PermaFungi is a Brussels-based social cooperative that recycles waste coffee grounds into different upcycled products.
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ekolive provides a new innovative eco-/biological method of zero-waste mining and processing of local primary and secondary raw materials, aimed at creating local resources of metals and minerals.
AIMPLAS and OLIPE use olive stones to develop a new sustainable plastic material for oil product packaging
AIMPLAS, the Plastics Technology Centre, and OLIPE, Olivarera de los Pedroches, have carried out a project entitled GO-OLIVA, aimed at finding a high value-added application for olive stone waste by producing a new sustainable material for oil product packaging.
In the third year of the RepescaPlas project, chemical recycling will be used to turn marine litter into fuel for fishing boats. During the first two years of the RepescaPlas project, five tonnes of marine litter were recovered through mechanical recycling operations.
From waste to wealth: a digital matching platform finds new high-value reuse options for your materials or (waste) products
Excess Materials Exchange (EME) is a young and innovative technology company whose digital matching platform aims to find new high-value reuse options for materials or (waste) products for companies.
At its production site in Brussels, BC materials blends and transforms ordinary earth streams - what some consider to be waste - into perfectly circular building materials.
Refurbed is an online marketplace for refurbished electronics. Its products look like new, are 40% cheaper and use 70% less CO2 than the equivalent new product.
LIFE REFOREST is a project funded by the LIFE Programme that aims to mitigate the soil loss associated with post-fire episodes in forest areas.
LIFE Green Sewer is a LIFE Program funded project that aims to implement a new secondary wastewater treatment of industrial water.
The overall objective of BIORECOVER is the research and development of a new sustainable and safe process, essentially based on biotechnology, for selective extraction of a wide range of critical raw materials (CRMs) such as Rare Earths, Magnesium or Platinum Group Metals.
Destination: a circular tourism economy aims to increase the innovativeness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) within the tourism sector by supporting the integration of circular economy elements into their services, products and business models. This handbook is the result of work carried out in the Interreg South Baltic innovation project, CIRTOINNO.
In addition to providing an overall understanding of the concept of circular economy and the specificities of tourism and the South Baltic partner regions, the CIRTOINNO handbook investigates and discusses the opportunities and barriers for tourism SMEs to adopt circular economy principles, and identifies best practices. Focusing on Hotels, Restaurants and Spas, the handbook provides overall recommendations to:
- implement monitoring systems and strategies to reduce energy and water use
- build relationships with suppliers to rethink material flows
- train staff to improve resource use and reduce spillage
The contribution of the Digital Industry to repair, remanufacturing and refurbishment in a Circular Economy
The contribution of the Digital Industry to repair, remanufacturing and refurbishment in a Circular Economy
In "The contribution of the Digital Industry to repair, remanufacturing and refurbishment in a Circular Economy”, DIGITALEUROPE describes longstanding business practices in the ICT sector which represent, next to waste collection and treatment facilities, the circular economy backbone of the ICT industry in Europe.
With roughly 28,000 tons of IT equipment and spare parts being shipped cross-border annually in Europe, the ICT sector is adopting circular business practices such as designing for longevity, durability and reliability, stimulating reuse, and facilitating refurbishment. There is significant market opportunity for circular economy in the ICT sector: in 2015, the business of refurbishing IT equipment already accounted for €3.1 billion in annual turnover across 2,500+ European firms.
Alongside a series of case studies on best practice such as Nokia's Global Asset Recovery & Remarketing Services, DIGITALEUROPE outlines the following position on legislating circular economy for ICT:
- reuse, repair and refurbishment should not be addressed under waste legislation
- recognise authorised repair networks and protect IP rights
- consult stakeholders when legislating ecodesign to ensure feasibility
- ensure requirements for spare parts continue to exist
- keep the two-year guarantee and revise consumer protection without increasing refunds / replacements
- remove administrative burden for and regulatory barriers to shipping products for repair, reuse and refurbishment
When 68 Dutch architectural firms signed a manifesto for circular construction in 2018, it became apparent that this field is committed and eager to apply circular economy principles in designing and building for sustainable development. Nonetheless there are few available resources on commencing such a process, which is why the BNA (Dutch Association of Architects) commissioned a study on 'Designing Circularity Jointly: Circular Architecture and Construction' in 2018.
The transition to a circular economy is a quest where nobody has the correct and precise information on what inputs are required to reduce carbon emissions, ensure raw materials are processed in a circular loop and the built environment is repurposed at end of life. Designing truly circular buildings requires frameworks and insights. These are summarised in the report's eight key messages:
- circular economy is a shared quest full of complexity, obstacles and uncertainty, which is why openness, trust and courage are crucial;
- architects need more circular assignments to be able to benchmark and share experiences with each other;
- architects should play a greater role in designing buildings that can actually be built, maintained and recycled;
- collaboration across the entire value chain is necessary to map out resource flows and design in a truly circular fashion;
- regulation stimulates either renovation or newbuilds, becoming an obstacle when architects attempt to fuse old structures with new materials, linear raw materials with circular processes, and outdated standards with pioneering ones;
- despite a lot of information being available, architects find it difficult to access sustainable materials that have passed the necessary quality checks;
- the lack of clear guidelines about what is circular in the construction sector limits the adoption of corresponding principles;
- there are no easily accessible and understandable tools to guide practitioners in designing a circular structure.
Documento de Posición: La Estrategia Europea sobre los Plásticos y la Propuesta de Directiva relativa a la reducción del impacto ambiental de determinados productos de plástico
In this position paper, the Spanish Fondacion para la Economia Circular (Foundation for the Circular Economy), summarises the policy initiatives on plastics published by the European Commission in 2018, which includes both the Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy and the Proposal for a Directive on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment.
Outlining its position, FEC argues that:
- the plastics strategy is based on ambiguous definitions
- rigorous implementation of existing legal obligations in relation to plastics is a priority
- concrete measures reducing single-use plastics require greater precision
- a coherent policy framework for reducing microplastic is also necessary
- uptake & depth of quality standards and technological verification should be improved
- demand-side measures must be developed to stimulate th euptake of recycled plastics
- a New Plastics Economy requires global action & cooperation
100 Italian circular economy stories compiles successful innovations from companies, research institutes and non-profits across 11 sectors throughout Italy. Their stories show the transition towards a circular economy is gaining traction on the ground as a sustainable alternative to the incumbent methods of production.
A circular economy will not happen through policy alone: it requires companies, start-ups, foundations, research centres, universities, consortia and associations to apply the principles of a circular economy to practice. This book features 100 such examples from Italy, including Aquafil's regenerated nylon yarn and Favini's non-virgin papers. The whole collection of stories ranges from across the following 11 sectors:
- Clothing and accessories
- Furniture / Construction
- Industrial automation and other Manufacturing
- Chemistry and Pharmaceutics
- Research & Development
- Electrics and Electronics
- New Materials and Resources
- Enablers and Platforms
- Promotion and Dissemination
These 100 stories clearly demonstrate that change is underway by showing how Italian products are brought to market using increasingly integrated technologies and supply chains which exchange materials and energy. The diffusion of such circular processes will enable more and more companies to free themselves from using costly virgin resources, gradually rendering the whole economy more sustainable.
For reference with the Italian circular economy strategy, please check the 2017 white paper "Towards a model of circular economy in Italy"
To obtain empirical policy-relevant insights to assist with the implementation of the EU Circular Economy Action Plan, the European Commission requested a behavourial study that aimed to:
- identify barriers and trade-offs faced by consumers when deciding whether to engage in the CE, in particular whether to purchase a more or a less durable good, whether to have a good repaired, or to discard it and buy a replacement;
- establish the relative importance of economic, social and psychological factors that govern the extent to which consumers engage in the CE, especially purchasing durable products and seeking to repair products instead of disposing of them; and
- propose policy tools to enable and encourage consumers to engage in CE practices related to durability and reparability.
The study focused on five products: vacuum cleaners, televisions, dishwashers, smartphones and clothes. The methodology encompasses a systematic literature review, 50 stakeholder interviews, consumer focus groups, an online consumer survey with 12,064 participants, and a behavourial experiment with 6,042 participants. Whereas the survey collected information on consumers' perception of and experiences with circular practices, the financially incentivised experiments included a repairing and purchasing task.
Findings include a general willingness to engage but little practical action to date. Consumers appear to be hampered by insufficiently developed markets for repair, reuse and refurbish in addition to a lack of information regarding product durability and repairability. Such information appeared seminal in shifting purchasing decisions towards sustainable products in the behavourial experiment, highlighting great potential to bridge the gap between theoretical and practical engagement. This experiment also uncovered substantial consistency between a self-reported circular mindset and corresponding behaviour.
As product size and price increases, consumers also appear to have greater interest in repairability and durability. Whereas repairability is linked to spare parts, durability appears to follow from perceived product quality. Overall this study concludes that the price-quality ratio, followed by convenience, is the most important driver and simultaneously barrier for consumer engagement in the circular economy. Building on these finidngs, the study makes 5 recommendations for policy action to enhance consumer engagement in the circular economy:
- boost CE engagement by increasing awareness of the circular economy;
- make repairing products easier;
- create financial incentives for repairability and durability;
- make information on durability and repairability available at point of sale;
- strengthen legislation requiring the provision of accurate information to consumers.
Austria Glas Recycling Gmbh is setting the course for the future: the Austria Glas Agenda 2030, which it has developed together with stakeholders, experts and scholars, defines the orientation of the glass recycling system according to the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
The Austria Glass Agenda 2030 is pioneering work setting new impulses for the implementation of the SDGs. As one of the first companies in Austria, Austria Glas Recycling Gmbh is facing the challenge to implement the SDGs in all its business processes. The Austria Glas Agenda 2030 is the basis for future project developments of the glass recycling system.
In addition, the Austria Glas Agenda 2030 should serve as a role model for other sectors and inspire them to take action for the SDGs.
The EU Guidelines for the feed use of food no longer intended for human consumption are an integral part of the communication Closing the loop - An EU action plan for the Circular Economy.
They were developed by the Commission in close cooperation with the food, feed, animal health and environmental authorities of the Member States and the members of the EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste, as well as other stakeholders.
The valorisation of the nutrients of food which, for commercial reasons or owing to problems of manufacturing, is no longer intended for human consumption, but can be safely used in animal nutrition, prevents these materials from being composted, transformed in biogas or disposed of by incineration or landfilling.
Available in all EU languages by following the Official Journal link, these guidelines should assist the national and local competent authorities, as well as the operators in the food chain, in applying the relevant EU legislation. Legal clarity is therefore enhanced and examples of best practices that are in compliance with the current EU regulatory framework are presented while preventing unnecessary administrative burden.
The report ‘Circular Economy in the Furniture Sector: Overview of Current Challenges and Competence Needs’, provides an overview on how the circular economy is currently being implemented within the furniture sector.
By focusing on existing practices, challenges and opportunities at the micro-level, the main objective of this report is to identify the necessary skills and competences needed to support the transformation of furniture companies towards a circular economy.
Project partners identified 25 furniture companies active in the circular economy throughout Europe.
Interviews, held between March and May 2018 in Belgium, Finland, Germany, Spain, France, The Netherlands, Italy and Sweden, yielded insights on the necessary skills and competences needed to develop circular business models relevant for the furniture industry.
Finally, 10 examples of circular furniture cases are presented in the report. Examples show companies from different EU countries that have implemented different actions to work towards the circularity of the company, as well as specific examples of furniture products that are sustainable.
Market study on date marking and other information provided on food labels and food waste prevention
Market study on date marking and other information provided on food labels and food waste prevention
As part of the Circular Economy Action Plan, the Commission is examining ways to improve the use of date marking by actors in the food chain and its understanding by consumers, in particular "best before" labelling. Better understanding and use of date marking on food, i.e. "use by" and "best before" dates, by all actors concerned, can prevent and reduce food waste in the EU.
In order to help inform its work on date marking, the Commission launched a study to map how date marking is used in the market by food business operators and control authorities.
The market study found wide variation in date marking practices within product categories surveyed in the EU. The legibility of date marks was judged to be poor for 11% of products sampled. The study highlights the role that strengthened cooperation and innovation in the food supply chain can play in preventing food waste and finds that additional guidance may be needed to facilitate food redistribution past the "best before" date.
Based on the study's findings, the authors conclude that avoidable food waste linked to date marking is likely to be reduced where:
- a date mark is present, its meaning is clear and it is legible;
- consumers have a good understanding of the meaning of date marking (and the difference between "use by" as an indicator of safety and "best before" as an indicator of quality);
- "use by" dates are used only where there is a safety-based rationale for doing so, consistent with the Regulation on Food Information to Consumers
- the product life stated on the packaging is consistent with the findings of safety and quality tests, and is not shortened unnecessarily by other considerations, such as product marketing;
- storage and open life guidance are consistent with the findings of safety and quality tests;
- there is a level of consistency in storage of food at retail and guidance for consumers regarding the temperatures at which products should be stored in the home.
Join 80+ industry professionals at Europe's leading packaging waste event, Achieving a circular economy through packaging and packaging waste, from 23 to 25 March 2020 in Brussels, Belgium.
Join the final SeRaMCo conference on 25 and 26 March in Kaiserslautern, Germany to hear the results of the project’s 3-year top-notch research and receive the latest information regarding building with concrete made from recycled aggregates and sands.
Join this interdisciplinary circular economy conference on 21 and 22 September 2020 in Freiburg, Germany, to critically explore prospects, potentials, and limitations of circular economy initiatives for social justice and environmental sustainability.
The automobile recycling industry is gathering in Geneva for its 20th annual conference during the Geneva International Motor Show from 11 to 13 March 2020.
Join the 19th International Electronics Recycling Congress IERC2020 in Salzburg from 21 to 24 January 2020 for the electronics recycling industry's leading annual event.
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.
Presentazione e lancio ICESP Italian Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform
Video highlights of the 3rd Circular Change Conference
Today EU Member States approved a set of ambitious measures to make EU waste legislation fit for the future, as part of the EU's wider circular economy policy.
Deutschland entkoppelt - Rethinking Circular Economy in Germany
El modelo de Economía Circular, ese que está tan de moda, asegura que todo, o casi todo, puede tener más de una vida, que todo puede volver a la cadena de producción... ¿Y cómo puede ser eso?
Tetra Pak aims to launch a paper straw that is suitable for its portion-sized carton packages before the end of the year, as part of a broader programme to help address the issue of plastic straw waste.
The purpose of the business unit is to develop the Group’s business in the circular economy, in the aftermarket. Created to answer a major societal challenge, it offers a solution for responsible consumption.
12 firms, led by Aquafil, secure 7.1 million euros from the European Union H2020 program.
The people fighting pollution with plastic-free periods.
The quarterly newsletter "Beyond GDP" discusses the use of economic, social and environmental indicators in monitoring key policies, beyond the GDP indicator.