The Regional Association of Solid Waste Management Agencies of Central Macedonia and the Hellenic Ministry of the Environment and Energy present the pilot project "No more Christmas trees in landfills". The project recycles discarded trees, using the wood chips as a secondary raw material to make pellets, biofuels and chipboards, and as organic waste for composting.
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The main objective of the INSIGHT project is to develop a new professional profile: the industrial symbiosis facilitator, who helps transition towards the design of a common curriculum and learning approach.
DuCoop presents innovative solutions for heating, water and energy management for a new district in Ghent with 400+ dwellings
DuCoop invests in sustainable technologies for the Nieuwe Dokken, the new circular districts in Ghent. The cooperative DuCoop provides systems for decentralized water sanitation with water re-use, 4thgeneration district heating and smart energy management. The company contributes to the climate ambitions of the city of Ghent, by closing the loops on water, energy and nutrients.
Envie Autonomie collects and renovates technical equipment from rehabilitation centers, hospitals and care centres
The French company, Envie Autonomie, collects and renovates technical equipment, such as wheelchairs, used beds, walkers and other aids. In this way, they ensure a second life to important equipment.
The main goal of the European SPARTA project, coordinated by AIMPLAS with the participation of TEKNIKER, is to find a new method of recycling and reprocessing composite thermoplastic materials that reduces both the amount of waste generated by the aerospace industry and its environmental impact. Another goal is to design more eco-efficient manufacturing methods.
Ms. Bay is a handbag brand that creates products made of rescued waste material and following fair-trade manufacturing ethics. The main material in their collection is salmon-leather. This has qualities similar to regular leather but is processed in a more environmental-friendly way and is highly durable.
VICAT produces materials for the construction sector (cement, concrete, aggregates) and believes that the act of building should no longer be disconnected from deconstruction. VICAT has therefore rethought its production systems to include circular economy loops focused on the recovery of local construction & demolition waste.
Calefa is a Finnish company specialized in the reuse of residual heat from industry by redirecting the excess heat from industrial processes either to the customer company’s own use or to the district heating network, instead of wasting it as condensed water or air.
Svenska Retursystem contributes to the circular economy through a reusable transit packaging system. It offers an alternative to the single use transit packaging, such as wooden pallets or cardboard boxes, that often contributes to global waste.
Coolrec has launched a project with two Dutch household goods chains: Blokker and Marskramer. During Tefal Swap Weeks, they offer customers a 20% discount on new Tefal frying pans when they return old ones.
Over the last few years the concept of chemical recycling has been promoted by industry as a potential solution to help curb plastic pollution and waste management as a whole. This Zero Waste Europe report looks into the knowledge available as well as the state of implementation of such technologies in the European context.
Mechanical recycling is a mature industrial process, well established and expanding in Europe. Plastics cannot however be endlessly recycled mechanically without reducing their properties and quality. Besides, not all plastic types can be mechanically recycled. These limits set challenges for plastics recycling and show the need for significant improvements in the end-of-life management of plastics.
Since decades, innovators test gasification and pyrolysis for alternatives to waste to energy incineration with very limited results due to the energy balance and the environmental impact. In general, more information is needed about the environmental performance of chemical recycling technologies, as this industry is in its infancy and most plants are mere pilots. The roll-out of such technologies at industrial scale can only be expected from 2025-2030, an important factor when planning the transition to a Circular Economy and wider decarbonisation.
The right policy framework must accommodate chemical recycling as complementary to mechanical recycling while ensuring that carbon stays in the plastic, thus not being released into the environment. Therefore, allowing plastic to fuels to be considered chemical recycling risks creating a loophole in EU Climate and Circular Economy legislation.
The Elephant in the Boardroom: Why Unchecked Consumption is Not an Option in Tomorrow’s Markets is a working paper from the World Resources Institute that can guide discussion within companies about an uncomfortable truth: many of today’s business models are not fit for tomorrow’s resource-strained world.
Normalizing the conversation will set the groundwork for the pursuit of new business models that allow growth within the planet’s limits and generate stakeholder value in new and exciting ways.
This research, part of the CEC4Europe factbook on the circular economy published in September 2018, evaluates 131 projects from the Circular Economy Industry Platform (CEIP) regarding their contribution to circular economy from both a scientific and political perspective.
Content analysis was applied to derive qualitative and quantitative information from company statements on the platform. This was supplemented by qualitative, semi-structured interviews with company representatives on selected projects. Results showed a diverse approach to circularity across the sample projects, thereby partly expanding the sectoral focus of the circular economy package.
Eco-design, eco-innovation and business models acted as strong enablers for circular actions in the sample, reflecting respective EU policies.
At the same time, sample projects heavily relied on recycling while missing out on potentially more efficient circular principles such as reduction or reuse.
High diversity in criteria was found regarding the evaluation of overall environmental impacts, with some projects using purely qualitative assessment methods, while other projects presented elaborate quantitative environmental evaluations, including significant positive impact potential. Regulatory challenges were specifically reported regarding the introduction of sound circularity quotas and targets, regarding definitional ambiguities, as well as regarding issues around unknown material compositions that currently impede recirculation.
The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment unites businesses, governments, and other organisations behind a common vision and targets to address plastic waste and pollution at its source. It is led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in collaboration with the UN Environment Program. Launched in October 2018, the Global Commitment already unites more than 400 organisations in its common vision of a circular economy for plastics, keeping plastics in the economy and out of the ocean. Signatories include:
- close to 200 businesses that are part of the plastic packaging value chain, jointly representing over 20 % of all plastic packaging used globally, including many of the world’s leading consumer packaged goods companies, retailers, and plastic packaging producers
- 16 governments across five continents and across national, regional, and city level
- 26 financial institutions with a combined USD 4.2 trillion worth of assets under management and 6 investors in total committing to invest about USD 275 million
- leading institutions such as WWF, the World Economic Forum, the Consumer Goods Forum, and IUCN
- more than 50 academics, universities, and other educational or research organisations including MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative, Michigan State University, and University College London.
All 400+ organisations have endorsed one common vision of a circular economy for plastics, in which plastics never become waste. As this June 2019 report shows, the number of business signatories has grown from over 100 to nearly 200 in the seven months since the launch.
The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has released a report on tackling plastic waste using circular solutions, with a focus on the opportunities chemical recycling provides. After highlighting the scale of the issue, the report presents different ways of solving the plastic waste issue by comparing the impacts of different waste treatment options and technologies, such as pyrolysis. The report concludes that:
“To tackle the colossal societal and environmental issue of plastic waste, we need proportionally meaningful efforts from the private and public sectors as well as society at large that encompass behaviors and habits. The ultimate solutions will involve a combination of judicious consumption and disposal measures as well as the development of cost-competitive and environmentally friendly alternatives. Most observers would agree, however, that these changes are years away. In the meantime—over the next decade or two—we can implement circular solutions to reuse or repurpose plastic waste in the most efficient way.” (Boston Consulting Group, 2018, p. 24).
ECESP Coordination Group members contributed to this report, including Circular Change and Circle Economy.
In March 2019, the Italian Circular Economy Network hosted a national conference on the circular economy, where it presented this Report on the Italian circular economy in 2019. Based on the methodology used, comparing the 5 most important European economies, Italy is the top performer in terms of circular economy implementation, ahead of the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Spain (in this order). While Italy’s position has remained unchanged compared to the previous year, there are some small signs of a slowdown which must be taken into account.
The report makes the following 10 proposals for a circular economy in Italy:
- Spread and enrich circular vision, knowledge, research and good practices
- Implement a national strategy and action plan
- Improve the use of economic instruments
- Promote a regenerative bio-economy
- Integrate circular principles in public procurement
- Promote city initiatives
- Ensure rapid and effective implementation of the 2018 EU waste framework legislation
- Rapidly activate an effective end of waste (EoW) regulation
- Ensure the necessary business support infrastructure
- Extend circular principles to e-commerce
The Ecopreneur.eu landscape review of circular economy policy in the EU Member States aims to inspire these countries to accelerate their circular transition. Combining the EU's Monitoring Framework with other rankings, databases and reports, Ecopreneur presents 28 country profiles using a mix of quantitative data and qualitative information to highlight specific indicators. These range from waste generated per capita to voting behaviour on EU proposals on the circular economy.
The report also describes the current performance, initiatives, most relevant organisations, policies, challenges and examples of good practice for each Member State. The country profiles show 28 unique different trajectories towards the circular economy. Some countries and regions, such as the Netherlands, Scotland, Slovenia, France, Belgium and Finland, are already leading the way. Each country profile concludes with Ecopreneur’s recommendations, with the following overarching key messages for all EU Member States:
- Start a Green Deal on Circular Procurement
- Create circular “hubs” to support companies with circular models
- Create a national circular economy roadmap with concrete targets
- Improve and extend the extended producer responsibility (EPR) to cover ecomodulation of fees
- Introduce low VAT rates for repair services, resold goods and transactions with clearly defined social goals
- Create a “Green New Deal” to shift taxes from labour to resources
- Shift investment away from municipal waste incineration.
The Circular Economy Competences, Making the Case for Lifelong Learning report, published by ACR+ and Zero Waste Scotland , builds on the workshop these orgnisations hosted in the Euroepan Parliament on 19 February 2019. It gathers the experiences participants shared in that workshop, and is meant to help educators, policymakers and managers of NGOs involved in training and educational organisations to promote the development of local circular economy loops.
The three chapters of this booklet cover different areas of the lifelong learning landscape:
- Circular thinking in education. Educational designers will find useful insights on the promotion of circular holistic approach in schools; a bird’s eye view on how tertiary education is integrating the circular economy into its educational offer; the creation of attractive learning pathways in adult training;
- Upskilling waste, repair & reuse industry. Policymakers and professionals in the field of vocational training will find useful references to the development of professional standards and competence profiles for the 3Rs industries;
- Facilitating the transition towards a circular economy. The last chapter contains an analysis of the links between Industry 4.0 and the circular economy in Italy and the case history of a network of municipalities that have developed training courses to equip local authority staff for the circular transition. In conclusion, a final article analyses the possible positive correlations between entrepreneurial education and the circular economy.
Businesses across Europe are fully engaged to maximise the value of materials, transition to circular business models and achieve a circular economy. This can be best achieved through a functioning market for secondary raw materials (SRMs) and circular products. A real market for SRMs requires a global level-playing field with similar regulatory frameworks and standards, but within the EU several challenges and untapped opportunities still remain. Among others, BusinessEurope recommends policy-makers to:
- put more emphasis on removing inconsistencies and filling the gaps in the current policy framework, starting with a better implementation of the existing waste acquis, including more guidance to Member States and performing ex-post impact assessments on the benefits of full compliance.
- develop an enhanced investment strategy for SRMs to stimulate the market, with support from public and private spending on innovation, education and reskilling, an effective circular public procurement strategy, and introduce smart eco-modulation of fees.
- integrate circular economy thinking into other legislation to maximise its benefits, in particular in the fields of product and material design, climate change, digitalisation, bioeconomy, security of supply and waste shipments.
- collaborate with stakeholders to improve consumer engagement by reducing barriers and increasing incentives, improving awareness and knowledge on consumption behaviour and the lifecycle of materials based on a common EU methodology, and boosting the opportunities for industrial symbiosis.
The "No time to waste: unlocking the circular potential of the Baltic Sea Region" report, prepared by Politiyka Insight for the 10th annual forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (BSR) attempts to review the state of circular economy in that region, while assessing the challenges and opportunities connected with a circular transition. The report also looks into the future by trying to identify key trends that will impact the BSR countries until 2030, and on that basis project the future development of the circular economy, along with alternative scenarios.
The report shows that as of 2019 only Finland and Germany have adopted a circular economy strategy, while Poland, Estonia and Sweden are drafting one. On the other hand, there are circular economy projects active or planned in all countries neighbouring the Baltic sea, except for Lithuania and Latvia. According to its baseline scenario, "the transition to a circular economy will only happen partially. Cooperation between the BSR countries will remain on a roughly the same level, with EU policy as the main unifying factor. The most significant changes will be visible in the production sector".
Nordic Innovation launches a series of workshops, free of charge, to develop collaborative pilots across industry ecosystems, that can be scaled to successful transition towards a circular economy, critical for innovation and economic growth around the Nordics.
The Valumics webinar "Putting solutions on the table", to be held on 16 July, at 15.00-16.30 (CEST), aims at discussing challenges and opportunities to support Europeans to transition towards more sustainable food consumption behaviours.
The webinar is organised in the context of the United Nations High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development. It will look into practical ways to accelerate a just transition to a circular and carbon-neutral economy in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), while engaging all sectors of the economy and society.
The EU Ecolabel "pop-up shop": the Showroom will take place in Berlin from 28 September to 4 October, and and will showcase a selection of the best EU Ecolabel products and services.
The webinar session titled "Artificial Intelligence and Circular Economy" is part of a series of online events by Tondo. It will held on 9 July 2020 at 6 p.m. (in English with the support of slides).
CINDERELA invites you to this webinar on 14 July 2020 (9:30-11:30 CEST). The EU-funded project will present "CINDERELA One-Stop-Shop" (CinderOSS), its new digital platform for actors involved in chains for urban construction works with the use of secondary raw materials (SRM) recovered from local/regional waste streams.
How can circularity help solve sustainability problems and what does it mean for IT products? How can it be implemented on the ground, when you procure and use IT products? These and other questions will be answered in an event organised by TCO development on 22nd September to deep-dive into the topic of Circular IT Management in Practice.
In the framework of Furn 360, a European project aimed at developing a training curriculum to facilitate the implementation of circularity in the furniture sector, a webinar will be held to share insights on the current state of circular economy in the sector, with representatives from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the European Furniture Industries Confederation.
The annual European Week for Waste Reduction Awards Ceremony is organised online on 25 June at 14:00 CEST to reward the most outstanding waste prevention initiatives carried out during the last edition.
This leading circular economy event will take place on 15-18 November 2021 in Barcelona.
Soda production (for the glass, water softening, pulp and paper or detergents industrial processes) generates by-products called lime, which accounts for approximately 40 % of the soda ash production volume.
So far the soda lime has been traditionally used in agriculture as a calcium fertilizer, with limited added value.
CIECH, a leading European soda manufacturer, is seeking for new applications for “post-soda lime” such as new marketable solutions or products (other than calcium fertilizers for agriculture), and launches a competition for best proposals in:
- New application areas for post-soda lime
- Process/technology for the conversion process
- Business Case
On 5 July a a survey on consumer attitudes to reuse and recycling of electronic and food products was launched in the framework of the EU funded project CIRC4life.
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation launched its Circular Economy 100 (CE100) programme in 2013 and includes city and government authorities, universities, and companies. Within the context of this programme, the Foundation organised an Acceleration Workshop in Catalonia May 2019.
Sustainable Finance: Commission’s technical expert group calls for feedback on their report on Taxonomy for sustainable economic activities
The Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance, set up by the Commission in July 2018, has launched on 4th of July 2019 a call for feedback on their Report on Taxonomy published on 18 June 2019.
While standards and initiatives abound for components of the circular economy, such as recycling, there is no current agreed global vision on how an organization can complete the circle. A new ISO technical committee, inspired by France's XP X30-901 standard for the circular economy, TC/323 has just been formed to do just that.
At the beginning of June, Circle Economy and Altstoff Recycling Austria (ARA) released the Circularity Gap Report Austria, which makes Austria the first nation to measure the Circularity Gap. This landmark report paves the way for nations to lead the transition from a linear economy of Take-Make-Waste to a circular economy.
The analysis, commissioned by ARA, found a circularity rate for Austria of 9.7%, ahead of the figure of 9.1% in Circle Economy’s Global Circularity Gap report published in January 2019. The Austria report will enable political and business leaders to identify and monitor the best interventions to boost the circularity rate, the proportion of materials that are recycled, re-used and re-manufactured in the Austrian economy.
The call for interest to become a club member of the Consumer Insight Action Panel on circular economy is now open – express your interest today!
WCEF2019 presented the most advanced circular solutions for governments, industries, businesses and citizens and put a strong emphasis on the next level of circularity and how to scale up the transition.
CICERONE has launched an online consultation aimed at circular economy programme owners (organisations that design and fund programmes), as well as CICERONE partner organisations. The consultation is open until 18th July 2019.
The fourth edition of the international Circular Change Conference took place in Maribor, Slovenia, on 16 and 17 May 2019.