Refarmed uses the concept of ‘building integrated agriculture’. High-impact buildings (meaning they produce a lot of waste and excess heat) are equipped with rooftop greenhouses which turn all that waste into value - to support low-impact food production.
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ConnectedBin has developed a waste container solution using artificial intelligence to identify waste types and sort them properly. The Internet of Things system reports on waste types and amounts, making waste collection more efficient.
Residuos do Nordeste, an intermunicipal waste management company based in North-Eastern Portugal, is running an education and awareness-raising campaign called "Educar para uma Economia Circular" related to the top of the waste management hierarchy: prevention.
Studio Thomas Vailly's project makes use of what is left of the sunflower crop to produce innovative materials.
TailoredTile creates decorative tile pieces completely made of recovered plastic. The company also promotes circular economy by accepting used tilegrams in exchange of purchase discounts, as this material can be crushed and shaped more than once.
Sonae Arauco is a wood-based panel producer that contributes to the circular economy through the recovery of wood waste. It has developed a close value chain that reuses and recycles the wood residues generated during the production process.
For New York's design week, NYCxDESIGN in May 2018, the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York invited chefs from the Helsinki-based Restaurant Nolla to bring their zero waste food philosophy to New York. The temporary bistro was built on themes of circular economy, new material innovations and sustainable design.
eCO2blocks creates an alternative – or a complementary material – to cement by producing building blocks made from industrial waste and water which is not fit for drinking.
Da Vide: reducing CO2 emissions when producing paper, paints and pens from by-products of grapevines
In the Douro Valley of Portugal, the research and development project Da Vide has created a range of products using grapevine residues – from paper to pens – avoiding the use of plastics and wood and using agricultural waste as a resource.
A team of researchers from the Faculty of Science and Technology of the University of Coimbra (FCTUC) has developed an innovative wastewater treatment technique using natural flocculants extracted from waste eucalyptus wood.
The electrical and electronics industry has been contributing to Europe socially and economically for almost 100 years. However, its production, use and disposal are resource- intensive activities resulting in significant environmental and climate impacts.
Case studies of 4 different electronic product groups show there is potential for significant increases in their actual lifetime use. Extending the lifetime and delaying the obsolescence of electronics can significantly reduce impacts and contribute to meeting EU environment, climate and circularity objectives.
EU legislation includes recycling targets for municipal, construction and demolition, and electronic waste. This European Environment Agency briefing shows that there is significant potential to increase recycling from all of these streams.
However, to fully exploit this potential, current barriers need to be overcome. This also requires strong implementation of targeted regulations to increase separate collection.
Implementing new policy measures, some of which are already included in the EU 2020 Circular Economy Action Plan, can both directly and indirectly exploit the potential for increased recycling.
More and more plastic products are being labelled as compostable, biodegradable, oxo-degradable or bio-based. However, plastics made from bio-based materials are not necessarily compostable or biodegradable. Moreover, plastics that do biodegrade can be made from fossil fuel-based materials.
What is the difference between compostable and biodegradable? What happens to biodegradable and compostable plastics when they are littered? Can citizens compost such products in their own gardens? Can such plastics be recycled?
The brochure "From Linear to Circular in the Textile and Apparel Industries - Let’s make the circular shift together" aims to give a push towards a circular textile industry. Circular economy strategies and business models have the potential to offer solutions for the textile industry:
- use renewable sources
- phase out dangerous substances
- increase utilisation and
- radically improve reuse and recycling.
The brochure highlights Dutch circular frontrunners that make a change - just a fraction of the initiatives, organisations and technologies available. Only the most inspiring examples have been selected, with a potential to be upscaled and implemented in other parts of the world, hoping that they will also inspire and encourage others to collaborate and make a change.
Bio-waste – mainly food and garden waste – is a key waste stream with a high potential for contributing to a more circular economy.
This European Environmental Agency Report provides an overview of bio-waste generation, prevention, collection, and treatment in Europe.
Bio-waste accounts for more than 34 % of the municipal solid waste. Many countries in Europe are far from capturing bio-waste's full potential. Food waste accounts for nearly 60 % of all bio-waste from households and similar sources. Preventing it is felt as an ethical responsibility for society.
Composting (with oxygen) and anaerobic digestion (without) are currently the two most widely applied treatment techniques. The latter generates biogas - renewable energy - and tends to deliver higher environmental benefits.
The lack of a commonly accepted, inclusive definition of and methodology for measuring circularity hinder the transition to a more circular economy (CE). These two factors obstruct the development of and access to dedicated or non-dedicated finance, credit risk assessment and the transferability and replicability of projects and investments across regions and jurisdictions.
The Expert Group on Circular Economy Financing proposes a sector agnostic CE categorisation system that defines categories of activities substantially contributing to a CE. Guidelines with an indicative list of typical investments/projects for each CE category are included.
Many European countries still lack a national strategic roadmap for transposing the European directives at national level.
Some outstanding issues include the need to have clearer operational guidelines for the adoption of circular models and metrics for monitoring the transition towards circular models.
This study has been prepared in collaboration with Enel and with the scientific contribution of Enel Foundation. It unfolds in three main parts:
- State-of-the-art of Circular Economy in the European Union
- An innovative assessment model for socio-economic and environmental benefits of Circular Economy in the EU, with a focus on Italy, Romania, and Spain
- Policy proposals for successfully managing the transition from a linear to a circular world
This research reviews the long history and diversity of circularity thinking to develop a comprehensive timeline, which identifies and conceptually classifies 72 different CE-related concepts from the Global North and South alike (such as industrial ecology, Gandhian and steady-state economics, buen vivir, doughnut economics, degrowth).
In November 2020 the paper was completed with an interactive timeline that helps researchers and practitioners better situate and navigate the concept of circular economy, both in its rich historical origins and in its theoretical diversity. It thus fosters a cross-pollination of concepts and ideas which can help address the complex socio-ecological challenges of the 21st century.
To learn more about this timeline, please click here.
The European Manufacturers of Electrical Machines and Power Electronics are committed to Circular Economy
The European Committee of Manufacturers of Electrical Machines and Power Electronics (CEMEP) supports the development towards a circular economy (CE), thus actively contributing to more sustainable manufacturing and responsible consumption. This industrial sector follows a business-to-business market model, delivering products for a wide number of economic sectors and applications.
Its three main product groups – electric motors, variable speed drives and uninterruptable power systems – show differences and similarities when it comes to material efficiency, hence the need for sector- or product-specific approaches when pursuing CE.
This position paper describes the CE status of the CEMEP industries and the way forward towards more circularity.
This document is the result of the active involvement of the Interreg MED Green Growth community, together with its projects.
To make circular economy (CE) simpler, more efficient and more competitive, it is suggested to take a holistic, integrated and cooperative approach, by considering all phases in which CE is structured, all levels (from local to European) and all stakeholders involved in the implementation of CE models.
The policy recommendations proposed in the document are structured into six main areas:
- Investments and access to finance
- Technological infrastructure
- Labour market and employment
- Awareness and knowledge
- Cooperation among stakeholders and technology transfer
- Cross-cutting issues.
Against the backdrop of the upcoming Sustainable Products Initative, and the recently presented proposal for a Batteries and Waste Batteries Regulation, policy makers and representatives from the Nordic business community come together to discuss how they can best ensure sustainability and circularity in future products and material cycles.
Circular Economy Hackathon is a hack-and-learn race with a focus on unleashing innovation. Participants will work collectively with the aim of developing ideas, involving students, recent graduates and PhD students in a process of designing and redesigning cities for circularity. The aim is to deep-dive and reveal the core problems with current urban settlements. This entirely online event on 11-12 June will have an international focus and aims to lead to innovations in circular economy.
The Institute for Research in Circular Economy and Environment ”Ernest Lupan” (IRCEM) invites you to co-design the city of the future, a city capable of ensuring its survival and prosperity in the face of the increasingly severe conditions imposed by climate change and the high consumption of urban resources.
At the event "Resilient and sustainable cities: Circular Cities", over the course of two days, we will assess whether we need different urban behaviour or a different way of crafting public policies based on the principles of prediction and anticipation. You are invited to join the analysis of the concept of urban resilience, and to discuss what the future prospects of cities are in terms of their circular development.
Circular Threads is the first sector study carried out to measure the level of circularity of the textile industry in Italy. In order to promote the transition towards the Circular Economy in the textile industry, Tondo - in collaboration with Fondazione Pistoletto, Associazione Tessile e Salute and Ren - has conducted research that aims to measure the level of sustainability and circularity on a sector and company scale.
Join TCO Certified for a presentation on 16 June of their upcoming report Impact and Insights: Navigating the Sustainable IT Revolution. The report will be launched in June and focuses on the critical role of independent verification and and answers the question: How to avoid false claims and greenwash by getting proof in your IT procurement?
As the largest Extended Producer Responsibility organisation in Europe in charge of household packaging and graphic papers, Citeo is fully concerned by the fight against litter pollution. In order to address the main questions and challenges surrounding this complex issue, Citeo is organising a coffee-break conference on Wednesday 2 June on Tackling litter pollution: from obligations to actions!
Metal recycling plays a key role in Europe’s circular and climate neutral objectives. Thanks to their intrinsic properties, metals can be indefinitely recycled without losing their properties. Yet, more can be done to better reward metal recycling and circular metal value chains, while preserving the competitiveness of Europe’s recycling industry. Join EuRIC Recyclers’ Talks#3 on Circular Metals on 7 June 2021 to learn more!
This roundtable discussion on 10 June 2021 will bring together experts from Europe and beyond to share knowledge and best practices in life-cycle assessment approaches, particularly in the rare earth sector.
Circular Week, an international campaign consisting of a series of events and initiatives devoted to circular economy and sustainable development, will take place on 12-18 October 2021 throughout Europe. Its goal is to promote the idea of a circular economy, support sustainable business models and establish cooperation between interested stakeholders.
The Market-driven Circular & Bioeconomy EU Green Week Partner Event on 8 June 2021 brings together representatives of European projects based on industry-academic partnerships in the fields of biodiversity, forestry, engineering, chemistry, agriculture, and transport.
ACR+ has created 3 new working groups on circular economy focusing on governance, procurement, and monitoring. They will bring together front-runners and learners to work on improving local and regional strategies on circular economy and resource efficiency.
LIFE - the European Programme for the Environment and Climate Action - has been financing Eco-Innovation and Circular Economy related projects since its start in 1992. The call for LIFE 2020 proposals is now open, with more than €450 million earmarked for nature conservation, environmental protection and climate action projects.
GRAMOFON, a European project coordinated by the Spanish Plastics Technology Centre AIMPLAS, has ended after 42 months, with very promising results on CO2 capture. New materials for capturing CO2 could be used to reduce industrial emissions and as catalysts.
In April 2020, European Aluminium launched its Circular Aluminium Action Plan, a strategy for achieving aluminium’s full potential for a circular economy by 2030.
All citizens and the wider community of stakeholders are welcome to express their views in a consultation on Waste shipments – revision of EU rules before 30 July 2020 (midnight CEST).
Business4Change is a 2-day Hackathon and initiative of the European Commission to be held on 16-17 November 2020 in Brussels, Belgium. The focus of the Hackathon is to support businesses with their transition to the circular economy. They are currently looking for "challenge owners" to pitch the circular challenges they are facing.
Repair Café Paranduskohvik volunteers give broken household items a new life in Tartu, Estonia.
The Rediscovery Centre and the Environmental Protection Agency hosted a webinar on the European Commission’s recently released Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP) on 7 May 2020.
The Coordination Group of the ECESP notes with interest the Call for mobilisation for a Green Recovery to reboot and reboost our economies for a sustainable future. With most of us already having signed on, there is no question that the recovery needs to be combined with the European Green Deal. The question is how to do so.
Launched in memory of social innovation pioneer Diogo Vasconcelos, the European Social Innovation Competition is run by the European Commission across all EU Member States and Horizon 2020 Associated Countries. The theme this year is Reimagine Fashion.