bring to our communities.
For those who are not familiar with it, LOOPS is a live webinar series committed to spotlighting innovation in the field of the circular economy and sustainability. The topic of the episode on 1 June will be how digital technology can make the economy more resillient.
EU ETV (Environmental Technology Verification) is a circular economy tool that provides third-party verification of the performance of innovative technologies to help them enter the market. The EU ETV Secretariat invites you to attend the 5th ETV Stakeholder Forum: De-risking the adoption of green technologies for a sustainable industrial transition. The hybrid event will be held on 1 June 2022 in Brussels at EIT House and online.
The European Investment Bank has signed a loan agreement of up to €30.75 million with Renewcell. The Sweden-based fashion innovator has devised a way to turn discarded clothing into Circulose®, a pulp from which new fabric can be made. After proving their concept, Renewcell will use the loan to build their first full commercial-scale recycling plant, able to produce 60 000 tonnes per year.
Join the online workshop on Traceability, the accuracy of information and market surveillance in the Textile Industry which will be held on 12 July 2021, from 10:00 to 13:00 CEST, as part of the consultative process for the development of the Strategy for Sustainable Textiles.
New European Bauhaus (NEB) and Level(s)
Thank you to everyone who joined the session on the ‘search for sustainable buildings’ at EU Green Week on 3 June, which showed how the New European Bauhaus (NEB) and Level(s) can drive a circular and inclusive built-environment transformation.
Circular Insider - A speed date with circular economy frontrunners
Circular Change invites you to discover the circular lifestyle with its brand new publication. Circular Insider aims to be a source of inspiration for decision makers and to bring the concept of the circular economy closer to the general public.
Aimplas coordinated the European Life Ecomethylal Project, which has ended with the construction of a plant capable of extracting up to half a kilo of methylal from each kilo of non-recyclable waste.
The Circular Consumption Charter is the result of a partnership between Eni and 18 Italian consumer associations. It was launched on 17 June at a conference involving consumer associations, representatives of public institutions, the scientific world and the certification sector. EESC Vice-President Cillian Lohan participated in the event.
Interested in contributing to EU efforts to fight food loss and waste? Don’t miss the opportunity to submit your application!
The Commission is calling for applications from private sector organisations with expertise and proven track record in food waste prevention to re-establish, together with public entities, the EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste for its second mandate (2022-2026).
This study aims to provide information about circular economy perspectives in the management of textile products and textile waste in the European Union. The report improves the understanding of current value chains in the manufacturing and retailing of apparel products in the EU and provides a detailed picture of material flows in the EU textile sector in a global context.
The Conference on the Future of Europe is collecting ideas on how to use resources more efficiently in a circular economy. As well as sharing your own ideas, you can also find other ideas from across Europe.
Discover the ECESP Coordination Group's work plan 2021 to advance the circular economy and bring the community together. The Group members will use their expertise and tackle issues in eight key areas identified as essential for the transition to a more circular economy.