In France, the designer Lucile Viaud found her way to contribute to organic recycling. More precisely, to recycling of seafood waste. Her work is focused on transforming oyster shells into glass.
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SirPlus, based in Germany, is an example of a business which avoids food waste to its utmost. It consists of a supermarket that sells food rejected by other stores for being considered out of the regular aesthetics for a supermarket – for instance, ugly fruit and vegetables, jars labelled incorrectly, or goods near or past expiry date.
RAU has been working in the architectural sector focusing on the design of sustainable buildings. Their projects include buildings for public/private sectors, with an integrated design methodology.
CIAK is a waste management company from Croatia that focuses on recovering hazardous and non-hazardous waste. Focusing on recovering and recycling accumulators and batteries, CIAK helps closing the loop for these products.
RecycLivre.com is a website selling second-hand books which aims to establish a relationship based on solidarity between its customers and underprivileged groups. It is built around the idea of promoting the recirculation of books instead of them being thrown away by their owners.
Tropa Verde was set up in Santiago de Compostela, Spain in 2015, and seeks to encourage environmentally responsible behaviour. Its goal is to promote recycling by rewarding environmentally-friendly practices.
Filippa K is a Swedish fashion brand which has taken significant steps to support sustainable consumption and design. The brand follows the "four Rs" of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repair in order to encourage more mindful consumption and diminish fashion's impact on the environment.
Bedzzzy is a great example of a 'product as a service'. Based in the Netherlands, it targets old mattresses which are a major source of waste, producing its own recyclable mattresses – the world’s very first 100% circular mattresses.
Reet Aus is a PhD-qualified fashion designer who founded her own brand that focuses on sustainable fashion. She has studied the issue of waste in the fashion industry.
Remondis is one of the world's largest recycling, service and water companies with over 30 000 employees and 900 business locations. The Lippe plant in Lünen is one of their largest sustainable projects: it has a surface area of 230 ha and is the largest industrial recycling plant in Europe.
Renewable energy is not enough. There needs to be a fundamental shift in the global approach to tackling climate change and the circular economy can play an essential role.
Completing the Picture: How the Circular Economy Tackles Climate Change, a paper published by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, tells us:
- Greenhouse gas emissions are not dropping quickly enough to achieve climate targets and switching to renewable energy can only cut them by 55%
- The remaining 45% of emissions come from how we make and use products, and how we produce food
The paper concentrates on five key areas (cement, plastics, steel, aluminium, and food) to illustrate how designing out waste, keeping materials in use, and regenerating farmland can reduce these emissions.
Over the last few years the concept of chemical recycling has been promoted by industry as a potential solution to help curb plastic pollution and waste management as a whole. This Zero Waste Europe report looks into the knowledge available as well as the state of implementation of such technologies in the European context.
Mechanical recycling is a mature industrial process, well established and expanding in Europe. Plastics cannot however be endlessly recycled mechanically without reducing their properties and quality. Besides, not all plastic types can be mechanically recycled. These limits set challenges for plastics recycling and show the need for significant improvements in the end-of-life management of plastics.
Since decades, innovators test gasification and pyrolysis for alternatives to waste to energy incineration with very limited results due to the energy balance and the environmental impact. In general, more information is needed about the environmental performance of chemical recycling technologies, as this industry is in its infancy and most plants are mere pilots. The roll-out of such technologies at industrial scale can only be expected from 2025-2030, an important factor when planning the transition to a Circular Economy and wider decarbonisation.
The right policy framework must accommodate chemical recycling as complementary to mechanical recycling while ensuring that carbon stays in the plastic, thus not being released into the environment. Therefore, allowing plastic to fuels to be considered chemical recycling risks creating a loophole in EU Climate and Circular Economy legislation.
The Elephant in the Boardroom: Why Unchecked Consumption is Not an Option in Tomorrow’s Markets is a working paper from the World Resources Institute that can guide discussion within companies about an uncomfortable truth: many of today’s business models are not fit for tomorrow’s resource-strained world.
Normalizing the conversation will set the groundwork for the pursuit of new business models that allow growth within the planet’s limits and generate stakeholder value in new and exciting ways.
This research, part of the CEC4Europe factbook on the circular economy published in September 2018, evaluates 131 projects from the Circular Economy Industry Platform (CEIP) regarding their contribution to circular economy from both a scientific and political perspective.
Content analysis was applied to derive qualitative and quantitative information from company statements on the platform. This was supplemented by qualitative, semi-structured interviews with company representatives on selected projects. Results showed a diverse approach to circularity across the sample projects, thereby partly expanding the sectoral focus of the circular economy package.
The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment unites businesses, governments, and other organisations behind a common vision and targets to address plastic waste and pollution at its source. It is led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in collaboration with the UN Environment Program. Launched in October 2018, the Global Commitment already unites more than 400 organisations in its common vision of a circular economy for plastics, keeping plastics in the economy and out of the ocean. Signatories include:
- close to 200 businesses that are part of the plastic packaging value chain, jointly representing over 20 % of all plastic packaging used globally, including many of the world’s leading consumer packaged goods companies, retailers, and plastic packaging producers
- 16 governments across five continents and across national, regional, and city level
- 26 financial institutions with a combined USD 4.2 trillion worth of assets under management and 6 investors in total committing to invest about USD 275 million
- leading institutions such as WWF, the World Economic Forum, the Consumer Goods Forum, and IUCN
- more than 50 academics, universities, and other educational or research organisations including MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative, Michigan State University, and University College London.
All 400+ organisations have endorsed one common vision of a circular economy for plastics, in which plastics never become waste. As this June 2019 report shows, the number of business signatories has grown from over 100 to nearly 200 in the seven months since the launch.
The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has released a report on tackling plastic waste using circular solutions, with a focus on the opportunities chemical recycling provides. After highlighting the scale of the issue, the report presents different ways of solving the plastic waste issue by comparing the impacts of different waste treatment options and technologies, such as pyrolysis. The report concludes that:
“To tackle the colossal societal and environmental issue of plastic waste, we need proportionally meaningful efforts from the private and public sectors as well as society at large that encompass behaviors and habits. The ultimate solutions will involve a combination of judicious consumption and disposal measures as well as the development of cost-competitive and environmentally friendly alternatives. Most observers would agree, however, that these changes are years away. In the meantime—over the next decade or two—we can implement circular solutions to reuse or repurpose plastic waste in the most efficient way.” (Boston Consulting Group, 2018, p. 24).
ECESP Coordination Group members contributed to this report, including Circular Change and Circle Economy.
In March 2019, the Italian Circular Economy Network hosted a national conference on the circular economy, where it presented this Report on the Italian circular economy in 2019. Based on the methodology used, comparing the 5 most important European economies, Italy is the top performer in terms of circular economy implementation, ahead of the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Spain (in this order). While Italy’s position has remained unchanged compared to the previous year, there are some small signs of a slowdown which must be taken into account.
The report makes the following 10 proposals for a circular economy in Italy:
- Spread and enrich circular vision, knowledge, research and good practices
- Implement a national strategy and action plan
- Improve the use of economic instruments
- Promote a regenerative bio-economy
- Integrate circular principles in public procurement
- Promote city initiatives
- Ensure rapid and effective implementation of the 2018 EU waste framework legislation
- Rapidly activate an effective end of waste (EoW) regulation
- Ensure the necessary business support infrastructure
- Extend circular principles to e-commerce
The Ecopreneur.eu landscape review of circular economy policy in the EU Member States aims to inspire these countries to accelerate their circular transition. Combining the EU's Monitoring Framework with other rankings, databases and reports, Ecopreneur presents 28 country profiles using a mix of quantitative data and qualitative information to highlight specific indicators. These range from waste generated per capita to voting behaviour on EU proposals on the circular economy.
The report also describes the current performance, initiatives, most relevant organisations, policies, challenges and examples of good practice for each Member State. The country profiles show 28 unique different trajectories towards the circular economy.
The Circular Economy Competences, Making the Case for Lifelong Learning report, published by ACR+ and Zero Waste Scotland , builds on the workshop these orgnisations hosted in the Euroepan Parliament on 19 February 2019. It gathers the experiences participants shared in that workshop, and is meant to help educators, policymakers and managers of NGOs involved in training and educational organisations to promote the development of local circular economy loops.
The three chapters of this booklet cover different areas of the lifelong learning landscape:
- Circular thinking in education
- Upskilling waste, repair & reuse industry
- Facilitating the transition towards a circular economy.
Businesses across Europe are fully engaged to maximise the value of materials, transition to circular business models and achieve a circular economy. This can be best achieved through a functioning market for secondary raw materials (SRMs) and circular products. A real market for SRMs requires a global level-playing field with similar regulatory frameworks and standards, but within the EU several challenges and untapped opportunities still remain. Among others, BusinessEurope recommends policy-makers to put more emphasis on removing inconsistencies and filling the gaps in the current policy framework, starting with a better implementation of the existing waste acquis, including more guidance to Member States and performing ex-post impact assessments on the benefits of full compliance.
As part of its work on the Environmental Footprint, the European Commission is organising a webinar for SMEs on 10 December. This webinar will provide an introduction to the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) method, answering questions such as: What is a PEF study? How can such a study be undertaken? What are the benefits for SMEs?
The 3rd ICESP annual conference on 11 December 2020, organised together with ENEA, presents the priorities for a post-COVID-19 recovery, based on the circular economy as a lever for effective actions in a resilient process and a recovery perspective.
The #EUCircularTalks are a new concept for exchange. They aim to encourage stakeholders to interact and discuss the circular economy topics on the Platform.
This workshop aims to discuss the opportunities of circular economy and its possible blindspots, and to explore how best to promote the proliferation of business models in the EU that are both circular and fair.
In this webinar on 4 December, Tondo and Circularise will discuss the potential of blockchain technology to support the transition to the circular economy.
How can digitalisation boost sustainability? How can we create opportunities for European SMEs and move towards more fairness and sustainability in the digital economy? How can digitalisation empower citizens and local communities, and assist consumers at making more sustainable choices?
The answer to these and many more questions raised at this conference on 25 November is: Go circular!
LAC Days - Webinar: Circular Economy in the Covid-19 era: Challenges and Opportunities will present expertise from Brazil, Chile and Slovenia on circular economy, as well as views and experience of regional and multilateral bodies (EC, UNEP, IRP).
These are unusual times for everyone but this is also a time when innovation is more important than ever! The ISPIM Connects Global Conference will be a celebration of innovation and feature success stories and insights from 21 global regions as we move around the world in 24 hours.
Smart Circular Economy is an international workshop focusing on the role of ICT as an enabler for the circular economy. Accepted and presented papers will appear in the IEEE Xplore library and all major publication indexes (DBLP, Scopus, etc.).
As you already know, because of uncertainties around travelling and attending public events over the following months due to COVID-19, Circular Economy Hotspot Catalonia has been postponed until 2021. However, in Catalonia they are fully committed to maintaining the hotspot momentum and keeping the circular economy community engaged with an online conference on 19 November 2020.
Organised by EIT Climate-KIC and the European Commission’s Executive Agency for Small and Medium Enterprises (EASME), this event will explore how the efficient design and funding of circular economy research & innovation can support nations all over the world with their economic recovery plans.
Encourage individuals and organizations to contribute to a more sustainable use of electronics by sharing tips and inspiring others to re-use products with the hashtag #CircularElectronicsDay!
Scientific journal Nature addresses setting up an international platform to share data and experiences, and coordinating industrial policies and trade to conserve resources and energy.
The European Commission’s Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance is inviting stakeholders to give their feedback, and is hosting a series of expert workshops. Register before 4 January 2019!
On December 6, European Commissioner for the Environment Karmenu Vella and other EU representatives met Romanian government ministers and civil society leaders including ECESP Coordination Group member Dr Elena-Simina Lakatos.
Polish Circular Hotspot builds on COP24 to sign cooperation agreement with circular networks across Europe, including ECESP Coordination Group member Circular Change.
The European Commission has launched a public consultation on the initiative "Towards an EU Product Policy Framework contributing to the Circular Economy".
The Coordination Group of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform held its second annual meeting on 18 and 19 October 2018.
The 7th European Environmental Evaluators Network Forum addressed the impact of evaluating environment and climate policies, including policies enabling the circular economy.
The Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform annual conference will take place on 6 and 7 March 2019.