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The Croatian project titled "Responsible Business for a Clean World" involves collecting unused soap in hotels and sending it to a soap factory, where it is cleaned, sterilised and recycled into new soap products, which are then offered back to customers at the hotel.
Purified Metal Company can responsibly process contaminated steel scrap into a high-quality raw material.
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.
On the Asphalt (O.T.A) is a French brand that has developed sustainable and eco-friendly unisex sneakers made of recycled tyres and leather scraps from a glove factory.
Yoyo is a French start-up that has developed an innovative behavioural change approach to enhance recycling in communities.
The Norwegian company NCP delivers sustainable furniture from recycled plastic materials through innovation and design. The S-1500 chair, designed by Snøhetta, is produced by NCP showing how plastic waste from Norway’s fish farming can be transformed into a sustainable design object with an expected lifetime of at least 50 years.
In France, SUEZ has invested EUR 10 million on the construction of a hub to recover waste from local businesses and authorities. Once sorted and recycled, the waste is then sold for reuse.
The Dutch company KarTent has come up with a sustainable solution for the many tents left behind by music festival goers: a cardboard tent, designed to be purchased and transported in bulk to festival sites. After the festival, the company arranges for the tents to be removed and recycled.
Mamukko is an Irish company, founded in 2011, that uses waste nautical materials as a secondary raw material. They promote upcycling by using end-of-life sails, decommissioned life rafts and recycled leather to make bags.
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.
The Capital Region of Denmark is committed to becoming a fossil-free and circular region by 2050. Inter alia, this entails achieving an 80% recycling rate for the region’s waste by 2035, and growing green business activities by 8% by 2025. New forms of cooperation and dialogues between stakeholders are necessary to reach these goals.
Through a three-year public-private partnership, the Region and its partners aim to pave the way for greater collaboration between the waste sector and the business community. Metabolic collaborated with the Region to undertake a material flow analysis and an environmental assessment of the Region’s waste system, and to identify impact hotspots and circular opportunities.
The fourth Thematic Working Group (TWG) set up by Interreg MED's Green Growth community implemented and assessed solutions to promote competitiveness and innovation of Mediterranean SMEs in a circular economy.
The TWG's White Paper addresses the following issues:
- smart specialisation, public-private partnerships and innovative funding;
- lack of effective clusters for companies and stakeholders to connect, work together and transfer innovations;
- limited access of SMEs to tools, services and funds driving innovation;
- limited consumer awareness and interest in “green” and “circular” products and services.
Zero waste: problems become opportunities in Waste Prevention & Management - a White Paper by Interreg MED's Green Growth community
The third of the four Thematic Working Groups created by the Interreg MED's Green Growth community addressed waste reduction, prevention and management.
This White Paper promotes solutions to reduce organic (livestock) and inorganic waste, and maps technologies, systems, and strategies for proper waste management. It illustrates issues - e.g. over-production/application of high-nitrogen slurry and manure and need to treat it, as well as lack of treatment of agrifood waste - and highlights the projects’ contributions to achieve full use of resources through their life cycle to create a circular economy.
Among the results: policy guidelines based on four Struvite Precipitation (SP) plants to stimulate innovation and set up a common legal framework for struvite as fertilizer.
Promoting Green and Smart Public Services within Mediterranean Municipalities to move towards a Circular Economy: a White Paper by Interreg MED's Green Growth community
The second of four Thematic Working Groups created by the Interreg MED's Green Growth community was tasked with promoting green public procurement (GPP) by which public authorities seek to procure goods and services with reduced environmental impact throughout their life cycles.
This White Paper provides solutions for GPP and addresses issues linked to the lacking integration of sustainability and circular economy criteria in GPP and the provision of public services. It also highlights the need to develop the capacity of private actors to adopt eco-innovation and green energy in order to participate in green e-tenders.
The main objective is to examine public procurement in the context of long-term impacts, with specific attention paid to the role of public authorities.
Make More With Less: Enhancing Resource Efficiency in the Mediterranean Agro-food Sector and Cities for a Circular Economy
Make More With Less: Enhancing Resource Efficiency in the Mediterranean - a White Paper by Interreg MED's Green Growth community
The first of 4 Thematic Working Groups created by the Interreg MED's Green Growth community focused on Sustainable Consumption and Production by enhancing Resource Efficiency in the Mediterranean agrofood sector, as well as in urban areas through the implementation of the Smart City Concept.
The White Paper zooms in on the difficulties that companies face in:
- measuring their environmental footprint and resource efficiency;
- the use of low-cost, low-tech, labour-intensive and rudimentarily-equipped greenhouses;
- the lack of energy efficiency and renovation of EU buildings.
It then presents the projects' solutions and the benefits of resource efficiency for the environment and the economy. The projects were monitored according to the EU CEAP's indicator framework.
The Circularity Gap Report Norway is an in-depth analysis of how Norway consumes raw materials to fuel its societal needs. Currently, 97.6% of materials consumed each year never make it back into the economy.
Norway also has one of the highest per capita consumption rates in the world (44.3 tonnes per person). At 2.4%, its circularity rate is below the global average (8.6%). Each year Norway consumes 235 million tonnes of materials - metals, fossil fuels, biomass and minerals - to meet its internal needs.
However, the report reveals how Norway could see a 20-fold increase in its circularity by restructuring its businesses and industry through 6 key actions in the following fields:
- repair, reuse and recycle
- forestry and wood products.
The EU’s Circular Economy Action Plan: setting the world’s largest single market on a transition towards a circular economy
This case study on the EU's Circular Economy Plan (CEAP) by the Ellen McArthur Foundation reflects back on the steps which the European Commission took to take a lead in circular economy policies globally. From initially aiming at improving resource efficiency, to redefining growth with positive social, environmental, and economic benefits, this case study analyses this policy-making process.
The CEAP was a comprehensive body of legislative and non-legislative actions adopted in 2015, which aimed to transition the European economy from a linear to a circular model. It mapped out 54 actions, as well as four legislative proposals on waste.
By rethinking resource efficiency and material flows, the European Commission has developed a framework to promote systemic change.
The relationship between innovating business model and the circular economy is complex and rapidly evolving. So, how can we turn the focus on the circular economy into a driver for global sustainability?
The report titled "Incremental Circular Economy as a Serious Sustainability Problem" aims to understand the relationship between business model innovation and the circular economy.
It also seeks to guide companies, intrapreneurs in companies, and organisations working towards a circular economy. And, finally, it aims to provide a structure to understand very different approaches and their outcomes.
The Policy Hub (founded in 2019) unites the apparel and footwear industry to speak in one voice and propose policies that accelerate circular practices. It consists of five partner organisations representing more than 500 stakeholders:
- Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC)
- Global Fashion Agenda (GFA)
- Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry (FESI)
- Textiles Exchange (TE)
- Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC)
The Policy Hub’s vision is to encourage an ambitious policy framework to accelerate the transformation of the apparel and footwear industry towards circularity. It focuses on:
- guiding the industry towards circularity
- educating the industry and the policy makers
- cooperating and facilitating policy discussions.
Circular Conversations is a digital parlour created to host an open and critical exchange of ideas on what the next society and economy should look like and how to get there.
By initiating conversations with people of different perspectives, ideas and ideologies, disciplines and backgrounds, this decentralized and independent platform shares theories and practices able to shape the direction and design of the next economy.
To read more conversations like the interview with Rieta Aliredjo, 2019 circular economy stakeholder conference keynote speaker, on empowering kids to be circular starts, visit the blog here.
R-PVC Hub is an innovative web platform, connected to the site of PVC Forum Italia, that offers the possibility for the exchange of recycled PVC, putting in contact offers and demands. The heart of the service is an online platform on which manufacturing companies, processors and recyclers can find new business opportunities.
Enea has designed the first Italian industrial symbiosis platform, as a tool to facilitate the process.
The ENEA methodology is based on a "horizontal" network approach, with the aim of creating synergies and closing the loop between supply and demand for various resources.
The Platform is based on:
- an expert structure that identifies possible solutions of industrial symbiosis
- a complex information structure, also georeferenced, which describes the territory, its structures, the interlocutors and available resources
- a network that connects different interlocutors
- a web interface.
Among other activities and services, Symbiosis is able to send to to each company individual reports containing information on potential matches of interest. It is also developing operating manuals for industrial symbiosis.
The Circular Economy Foundation (FEC) is a private, Iberian ambit foundation working in areas related to circular economy, sustainability, resource use and environment.
FEC has launched PIPEC, a multi-participant Iberian platform (Spain, Portugal and Andorra) whose aim is promoting the Circular Economy and its potential advantages such as sustainable development, eco-competitiveness of companies, new proximity employment, reduction of dependence on raw materials, energy and material efficiency, reduction of the ecological footprint, promotion of local and quality production, prevention and minimization of waste, protection of natural capital, increased ecological resilience and the reduction of carbon emissions.
FEC has launched this platform in order to involve all actors in the life cycle (or value chains), with the aim of discussing the possible orientations and co-build innovative economic initiatives. PIPEC is structured in: "Multiparticipant" Working Groups and Sectorial Platforms.
- an international network of over 3500 circular economy professionals and organizations from over 100 countries.
- non-for-profit, global and open to anyone willing to join the club for free.
The CEC vision: opening a new era where all cities worldwide function through a circular model, setting the end of an age of waste.
- bring the circular economy to cities worldwide by building strong local networks to design and implement circular local strategies; embed the circular economy in the education system; and
- help circular solutions scale.
- the CEC Organizers program: for circular leaders to bring the circular economy to live in their cities, universities, hubs and companies;
- the CEC Mentors program: for members with expert skills to give free advice to the most promising circular talent; and
- the CEC Global events: for members to ccoperate to the solution of local and global challenges.
Cirkelstad is a national platform connecting private entrepreneurs and policy-makers who are delivering the transition to a circular economy in pioneering Dutch cities. By facilitating their networking, the platform enables greater impact by spreading best practice.
In addition to a comprehensive database of good practice, research and policy guidelines to inspire practicioners, the Cirkelstad Academie also provides occassional trainings and provides advisory services to aspiring circular projects in Utrecht and Amsterdam.
To learn more about this hands-on network and connect with the 'spinners' coordinating activities in each city, visit the platform here.
The Polyolefin Circular Economy Platform (PCEP) is a European joint industry value chain initiative, founded by two plastics industry associations (EuPC and PlasticsEurope) in order to advance the circular economy by increasing the reuse and recycling of polyolefin-based products and the use of recyclates as raw material.
Polyofelins are the most widely used family of plastics. They are present in every day life and are fully recyclable. Their main products are high, low and linear low density polyethylene (HDPE, LDPE, LLDPE) and polypropylene (PP). Polyethylene (PE) and PP represent close to 50% of the total European plastic production and are largely utilized in various plastic applications.
PCEP recognises that a business-as-usual approach will not enable the proposed challenging target of 55% plastic packaging "preparing for re-use and recycling” by 2025, as outlined in the European Commission’s Circular Economy Package, so the platform will be working for a 5-10 year horizon based on effective, science-based solutions. It will initially focus on polyolefin-based packaging as it represents the application segment where highest quantities of valuable recycled raw materials can be generated.
PCEP is developing activities in the following areas of work:
- Development of packaging design guidelines and assessment.
- Innovation to increase the recyclability of flexible and rigid packaging.
- EU-wide quality standards for sorted plastics, harmonisation of test methods for recycled plastic materials and certification of plastic recycling operations.
- Innovation & development of end-use markets to encourage demand for recycled plastics.
- Stimulating innovation to improve mechanical recycling, conversion technologies and reuse.
- Driving the R&D of new technologies to convert non-mechanically recyclable plastics into feedstock for the production of new materials.
#gocircularnow (GCN) is a consumer-focused campaign to advance the transition to a circular economy. It encourages a more sustainable way of living and consuming that’s realistic, affordable and simple to incorporate.
As part of this movement, GCN provides consumers with the information and means needed to ask their favourite brands to #gocircularnow, while providing clarity on the many different ways in which circularity can be of benefit to their daily lives.
GCN also promotes makers currently operating within the structures of circular production, bringing them to the attention of consumers so they can be seen as viable alternatives to non-circular brands.
Its mix of engaging content and opinion communicates in ways that take the conversation around sustainability out of its current ‘eco-bubble’, connecting with everyday realities to make conscious consumption the new normal.
MaterialDistrict is a unique platform for innovative materials which empowers global innovation by match-making material needs with material solutions in the name of circularity. R&D and design professionals of all industrial sectors use this platform to discover new material solutions daily via MaterialDistrict's independent collection of materials, annually at MaterialDistrict Rotterdam and periodically throughout the year with travelling MaterialDistrict Expo, MaterialDistrict Talks and MaterialDistrict Pop-Up events.
EU Interreg Alpine Space Project CIRCULAR4.0 takes you on a virtual study tour on Optimal Use Business Models in a Circular Economy.
Organised in the context of the 2021 EU Industry Days, this event aims at understanding how the recently proposed Sustainable Batteries' Framework will impact the batteries' recycling industries. The event will gather input from EU institutions, the batteries' recycling industry and think tanks.
The session on Chemical waste as a resource – examples from the distribution sector (hosted by Fecc) on 22 March highlights opportunities for and experience of using high-quality second-hand chemicals, while connecting a variety of value chains. Result: reduced waste, CO2 emissions saved, plus the implementation of a circular business model in the chemical supply chain.
This webinar on 17 March aspires to address the developments set out in the 2020 Circular Economy Action Plan and the bioeconomy's huge potential for tackling environmental and societal challenges. The discussion will focus on how best to empower the circular bioeconomy through an enabling policy framework.
Industry is driving the recovery in Europe. The 2021 edition of EU Industry Days - Europe’s flagship annual event on industry - will take place from 23 to 26 February. On that occasion the EESC will organise a workshop on "Circular Procurement: public and private" on 24 February.
Virtual MeetingPack 2021 will take place on 27 May. It is a strategic overview of the development of barrier packaging and a prelude to Meetingpack 2022.
On 17 and 18 February the Lithuanian Innovation Center will hold a webinar on Sustainable Transport and Mobility Solutions with Circular Procurement. It will consist of presentations from public and private sectors including topics like green public procurement, sustainable mobility and transport innovation.
The Joint Initiative on Circular Economy (JICE) organises a webinar on 1 March 2021 on moving towards a more circular model on textiles. Registrations are open!
Join the Finnish innovation Fund Sitra, the European Environment Agency and the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform to discuss how to create a level playing field for circular businesses and how to enable a transition to a circular economy through incentives that promote circularity. Rendez-vous on 25 March (13:00 to 14:30 CET).
How can the choice of the "best offer" enable the development of the circular economy? What is the state of regulation? Which obstacles to be unblocked can still be identified? Follow the webinar on Le mieux-disant au service de l’économie circulaire - i. e. the choice of the "best offer" to the benefit of the circular economy - on 4 February 2021.
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.
The Environmental Protection Agency has launched a challenge called 'Innovating a Circular Economy for soft plastic in Ireland' under Enterprise Ireland’s Small Business Innovation Research programme. The challenge focuses on reducing/eliminating soft plastic waste generated through the provision of school meals in Ireland.
WCEFonline - the first fully virtual event as part of the World Circular Economy Forum - will dive into why and how a circular economy can help reboot and build resilience in the economy.
The European Commission is launching an impact assessment for its new initiative: Empowering the consumer for the green transition, and would be keen on some stakeholders' and citizens' feedback until 1 September 2020.
The European Commission Joint Research Centre's (JRC) EU Green Public Procurement (GPP) criteria for Road transport is now open for revision. Be part of the process, register as interested stakeholder and comment on the draft Technical report and draft criteria proposal.
Following the adoption of the Taxonomy Regulation, the European Commission has launched a call for applications to select members of the Platform on Sustainable Finance. The deadline is 16 July.
The European Commission's roadmap on the requirements on packaging and packaging waste in the EU is now open for feedback. Dealine 06 August 2020.
Public consultation on boosting the renovation of buildings across the EU launched by the European Commission in order to gather views and input from a broad range of stakeholders, including national, regional and local authorities, businesses, unions, civil society organisations, education organisations, consumer groups, research and innovation organisations, as well as individual citizens.
AIMPLAS - a consortium member of the OCEANETS project - has developed a material that ensures the traceability of fabric made from end-of-life fishing nets. When exposed to infrared radiation, the material changes colour and so helps identify where it came from.
As part of the European Vocational Skills Week, the European Commission's Directorate-General for Employment has launched Excellence Awards to celebrate the good practices and innovative work of Vocational Education and Training providers, trainers, tutors, companies, apprentices, etc.