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.
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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.
The Italian project BIOCOSI (BIOdegradable and COmpostable packaging for sustainable, circular and smart industry) has come up with a revolutionary solution to the problem of wastewater in the dairy sector.
In Denmark, the interior design company Mater has developed chairs made out of brewery waste. The production method uses plastic waste and the grain left over from beer production at the Danish brewery Carlsberg.
Fjällräven is giving wool waste a second life by using it for innovative purposes, like padding in jackets or backplate in backpacks.
Cikautxo worked with the TAPA (ThermoplAstic fluid handling Pipes for cooling circuits in Automotive sector) project, funded by EIT RawMaterials, to develop new materials for pipes and hoses. They substituted natural rubber with a 100% recyclable thermoplastic material (thermoplastic elastomeric, TPE), using energy-efficient extrusion technology.
The Horizon 2020 project SUSTAINair was launched recently. It aims to research and develop solutions to increase resource efficiency and aircraft performance while cutting down on waste and material costs throughout the aircraft life cycle - what is known as "circular aviation".
CLIC trans-disciplinary research project aims to demonstrate that it is economically, socially and environmentally convenient to maintain and/or reuse cultural heritage and landscape.
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.
How can design help the circular economy? Design is born from the need to find or adapt solutions to everyday problems.
Design is present throughout the value chain: production, location, distribution, transformation, transport, sales and user experience. Design can minimise the impact on the environment and simultaneously empower people in their habits and environmental preservation. This is done through shapes, materials, production processes, colours, legibility, concept and narratives that value what is systemic.
A design project starts by thinking about what you intend to achieve. A design collaboration (a dynamic of cause and effect) helps identify weaknesses and opportunities when it comes to adopting a circular design to each stage of the process.
In its position paper, Eurocities aims at contributing to the revision of the EU legislation on packaging and packaging waste by making proposals on:
- packaging design (to facilitate separate sorting by citizens, and further dismantling for reuse or recycling, i.e. less complexity in packaging materials)
- compostable/biodegradable plastic packaging (citizens cannot distinguish between biodegradable/compostable and more ‘conventional’ ones; the Commission should assess if this packaging can benefit the environment or create more littering and hamper waste collection, reuse and recycling)
- reuse and recycling (new legislation should consider EU-wide mandatory labelling to identify packaging as reusable, recyclable or compostable) and
- extending the EPR schemes.
The European Resource Efficiency Knowledge Centre (EREK for short) is here to help European companies, especially SMEs, save energy, material and water costs. We provide tools, information and business opportunities that show you new and better ways to be resource efficient and benefit from circular economy business models which turn waste into an asset. EREK also supports national, regional and local organisations across Europe that work with SMEs to improve their environmental performance, helping them to become more resource efficient.
SMEs can get the following benefits thanks to EREK’s tools and services:
- Access to knowledge on best available technologies and business models
- Better control of energy, water and material costs
- Compliance checks for upcoming regulations
- Become less dependent on suppliers
- Demonstrate return on investment when adopting resource efficient measures Information on funding sources and technology providers
- Help building a green image which enables the targeting of new customer segments
EREK offers the following to SME intermediaries:
- Tools and instruments for businesses to assess their saving potentials
- Access to top international knowledge, technical expertise and practices on resource efficiency
- Capacity-building workshops and networking events Online training opportunities to learn from resource efficiency experts
- Overview of relevant support programmes available on European, national and regional levels
- Updates on professional events within the community
Concrete activities include:
- European Resource Efficiency Self-Assessment Tool for SMEs
- Catalogue of Resource Efficiency Improvement Measures
- European Resource Efficiency Information Database
- Online EREK platform
- Structured knowledge on resource efficiency best practices
- News, trends, and information on support programmes
- Database and managed European network of the national and regional organisation providing support to SMEs in resource efficiency measures
- Capacity-building and training workshops
- Knowledge resources, expertise and sharing
EREK is an initiative of the European Commission and is implemented by a consortium of organisations including Technopolis Group, VDI Zentrum Ressourceneffizienz (DE), WRAP (UK), Motiva (FI), Enviros (CZ), WAAT and Arctik (BE).
Circle Lab is an online platform for cities, businesses, and citizens to explore, brainstorm, and implement circular business models and strategies to tackle universal and local challenges.
By digitising knowledge, opening up access, and encouraging co-creation, we aim to break down information silos and fuel cross-industry collaboration and innovation. The circular economy has the potential to change the world, and we believe the time to bring the concept to the kitchen table – so that everyone, from entrepreneurs to big brands, can play a role in making it a reality – is now.
Catalunya Circular was launched on the 9th of May 2018 in Barcelona and it already has around 20 member organizations. Its aim is to become a central point of reference for circular economy (CE) in Catalonia.
Besides providing useful knowledge and information on CE, Catalunya Circular offers an opportunity to raise awareness about the work done by Catalan businesses and society by publishing details of their CE initiatives. These initiatives are geolocated on an interactive map and can be selected using a search engine that allows users to look for projects by keyword and/or type of economy.
The ARA Innovation Space is a place for networking, interdisciplinary exchange and innovative creating around topics for a circular economy.
For civil society, artists, scientists, creative people, students, entrepreneurs and all those who are simply curious. The goal of the ARA Innovation Space is to connect people on a cross-disciplinary level to join forces developing and implementing innovative solutions – contributing to the sustainable use of our natural resources.
We organize workshops, networking events as well as creative formats such as exhibitions and performances on a regular basis.
The aim of FURN360 is to create an Innovative didactic content to promote the integration of the Circular Economy Principles within the different business models used by the furniture and woodworking sectors specialized in office and contract.
It will comprise a joint curriculum, didactic materials and a collaborative platform in line with the needs of identified different target users. FURN360 will develop and implement an innovative practice, a new training curriculum for the furniture sector, specifically for the office furniture and contract sectors, adapted to the future trends and needs of the whole society in terms of circular economy.
Cities are where the future happens first. The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group connects more than 90 of the world’s greatest cities, representing over 650 million people and one quarter of the global economy. Created and led by cities, C40 is focused on tackling climate change and driving urban action that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks, while increasing the health, wellbeing and economic opportunities of urban citizens.
As a part of the circular economy, Eco-design is a way for enterprises to reduce the impacts of their products or services at each step of their life cycle.
Since 2012, UCM help SMEs to integrate this approach in order to make their business less impacting, but also compatible with the evolution of the reglementation, cost-effective and connected to the new customers markets.
You want to improve your life cycle management? Take opportunities in the Circular economy? Or even change your business model? Don’t hesitate to make your first step with us. We propose short and mid-term supports, customs tools and seminars, and grant research for circular projects.
The CircE Project (European regions toward Circular Economy) involves 8 partners both at regional and local scale and representatives of different European social and economic scenarios. The project aims at strengthening the diffusion of Circular Economy in Europe, consistently with the European Commission’s Circular Economy Package (2015). In particular the project aims at helping the partners involved to increase the capability of their policy instruments to steer economy towards a circular model. The project carries out this task by aiming at modifying or readdressing the selected policy instruments through an exchange of knowledge/experiences among Partners, through a continuous involvement of Stakeholders and through a deeper analysis of economic system.
Circular Europe Network gathers ACR+ members committed to improve their resource strategies and strengthen the sustainable development of their territory. The CEN will be helped by an Advisory Committee involving European experts from various backgrounds, in order to provide a multi-stakeholders input.
TO-SYN-FUEL is a project funded by Horizon 2020 EU’s new research and innovation programme, with the aim to build-up, operate and demonstrate the production of Synthetic Fuels and Green Hydrogen from organic waste biomass, mainly sewage sludge.
The project meets the European Commission proposal for the Renewable Energy Directive for the post 2020 period, which introduces a gradual phase-out of conventional biofuels and sets a minimum target for advanced biofuels for transports. Therefore, there is an urgent need to bring innovative biofuels from sustainable raw materials to the market.
The Re-think Circular Economy Forum will be held on 28 and 29 September 2021 in Taranto, Italy. The event aims to examine macro-trends, possible evolutionary paths and the main circular economy projects, involving stakeholders operating at different levels, such as companies, start-ups, research centres and other institutions. This two-day event will be an incredible opportunity to analyse the theme of the circular economy, looking at issues key to the city of Taranto. The forum will cover: Energy transition and renewable energies; Circular ports; Environmental management and waste.
Resource extraction and processing are responsible for 90% of land-use related biodiversity loss. Nature conservation and restoration on their own will not be enough to halt and reverse biodiversity loss. The transition to a circular economy provides a pivotal opportunity to explore this issue. Join the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, L'Institut National de l'Economie Circulaire (INEC), the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the ECESP on 8 September at 3 p.m. CEST for the first hybrid #EUCircularTalks from the EU Pavilion at IUCN’s World Conservation Congress.
The transition towards a circular economy needs to be supported by supranational, national and regional governments. This info session organised by REPLACE focuses on the role that the regions can play in this transition, flagging up the importance of interregional cooperation.
Join REPLACE (REgional PoLicy Actions for Circular Economy) for a #circulareuregionsweek event and find out about the Circular Benchmark Tool. The circular economy has certainly gained momentum: it is being recognised as an extremely important asset in the fight against climate change as it reduces society's pressure on ecosystems. Raw material prices are also skyrocketing, demonstrating the fragility of the current wasteful global supply chain.
To mark the construction of its two multi-feedstock pilot plants (biorefineries), the BBI JU-funded Agrimax project is hosting an online event to showcase its ground-breaking new facilities in Spain and Italy.
The European Commission considers the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) as a regulatory measure to promote sustainable textiles and treating textile waste under the waste hierarchy. Register now for the #EUCircularTalks on 21 September at 13:00-15:00 (CEST). OVAM, European Environmental Bureau, EuRIC, Ecopreneur.eu, Eurocommerce, and the ECESP invite you to discuss ongoing developments around setting Extended Producer Responsibility schemes for textiles.
The linear way of producing and consuming products is ruining fragile ecosystems and causing the loss of valuable natural resources. The circular economy brings more sustainable solutions where products are in use longer, and materials are reused to manufacture new products.
GS1, TCO Development, EIT Circular Economy Community and the ECESP invite you to the #EUCircularTalks on the green digital passport. Mark your calendars on 14 September, and stay tuned via our communication channels for updates.
Euric, Innowo, the Leadership Group on Economic Incentives and the ECESP invite you to this #EUCircularTalks event to take place from 2 to 4 p.m. CEST on 3 September 2021. The event aims to foster discussion on the importance of aligning taxation with the strategic goals enshrined in the Green Deal and the new Circular Economy Action Plan. High-level policy makers will talk with experts from industry and non-governmental organisations about the key factors involved when developing a fair taxation system.https://circulareconomy.europa.eu/platform/sites/default/files/femke-groothuis-green-tax_0.pdf
From 28 June to 9 July, join the European Commission's experts online for the Horizon Europe Info Days. This 10-day event will enable prospective applicants and other EU research and innovation stakeholders to get information and ask questions about the new features, main funding instruments and processes of Horizon Europe.
The Sustainable products initiative, which will revise the Ecodesign Directive and propose additional legislative measures as appropriate, aims to make products placed on the EU market more sustainable. You are welcome to give your feedback on it until 2 November 2020.
The EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste publishes a monthly newsletter to help Platform members stay connected, inform all interested stakeholders about Platform members’ activities and inspire further action in food loss and waste prevention.
The 5th Circular Change Conference, one of key European meeting points of circular economy changemakers, was transformed this year into a “virtual roadshow” consisting of 5 events based on 5 partnerships
We are launching a Call for Expression of Interest for the new mandate of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform Conference (ECESP), that will run from November 2020 to May 2022, open to stakeholders who wish to take part in this unique European initiative.
A new project addressing the systemic complexities of the Circular Economy is being submitted as a Marie Curie (MSCA) post doc proposal. As these aspects build upon multi-stakeholder knowledge and insights, you are kindly invited to join the project community and collaborate.
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.