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 Circularity Dataset is an initiative by Luxembourg’s Ministry of the Economy and some international industry leaders. It has now developed the “Product Circularity Data Sheet” (PCDS): a data template for standardising data about the circular aspects of products.
Portuguese startup Benefício devels limited edition products, with particular attention to the use of materials local knowledge. By adopting artisanal production methods and respecting fair trade and the environment, the company mostly applies the principles of circular economy, in particular upcycling.
Sopköket is a Swedish restaurant and catering company founded in 20215. It prepares meals which partly incorporate rescued and surplus food from supermarkets and other companies. Their goal is to reduce food waste.
ZĪLE is a Latvian fashion brand which develops its clothing while looking at a sustainable future, through the concept of upcycling. The label’s main resource materials are denim trousers, men’s shirts and imagination.
Music business can be circular, too! MWfono makes vinyl records from the waste that remains after cutting other records. Kayax label then packs the discs in recycled paper and employs a protection film made from maize.
The Baltic TRAM (Transnational Research Access in the Macroregion) project strengthened the relationship between analytical research institutions and businesses by fostering cooperation between companies and researchers, linking expertise to industrial needs.
RUCONBAR, developed in a project which ran from 2011 to 2014, is a highly absorptive, environmentally-friendly concrete noise barrier. It is an innovative mixture of recycled waste tyres and concrete which forms a porous, lightweight, sound absorbing panel.
Recovery from the Covid-19 crisis presents an important and unique opportunity for the EU to accelerate its transition towards a climate-neutral and circular economy. While there is little dispute about the opportunities offered by the funds available for the low-carbon and circular economy, the longer-term impact on Europe’s decarbonisation trajectory will depend on the choices made in the National Recovery and Resilience Plans and on how the overall policy framework is adapted.
After describing the EU recovery plan, this paper discusses various policy instruments – both new and existing – to create demand for circular materials and lower-carbon products, illustrated by examples of four resource and carbon-intensive sectors, namely construction, steel, textiles and plastics.
McKinsey & Company and Global Fashion Agenda (GFA) has published the report, Fashion on Climate - How the fashion industry can urgently act to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions (2020). The report is an analysis of the current situation of emissions produced by the fashion industry, and presents solutions as to how the industry can intensify their efforts to meet climate targets. The report outlines the two scenarios for the industry’s abatement efforts. The first one outlines the current pace trajectory if the industry continues with the current decarbonisation initiatives, and the accelerated abatement to reduce current emissions to align with the 1,5 degree pathway. Read more here.
This UNEP report aims to apply an evidence-based value chain approach, mapping the textile value chain with its stakeholders, as well as environmental and socio-economic impacts along different value chain stages.
Based on this analysis, the report identifies associated hotspots in all sustainability dimensions. Giving examples of the many initiatives that are already being undertaken, the report outlines gaps, barriers and opportunities to work towards a more sustainable and circular textile value chain, highlighting priority actions.
The report concludes that circularity goes beyond incremental improvements and requires a system-wide approach, transforming the way textiles are designed, produced, consumed, and disposed of.
European consumers lack the means to improve the durability of their products. In addition to harming the environment by emitting CO2, extracting non-renewable resources unnecessarily and creating waste, premature obsolescence in all its forms affects citizens’ purchasing power, their right to repair and their freedom to make their products last longer.
This white paper aims to give all stakeholders suggestions and ideas to move towards a world in which repair and responsible consumption are the norm. This will necessarily imply new constraints on manufacturers, that can no longer make products without taking durability and repair into account. It will also require new tools to inform citizens so that they are empowered in their consumption choices.
Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME)
Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
This policy brief from the ATI project (Technopolis Group, IDC, Fraunhofer, IDEA, Capgemini and NESTA) aims to promote policy initiatives and good practices of advanced and digital technologies that deliver solutions to the pressing environmental problems of our times. It outlines policy challenges in Europe, presenting the positive and negative impacts of digital technologies. It couples the objectives within digital and circular economy, showing national and industrial strategies that foster green investment. It also explains the various policy measures at societal levels within research and innovation programmes, energy solutions, regional ecosystems, smart mobility, resource consumption and voluntary industrial initiatives.
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.
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?
The report takes an economic value perspective on
material flows and assesses Europe’s use of steel, plastics
and aluminium in terms of Euros instead of tonnes. The
‘exam questions’ we ask ourselves are: If 100 Euros of raw
materials is entered into the European economy, how much
economic value is retained after one use cycle? What are
the main reasons that material value is lost? 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 hybrid event Addressing the Textile Microplastics Challenge on 16 November is introducing ongoing developments and plans concerning the evaluation of microplastic shedding. The event is organized by TUV Rheinland together with HKRITA, HKUST and GIZ GABRIC with the support of the German Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and Invest Hong Kong.
A high-level debate & presentation on Smart Villages, organised under the auspices of the 2021 Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU, will take place on 1st November in Dubai. It will focus on the "smart village" concept, co-initiated and co-created at EU and world level, which is about citizens taking ownership and responsibility.
ICESP will be present at ECOMONDO 2021 with a beacon conference on "The Italian platform of circular economy actors (ICESP): initiatives within the European circular economy action plan", organised in collaboration with the Ecomondo Scientific Technical Committee and ENEA, on 29 October from 10:00 to 13:30 CET.
RREUSE's Annual Conference on “The evolution of social enterprises in the circular economy. Past, present and future” is part of its 20th anniversary celebrations and will take place on 16 November 2021 from 10:00 to 13:00 CET.
The Regional Council of Veneto and Kujawsko-Pomorskie Region are working together with a view to COP 26 to present the state of play of the circular economy in their two regions. The talk will cover political commitments and practical examples.
This session, an EU-side event for COP 26, will underscore the need to move from a linear to a circular economic model in order to tackle climate change, and the role which local governments must play. It will present the commitments made under the Circular Cities Declaration, actions undertaken during the More Circularity, Less Carbon campaign and successful cooperation between researchers and local governments from COLOR CIRCLE, as well as good practices from European cities and regions.
In order to achieve the EU’s 2050 climate neutrality target, the European Commission is planning to announce new initiatives addressing the entire life cycle of products with the following objectives:
design of products that allows circularity and
promotion of circular economy processes and sustainable consumption.
The initiatives should also ensure that waste is prevented and that the resources used remain in the EU economy for as long as possible.
The Sustainable Products Initiative, expected to be published in December 2021, is a cornerstone of EU’s endeavours to create a circular economy. It will include rules for setting requirements on mandatory sustainability labelling and/or disclosure of information to market actors along value chains in the form of a digital product passport.
Join this EURACTIV Virtual Conference on 9 November at 9:30 CET to discuss EU's Circular Economy Action Plan and whether its new initiatives, such as the digital product passport, will achieve the transparency for products that policymakers are looking for. How easy will it be for industry, big and small, to comply with?
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.
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.
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.
The major circular economy event, the World Circular Economy Forum, will be postponed until 2021 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. A virtual WCEFonline event in September 2020 will address how the circular economy can help reboot the economy. (Image: Topias Dean, Sitra)
PackAlliance aims to modernise Higher Education curricula to better serve the plastic packaging sector's labour market needs. It has therefor prepared a questionnaire to gather information on the skills needed in the circular economy applied to this sector. Which skills are vital in the plastic packaging transition to circular economy?