Unverpackt in Kiel opened in February of 2014, becoming Germany’s first packaging-free store. Their goal is to reduce packaging and food waste and at the same time motivate customers to reflect on their own consumer behaviour.
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Cork-A-Tex is a project that uses recycled cork to create a yarn with high incorporation of cork. Cork is a 100% natural material made from the oak cork trees which can be recycled after its use as cork stopper in wine bottles.
The Belgian company Fertikal specialises in the production of organic fertilizers from recycled secondary materials. These recycled resources are collected in a radius of 150 km around the production facility and include chicken manure, struvite, digestates from bio-gas plants, composts, by-products from sugar beet and bio-diesel industry, etc.
Circular Flooring focuses on the recovery of the PVC compound from post-consumer PVC floor coverings and the separation of legacy plasticisers in order to create a recycled material for the manufacturing of new PVC floor coverings.
This transversal White Paper by the Interreg MED's Green Growth community displays the horizontal approach towards cooperation on Circular Economy and Green Growth in the Mediterranean as well as challenges, success factors and lessons learned.
Upcycling Scandinavia designs practical objects entirely made out of upcycled plastic. Its products are reusable and can be included into the remanufacturing of new products.
Het Hof van Cartesius is a non-governmental, bottom-up cooperative that provides circular and green workspaces for sustainable and creative entrepreneurs. The buildings are constructed completely with respect for circular design, using only secondary or biobased materials.
RecyCâbles is a joint venture between Suez and Nexans started in 2008 that collects, recovers and processes used cables. The recycling and re-use of cable materials keeps them in the economic loop.
A solvent-free adhesive that is suitable for recycling and also for bonding of recycled plastic films has been developed by Henkel to be used for multilayer packaging.
Saperatec is able to reclaim all individual raw materials from composite materials, thus making them available for recycling.
Despite resource efficiency improving 41% between 2000 and 2016,with the Circular Economy Package and the initiatives set out in the accompanying Action Plan nearing completion, the EU institutions must acknowledge that the move to a more resource efficient or “circular” economy will take time. To invest in new business models, more resource-efficient processes and new supply chains for good quality secondary materials, businesses need the assurance that the resource efficiency agenda will remain a priority for the EU in the long term.
This briefing sets out a range of policy recommendations that the Aldersgate Group believe EU institutions should continue to pursue beyond completion of the Circular Economy Package to scale up business action on resource efficiency. These recommendations are based on business case studies, including some developed as part of the EU LIFE+ funded REBus project, which began in 2013 and on which the Aldersgate Group is a partner. By the end of 2016, pilots taking part in the REBus project (many of which involved SMEs), had already delivered a financial benefit of €5.62m, material savings in excess of 62,000 tonnes and a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions of just under 2,000 tonnes. These benefits have continued to grow since.
Recommendations based on the report's findings include:
- Pursuing work to include resource efficiency design criteria in product standards by delivering on the commitment to publish an updated Ecodesign Working Plan once a year and rapidly broadening the range of products subject to resource efficiency design criteria;
- Promote business innovation on resource efficiency, through continued financial support for business trials and broadening the sectors that receive technical support through the Commission’s Innovation Deals;
- Expand the use of circular economy criteria in the public procurement of a broadening range of products and encourage their application across EU Member States and EU institutions;
- Encourage Member States to develop pricing mechanisms that support material re-use where it is environmentally effective to do so; and
- Ensure a consistent implementation of the Circular Economy Package in different Member States. This is especially important in terms of the improved definitions of “waste” currently being negotiated by all three EU institutions, which must ensure that materials are no longer classified as “waste” when they can be re-used safely.
Circular City Governance: An explorative research study into current barriers and governance practices in circular city transitions across Europe
Circular City Governance - An explorative research study presents the results of an empirical research study into current barriers and governance practices in circular city transitions across Europe carried out by a team from the Radboud University Nijmegen School of Management (NL). The research activities ran from October to December 2017. The main objective of the study was to support the European Investment Bank (EIB) and other members of the Urban Agenda Partnership on Circular Economy involved in the working group on “Circular City Governance” (CCG) with the identification, analysis and elaboration of actions in support of Circular Governance in Cities, particularly through better knowledge and better funding. At the time this report was completed, the UAPCE’s Action Plan had been recently published for public consultation.
The research study follows an empirical approach primarily focussed on the identification of (i) the most common barriers and challenges that are encountered by cities seeking to promote the circular economy, and (ii) the most important governance interventions cities have taken to initiate and advance in the transition to a circular city. This information was drawn from the analysis of selected case studies of circular economy projects in urban environments, various publicly available circular economy strategies, plans prepared by cities and interviews with experts and officials of front-runner cities that have embraced the CE agenda across Europe. The results of this research study should contribute towarads improving the general knowledge basis on the promotion of the CE in cities by presenting the experiences and main lessons learnt by cities at the forefront of the CE agenda.
The World Economic Forum’s Future of Urban Development and Services Initiative has released its new White Paper on the Circular Economy in Cities: evolving the model for a sustainable urban future.
This White Paper traces the conceptual underpinnings of the Circular Economy, and explains why cities are key to accelerating the transition away from the traditional ‘take-make-dispose’ model. It draws on examples from cities around the world in areas that include: channelling used building materials to new building sites, water harvesting and reuse, reducing energy use, electronic waste, healthcare and procurement. It explains the opportunities in the Circular Economy for all stakeholders and the ways in which they can work together at city level.
This report, commissioned by DG GROW and prepard by Technopolis and Franhofer ISI, identified major obstacles of regulatory nature or gaps within the existing legal framework where significant unlocked opportunities remain. The study includes an in-depth analysis of the identified obstacles and possible solutions through specific cases.
The analysis of specific regulatory barriers includes the full product lifecycle and focuses on the interfaces between different steps of the value chain (extraction/production, production/production internal loops, production/use, collection, waste-management/recycling/production). Barriers can be categorised within these 3 themes:
- Several case studies identified regulatory barriers often related to lacking legislation that would allow the collection and pre-treatment of homogenous waste streams.
- The second type of barrier refers to legislation that hinders the use of recycled materials in production processes.
- The third type of barrier is related to the lack of concrete and enforceable product requirements.
The analysis also highlights a variety of different generic types of barriers: in many cases waste legislation focuses on quantities (weight based collection or recycling targets) and not so much on the qualities of recycled materials. Inconsistencies between existing regulations, e.g. related to REACH or End-of-Waste criteria, have also been mentioned in a variety of case studies.
The study concludes that in general, high-quality recycling is definitely not prevented by regulatory obstacles, but by lacking or unclear legislation. Prime examples are End-of-Waste criteria or quality standards for secondary raw materials that create legal uncertainties for the industry that make it rational to continue to focus on primary raw material input.
The Relooping Fashion Initiative (2015-2017) was aimed at piloting and modelling the circular business ecosystem for textiles. This report covers the business ecosystem modelling work and introduces the project team’s crystallized vision of a higher-level system that enables the textiles industry to operate according to the basic principles of a circular economy.
The focus of the report is on explaining the principles of a circular economy in the context of textiles, and drawing a picture of the key material flows and types of actors along the value cycles from end-user back to end-user. The overall goal is to maintain the value of materials as high as possible, with minimum environmental impact. The different circular business models for textiles are introduced along the value cycles. The report covers 1) repair and maintenance, 2) re-use as product, 3) re-use as material, and 4) recycling-related activities, and business models for post-consumer/user textiles along the entire value chain.
All these processes need to work seamlessly together for the circular business ecosystem to function effectively. New recycling technologies are crucial to solving the global textile waste problem, and to be able to replace some of the virgin materials such as cotton with recycled textile materials. The report also discusses the topic of shared value creation in the circular economy context.
'The circular economy and the bioeconomy — Partners in sustainability' is the third EEA report on the circular economy. It aims to support the framing, implementation and evaluation of European circular economy policy from an environmental perspective. It shows that the two policy agendas have similar objectives and areas of intervention, including food waste, biomass and bio-based products, and that they would benefit from stronger links, particularly in product and infrastructure design, and collaboration throughout the value chain.
The increasing demand for food, feed, biomaterials and bioenergy resources could worsen the over-exploitation of natural resources. By extending the lifetime of products and recycling materials, a circular, bio-economy approach can help retain material value and functionality for longer time as well as avoid unrecycled biowaste.
Promising innovations and strategies for circular biomass use include biorefinery, 3D printing with bioplastics, multi-purpose crops, better use of residues and food waste, and biowaste treatment. Consumers can also contribute by eating less animal-based protein, preventing food waste and separating biowaste from other waste streams.
Implementing the circular and bio-economy in tandem, by applying specific design principles within a systemic approach, would improve resource efficiency and reduce environmental pressures.
This EEB and Eunomia report estimates the material consumption and CO2 emissions of the furniture sector at EU level and suggests some circular scenarios and policy options to grasp improvement opportunities.
Barriers to a circular furniture sector range from low quality materials, limited logistical infrastructure, poor demand for recycled materials to a wider range identified through the course of this research, informed through stakeholder consultation and literature review.
A move towards circular economy models within the European furniture sector would benefit from a variety of complimentary policy instruments to deal with market failures on the supply side and the demand side (creating demand for these products).
The climate conference in Paris has produced a landmark agreement. The emission reduction commitments made by 195 countries are a leap forward, but not yet sufficient to stay on a 2 °C trajectory, let alone a 1.5 °C pathway. Current commitments address only half the gap between business as usual and the 1.5 °C pathway. There is still a reduction of about 15 billion tonnes CO2e needed to reach the 1.5 °C target. Further solutions are therefore needed; solutions that go beyond decarbonising our energy system. This white paper by Ecofys and Circle Economy looks into the contribution a global circular economy could presumably make to bridging the emissions gap.
Since over half of the worldwide greenhouse gas emissions are associated with producing basic materials, there is a clear role for circular economy strategies in reducing this gap. To do this, the circular economy describes a practical and scalable landscape of opportunities by moving towards business models for an economy that is by design regenerative and as waste free as possible. Strategies at the heart of the circular economy include measures to reduce the input of virgin materials, improve the use of existing assets and reduce the output of waste. Circular economy strategies related to materials are: recovery and reuse, lifetime extension, sharing and service models, circular design and digital platforms.
Circular Economy and Employment first summarizes the main definitions and conceptualisations of a circular economy, then clarifies the relationship to related concepts such as green growth and eco-innovation. This report is the outcome of a project estimating the employment effects of a circular economy.
The Circular Economy mainly focuses on savings on the shares of material, labour, energy, and capital embedded in the product. In finite systems it is intended to “design out waste”. An important difference is made between consumables (one or few time usage) and durables (years of usage) products. Material savings can be achieved by already established recycling and remanufacturing activities finally aiming at a “zero waste economy”. More recently, the contribution of green ICT leading to less material inputs (“digital revolution”, e.g. photos are no longer printed but distributed by e-mail or social media), a general greater importance of services, the evolution of the sharing economy (e. g. car sharing) or a higher utilisation rate for products for the circular economy are discussed.
Detailed concepts of green growth from OECD, UNEP, EEA and the Global Green Growth Institute are also considered. Green growth means fostering economic growth and development while ensuring that natural assets continue to provide the resources and environmental services on which our well-being relies. Investment and (eco-) innovation activities shall give rise to new, more sustainable sources of growth and development. Moving towards a circular economy may be understood as a tool to achieve a green economy, a circular economy is one of the main elements helping to achieve the greening of an economy.
Britain faces huge economic challenges in its use of labour and scarce natural resources. Although unemployment is now falling, the risk of being out of work is higher in some regions and for some types of occupations. While Britain has significantly increased its resource efficiency in recent years, supply risks in an increasingly competitive global economy mean that we need to get better at using natural resources. A new research study, undertaken jointly by WRAP and the Green Alliance, shows that these challenges are linked: improving our resource efficiency can make a valuable contribution to improving Britain’s labour market situation.
One route to improving resource efficiency is to develop a circular economy. This involves keeping products and resources in use for as long as possible through recovery, reuse, repair, remanufacturing and recycling. In addition to protecting the environment, this potentially offers substantial economic benefits. These include greater economic stability through increased resource security and new business and employment opportunities from an expanding industrial sector. This study focuses on the second aspect and identifies the scope for the growth of the circular economy to offer new jobs.
The study finds that regions where unemployment is higher, such as the North East and the West Midlands, could see the greatest impact on job creation, especially among low to mid-skilled occupations where job losses are projected for the future.
The study finds that if we stay on the current development path for the circular economy in Britain, then by 2030 the sector could:
- require an extra 205,000 jobs;
- reduce unemployment by around 54,000; and
- offset 11% of future losses in skilled employment.
Alternatively, under a transformational scenario where there was a more extensive expansion of circular economy activities, by 2030 the sector could create over half a million jobs, reduce unemployment by over 100,000 and potentially offset around 18% of the expected future losses in skilled employment.
The aim of the workshop is to promote and support the regional ecosystem on raw materials and the efficient use of resources by connecting the stakeholders of the Knowledge Triangle (Enterprise, Research, University) of the Mediterranean area.
Join this COP25 side event on 11 December 2019 in Madrid for panels and brokerage that will provide access to networks for potential businesses or initiatives that the transition to a Circular Economy.
Join the European Academy for Taxes, Economics and Law at this European Conference on Waste Management in the Circular Economy from 27 to 28 February 2020.
AIMPLAS, the Plastics Technology Centre, will host the seventh edition of its International Seminar on Biopolymers and Sustainable Composites on 4 and 5 March 2020 in Valencia.
The Commission is organising a public conference on food loss and waste prevention in the framework of the 7th meeting of the EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste, to help define the EU action agenda and path towards the global target of halving food waste by 2030.
Mistra is convening a discussion in the European Parliament to explore policy solutions for advancing the European circular economy through the European Green Deal. You will hear from researchers, business representatives and policymakers on how to seize this critical opportunity.
The non-governmental organisation, French National Institute for Circular Economy (INEC) is a reference body focused on ecological intelligence and resource economics. Its aim is to bring together all public and private stakeholders to promote the circular economy and accelerate its development.
Wednesday 11 December 2019 at 9.30-15.30 at UCLY, 10, place des archives, 69002 Lyon
The Second Annual Conference by ICESP on 27 and 28 November 2019 will provide and share ideas, methods and knowledge to boost the dialogue between stakeholders in order to identify priorities for a national strategic agenda of the circular economy.
CICERONE is organising its second workshop, "Funding the circular economy", in Berlin on 19 - 20 November 2019, to challenge and validate the policy toolkit for circular economy financing.
The new EU Green Deal - what’s the role for retailers? Come to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the Retail Forum on 11 December 2019 in Brussels and learn more about how this fits within the new EU Green Deal.
The European Commission is aiming to reveal its plan to curb single-use plastics in May.
The first Slovenian Circular Economy Roadmap will pave the way towards a circular economy.
EU ambassadors approve new rules on waste management and recycling.
Introducing the circular events challenge.
Recycle Now plastics campaign
Avec 1784 contributions et 16071 votes enregistrés, la première phase de la consultation du public pour l’élaboration de la feuille de route économie circulaire a été un succès.
On 20 February 2018 three frontrunning companies commit to partner with Circle Economy, to develop a circular decision-making tool for the fashion and textiles industry.
El Gobierno espagnol tiene lista su primera Estrategia de Economía Circular, que busca mejorar el aprovechamiento de los recursos para reducir el uso de materias primas.
The EU said in last month’s Plastics Strategy that it wants to boost how much plastic is reused and recycled.
TEDx talk by EESC member Cillian Lohan.