“Staramaki” is a straw made of wheat. It is produced by a social cooperative KoinSep in Kilkis, northern Greece. The most widely produced local product wheat is used to create a viable eco-friendly alternative to single use plastic straws. At the same time they create employment opportunities and promote social cohesion, as well as local and regional development.
In 2020, the Czech bank ČSOB, in cooperation with IDEMIA, launched an eco-friendly recycled card to reduce the amount of virgin plastic which ends up in rubbish bins. By opting for IDEMIA’s eco-friendly product, ČSOB is the first bank in the Czech Republic to take a significant step towards addressing this ecological burden.
The Flemish municipality of Sint-Amands has transformed an old shoe factory into the unique and sustainable multifunctional de Nestel community centre where residents and local associations can feel at home.
The NoVAqua project found that the countless thousands of litres of waste water thrown away by the fish processing industry was essentially nutritious stock which can be put to better use than just pouring it down the drain...
Finnish energy company Fortum had developed a circular renewable energy service, dubbed HorsePower, that used recycled materials to provide a bedding management service for stable-owners, as well as using manure for energy.
Confindustria has developed an initiative which targets opportunities provided by the circular economy model, encourages knowledge-sharing and raises awareness about good practices being implemented in Italy.
Textile products have a tremendous ecological footprint at all stages of their lives. This new report by the Environmental Coalition on Standards (ECOS), provides a comprehensive analysis of the current situation and goes on to explore the policies and standardisation actions needed to advance towards circular textiles, building on the lessons learnt from the implementation of the ecodesign approach in other sectors.
ECOS argues that textile products put on the EU market should comply with a minimum level of sustainability. Mandatory ecodesign requirements for textiles are needed to address minimum lifetime, as well as durability, reusability, repairability, recyclability, prevent the presence of hazardous chemicals, and limit microplastics release at all stages.
The final study report on Circular construction and renovation - Actions and recommendations to the Federal government for accelerating the circular economy in construction proposes actions to be taken by Belgium's federal government (and thus the regional levels as well), with a view to accelerating renovation and circular construction with respect to building materials.
More specifically, the study aims to identify relevant instruments, obstacles and measures which are either needed or already underway, and to issue general recommendations for the federal authorities. The study does not address ways to put these measures into effect or possible changes in the instruments.
This EEA Briefing highlights how digitalisation is transforming the 21st century and affecting every area of daily life, including the environmental technology sector. Digital technologies will make waste management more effective. They will enable Europe’s economy to recover more of the valuable materials present in waste streams, reducing the amount of raw materials mined or imported and avoiding the associated environmental and climate impacts.
The briefing also concludes that the digital transformation of the waste management sector should be aligned with plans to make greater use of digital technologies in the development of a circular economy.
ACR+ has run a survey targeting municipal and local authorities (and their waste operators) to understand and assess the impact of the COVID-19 on their waste systems, in particular regarding the services provided, the quantities collected, the health and safety measures, as well as the finances and communication to users.
The report presents the main information and trends coming out of this survey. It also provides an overview of the measures taken by local authorities to tackle the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown measures.
Local data were collected to analyse the impact of municipal waste generation and sorting performances. Several illustrations of good practices addressing key challenges are also highlighted.
Energy efficient bubbles, solar-powered interceptors, new business and design models, smart collection solutions, high-tech and fully automated sorting practices and chemical recycling technologies: the Dutch initiative provides inspiration and innovation insights linked to a circular economy for global application. Only by international collaboration will we achieve sizeable success as the plastics value chain spans the globe.
With this brochure, Holland Circular Hotspot and TNO bring their insights to the international level and share best practices with the hope that it will inspire everyone around the world to take action and kickstart circular development.
Sitra commissioned this study to investigate whether and under what assumptions and policy measures the decoupling of CO2 emissions from economic growth could occur at a sufficient rate for CO2 emissions to decline to net zero by 2050. The analyses were carried out on a global level.
The results of this study show that deep CO2 emission cuts in line with the 1.5 °C target and positive GDP growth can occur at the same time.
A natural next step would be to analyse in detail the decoupling of other harmful environmental impacts from economic growth. For example, a global shift to more circular business models could reduce CO2 emissions and help cut the use of materials and natural resources while maintaining economic growth.
The study The winning recipe for a circular economy by Sitra set out to find diverse circular economy solutions that are viable and scalable, that drive systemic circularity, and that have exceptionally positive environmental and social impacts. Over 200 organisations around the world submitted their solutions for consideration.
The study presents 39 outstanding examples of circular economy solutions that are closing material loops and driving the circular transition while being very relevant to their own environment. These solutions demonstrate the benefits of circular business operations and how different organisations across society can use circular thinking to improve the value of their business and progress towards achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Crude Tall Oil (CTO) is obtained from the wood pulping industry. Tall (from the Swedish word for pine) oil soap is collected from paper mills and then acidulated to make crude tall oil which is a mixture of fatty acids, rosin acids and other neutral materials.
CTO is a renewable material with great potential, high added value and extremely low carbon emissions. CTO can be further refined by fractionation, which separates it into tall oil fatty acids, tall oil rosins, distilled tall oil, pitch and heads.
CTO derivatives can be used in several sectors, such as animal feed and asphalt recycling, as well as for paints, lubricants, glues and road marking agents. CTO is not yet a widespread practice and could be further explored in the EU.
RREUSE welcomes the European Commission’s proposal to develop a favourable policy environment for social economy actors, calling for an ambitious Social Economy Action Plan (SEAP) that would provide a policy toolbox enabling a green, fair and circular transition in the post-COVID economic recovery. In order to establish a sustainable EU socio-economic environment and maximise the SEAP’s potential, RREUSE seeks to put forward the following recommendations on four priority areas:
Mainstream the social economy within circular policies and beyond
Recognise the real value of social enterprises active in the circular economy
Improve access to funding for social enterprises
Acknowledge social enterprises’ role in (up)skilling to meet changing market needs.
This working paper, prepared by the ILO, looks at the future of work in textiles, clothing, leather and footwear (TCLF) industries.
It explores how technological advances, climate change, globalisation and changing demographics will shape these industries. It then analyses how these challenges and opportunities will impact decent work, and looks at the future of TCLF production in three categories of countries (least developed, middle income and high income). It concludes that at the present rate, the TCLF industries will not move to a circular economy approach for years.
Infrastructure makes up a significant part of the built environment and is the backbone of a healthy economy. Delivering infrastructure, however, is becoming increasingly challenging. The sector has a significant environmental impact from material use, waste production and CO2 emissions.
As European economies are highly material import dependent, closing infrastructure material cycles at the European level is essential to address these challenges. It reduces pressure on the environment, enhances material supply security, increases competitiveness, innovation, and growth and creates jobs. But how can we achieve that? What challenges and opportunities for closing material cycles in infrastructure through European cooperation?
The ECESP leadership group on Building and Infrastructure invites you to identify blind spots and activate European cooperation for closing infrastructure material cycles. Join our panellists in an open discussion about closing material cycles at the EU level: what are the stakes, obstacles, and opportunities? What should be arranged at the EU level from a policy and market perspective to make that happen? Can the different value chain stakeholders collaborate on that?
Refashion Day on 4 October 2022 is an opportunity for debates and meetings with textile sector experts. It will bring together stakeholders working to rethink the environmental, economic and social balance in the textile industry.
The bioeconomic sector is an indispensable part of the world’s economy, providing food, feed, textiles, energy, and more. But to attain a circular bioeconomy, we must modify and adapt the inherited linear value chains in the sector.
The ECESP leadership group on Bioeconomy and Food Systems invites you to this EU Circular Talks (#EUCTs) on Bioeconomy Value Chains. Join us on 05 October 2022 (10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. CEST), to get insights on ways we can help design and build circular value chains that foster bioeconomic transformation.
A Circular4.0 community is being built in the Alpine region. In the heart of the Julian Alps, on the shores of the Lake Bled in Slovenia, a full-day Circular4.0 final conference will be organised on 29 September 2022 - in parallel to the global World Future Verse conference - to discuss digital technologies as enablers to foster the transition of SMEs to the circular economy in the Alpine Space Area.
Local governments play an essential role in guiding their cities into circular action and overcoming the main barriers to change. But how exactly can cities lead the circular economy transition? One of the most important steps is developing a holistic and cohesive Circular City Strategy, one that provides information and direction to enable local stakeholders, both within and outside the municipality, to get involved and engage in the process.
In this third of a series of Circular City Centre (C3) webinars on 5 October 2022, representatives from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and Circle Economy will present the third C3 guidance document on how cities can develop a circular city strategy.
The 20th edition of #EURegionsWeek under the motto New Challenges for Europe’s cohesion is approaching and registrations are now open! The online info session “Implementing circular systemic solutions in cities and regions” will take place on Wednesday 13 October, 12:30 – 13:30 CEST.
Circularity is a new dedicated annual circular economy conference organised by Planet Ark’s Australian Circular Economy Hub (ACE Hub). Circularity 2022 aims to propel the Asian-Pacific region’s economy into the future by showcasing the best of circular design, practice and research. The event brings thought leaders together to discuss solutions and catalyse action across the Asian-Pacific region.
The Sustainable Innovation 2023 Conference will provide a platform to discuss how sustainability affects business models, products, services, technologies and innovation within the creative economy and creative industries.
This international conference will include invited and refereed papers from academics, consultants, entrepreneurs, technology providers, designers, and innovation and sustainability directors. A Creative Sustainable Ventures Lab will be showcased where start-ups will be invited to pitch new concepts.
In October 2020 the European Commission launched Level(s), the new EU common language for assessing the sustainability performance of buildings.
At this year's European Week of Regions and Cities, the Commission will be running a special webinar to show how Level(s) can help the buildings sector contribute to EU climate and circularity objectives within cities and regions.
Take part in the evaluation and validation of CIRC4Life developed CEBMs, key innovations and demonstrations, as well as the identification of future market opportunities! Deadline for applications: 3 May 2021.
New sustainable packaging will extend guacamole’s shelf life by 15% thanks to labels and additives extracted from the avocado itself. The GUACAPACK Project aims to use renewable sources to develop an innovative biodegradable packaging system that includes barrier labels and antioxidant additives from avocado waste.
Fishing industry by-products and municipal solid waste are transformed into bioplastics in the European DAFIA project, coordinated by AIMPLAS. DAFIA provides the automotive and food packaging industries with sustainable solutions by developing biopolymers, flame-retardant additives and barrier packaging.
Thanks to innovation, forests will be key for sustainable urban development. The European BASAJAUN project will optimize the use of forest products to boost the economy in rural areas and obtain new materials and construction systems based on the circular economy of wood.
AIMPLAS will participate in the development of new profiles manufactured from natural resins and reinforcement agents.
Welcome to have your say on the Sustainable Products Initiative, one of the deliverables of the Circular Economy Action Plan!
The feedback period runs until 9 June 2021 (midnight CET). The Commission would like to hear your views. Through public consultations you can express your views on aspects of EU laws and policies before the Commission finalises its proposals.
Industry faces major challenges with regard to handling the transition to an economy with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Whilst there is a growing body of literature seeking to understand how this transition will unfold, there is currently limited understanding of what the wider environmental impacts could be from the transformation.
Have your say on industry’s role in supporting the circular economy and improving the EU’s environment and participate in the Targeted Stakeholder Survey of the revision of the Industrial Emissions Directive. The feedback period closes 2 April 2021.
The EU Industry Days is Europe's flagship annual event on the industry. The EESC was present with a workshop on circular procurement. The workshop aimed to walk policy- and decision-makers through the circular procurement process and share the daily concerns and massive change in mindset for those involved in procurement.