Unverpackt in Kiel opened in February of 2014, becoming Germany’s first packaging-free store. Their goal is to reduce packaging and food waste and at the same time motivate customers to reflect on their own consumer behaviour.
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Cork-A-Tex is a project that uses recycled cork to create a yarn with high incorporation of cork. Cork is a 100% natural material made from the oak cork trees which can be recycled after its use as cork stopper in wine bottles.
The Belgian company Fertikal specialises in the production of organic fertilizers from recycled secondary materials. These recycled resources are collected in a radius of 150 km around the production facility and include chicken manure, struvite, digestates from bio-gas plants, composts, by-products from sugar beet and bio-diesel industry, etc.
Circular Flooring focuses on the recovery of the PVC compound from post-consumer PVC floor coverings and the separation of legacy plasticisers in order to create a recycled material for the manufacturing of new PVC floor coverings.
This transversal White Paper by the Interreg MED's Green Growth community displays the horizontal approach towards cooperation on Circular Economy and Green Growth in the Mediterranean as well as challenges, success factors and lessons learned.
Upcycling Scandinavia designs practical objects entirely made out of upcycled plastic. Its products are reusable and can be included into the remanufacturing of new products.
Het Hof van Cartesius is a non-governmental, bottom-up cooperative that provides circular and green workspaces for sustainable and creative entrepreneurs. The buildings are constructed completely with respect for circular design, using only secondary or biobased materials.
RecyCâbles is a joint venture between Suez and Nexans started in 2008 that collects, recovers and processes used cables. The recycling and re-use of cable materials keeps them in the economic loop.
A solvent-free adhesive that is suitable for recycling and also for bonding of recycled plastic films has been developed by Henkel to be used for multilayer packaging.
Saperatec is able to reclaim all individual raw materials from composite materials, thus making them available for recycling.
Resource Effectiveness and the Circular Economy: how to strengthen Sweden's competitiveness in a future with finite resources
The Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA) has always been a meeting place for Sweden’s future. It builds bridges between the business community, the public sector, academia and the political sphere.
Its two-year project "Resource Effectiveness and the Circular Economy" was aimed at making Sweden more competitive in a future with finite resources, in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, by economising on resources and developing new technologies, services and business models in five areas:
Read the synthesis report, marking the completion of the project, which presents the most important conclusions, recommendations and action plans from the five subprojects.
The Dutch economy is 24.5% circular. Measures in four key sectors can triple the national circularity rate and help the government achieve its ambitions for a fully circular economy by 2050.
On 3 June, Circle Economy launched the Circularity Gap Report for the Netherlands. The report shows that the Netherlands is a circular frontrunner: the country's circularity rate is three times higher than the global rate of 8.6%. Consuming 221 million tonnes of materials each year, the Netherlands retrieves one quarter from non-virgin, secondary sources. However, if the government is to achieve its ambitions of full circularity by 2050, a major overhaul of the national economy, including jobs, will still be necessary.
Holland Circular Hotspot is a private-public platform in which companies, knowledge institutes and local authorities collaborate to promote and support international collaboration and knowledge exchange on Dutch circular economy, and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, a government agency for sustainable, agricultural, innovative and international business development and growth, have come together to share insights, networks and resources to help kickstart circular developments that will boost the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Circular examples from various market segments closely linked to SDGs such as agri-food, manufacturing and the built environment are included in the brochure next to cross-sectoral topics such as consumer goods or plastics.
EUMEPS op-ed: Thermal insulation improvements in the EU building Renovation Wave also promote the Circular Economy
The European Manufacturers of Expanded Polystyrene (EUMEPS) is the voice of the Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) industry. It has published an op-ed welcoming the European Commission’s commitment to a Renovation Wave and the outline of its strategy shared in the roadmap published in May 2020. It believes that this initiative is a great opportunity for scaling-up current renovation rates and EU’s climate and energy efficiency goals.
EUMEPS agrees that increased renovation can be a key contributor to creating jobs and stimulating economic recovery in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. It embraces the Commission’s finding that buildings are also critical for making circularity work and its objective to implement the Renovation Wave in line with circular economy principles.
The European Investment Bank's Circular Economy Guide aims to promote a common understanding of circular economy, and raise awareness about and promote circular solutions.
The Guide provides information about EIB’s lending and advisory activities in this field, and communicates the vision of how the EIB can further support the transition to a circular economy. It is a living document that will be updated in response to the evolving understanding of circular economy needs, opportunities and risks, and growing experience with the appraisal and financing of circular economy projects.
Textiles and clothing play an important role in our everyday life. But the global fashion industry model is unsustainable. It uses large amounts of resources and has negative impacts on the environment and people. The global fashion industry, therefore, has to make a transition towards a circular model. In a ‘circular’ fashion economy, clothes, textiles, and fibres are kept at their highest value during use and re-enter the economy to avoid becoming waste.
This research note produced by Ecopreneur.eu is a first inventory of the potential impacts of future EU circular fashion on non-European textile producing countries. It uses existing literature and input from four circular economy experts to analyse the economic, social and environmental impacts.
Plastics represent a serious waste-handling problem with only 10% of the plastic waste generated worldwide being recycled. Plastics recycling is instrumental to close the loop of the circular economy by re-introducing into the economy high-quality plastic recyclates incorporated into new products.
The brochure highlights the importance of moving towards a circular economy for plastics in Europe. It identifies the most commonly used types of plastics and describes the current state-of-play, challenges faced by the European mechanical plastics recycling industry and key recommendations for overcoming them. Plastics recycling’s environmental benefits and economic importance are also touched upon.
A broad coalition of social and environmental NGOs has developed a Civil Society European Strategy for Sustainable Textiles, Garments, Leather and Footwear, looking at the social, environmental and governance implications of the textile sector in one forward-looking document ahead of the comprehensive EU Strategy for Textiles, expected in 2021.
The document aims to contribute to the upcoming comprehensive EU Strategy for Textiles, by providing recommendations on what such a Strategy should encompass in order to maintain a high level of ambition. It includes forward-looking proposals on due diligence, product policy framework, waste, unfair trading practices, international trade, support to producing countries, alternative business models and a multi-stakeholder platform.
Syctom is a French local public authority and a leading European operator in domestic waste management. It processes 2,3 million tonnes of domestic and related waste from around six million inhabitants of the Île-de-France region, including Paris, i.e. almost 9% of the French population.
Syctom strongly welcomes the New Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP) published by the European Commission.
In its position paper, Syctom highlights some elements in order to contribute to future discussions about the development of the new CEAP, in particular:
- strengthening and extending ecodesign,
- waste reduction,
- stimulating the market for secondary raw materials,
- waste-to-energy as a sustainable environmental activity and
- strengthening education to promote prevention.
The coronavirus crisis has disastrous human and economic consequences, revealing our system's exposure to a variety of risks. As the pandemic forces us to adapt our daily lives in ways we would not have imagined, it is also challenging us to rethink the systems that underpin the economy.
While addressing public health consequences is clearly the priority, before the crisis, momentum had already been increasing around the need for a system reset, and the potential of a circular model.
Far from the pandemic pushing the circular economy agenda to the bottom of the list, this article by Jocelyn Blériot at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation highlights and reiterates that it is now more relevant than ever, and sets out to explore the wider possibilities for recovery.
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.
C-SERVEES is a network aiming at activating Circular Services in the Electric and Electronic Sector through the development, testing, validation and transfer of new circular economic business models based on systemic eco-innovative services that include:
- eco-leasing of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE),
- product customization,
- improved management of waste of electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE),
- and ICT services to support the other eco-services.
ICT tools (relying on QR codes) will be developed as the driver of the proposed eco-innovative services to take full advantage of the potential and synergies of two major revolutions of our time: the circular economy and the Industry 4.0.
C-SERVEES will contribute to transform the E&E sector into circular and 4.0, raising new opportunities for end-users (such as their involvement in design or the access to a product as a service) and for social and solidarity economy (conducted by NGOs employing people at risk of social exclusion to repair and prepare WEEE for re-use). The techno-economic, environmental and social viability of the new circular economy business models will be validated through demonstrations dealing with four target products: washing machines, toner cartridges, telecom equipment and TVs.
The African Circular Economy Network (ACEN) is a registered Non-Profit Organisation in South Africa (195-590 NPO).
Its vision is to build a restorative African economy that generates well-being and prosperity inclusive of all its people, through new forms of economic production and consumption which maintain and regenerate its environmental resources.
The research activities of the ACEN will investigate issues, document findings relevant for the African context and its needs. Researchers will be drawn from ACEN members, academics and other stakeholder partners across Africa, but also Europe, Asia or America, where needed.
Training and Awareness
The priority of ACEN is to raise awareness and undertake training amongst key sectors of the African economy: public (government, educational institutions), private (corporates & SMEs), and civil society (non-governmental organisations) to promote the concept, benefits, principles and practice of the Circular Economy.
Networking and Events
ACEN believes that solutions to current challenges require inter-disciplinary skills, multiple stakeholder involvement and regional, African as well as international partnerships. It therefore aims to create platforms where specialists can collaborate to exchange ideas, experiences and solutions. ACEN has hosted several stakeholder engagements to date to enable a global reach. Members from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (UK), Pavia University (Italy), the South African/European Union Partnership (South Africa), the World Economic Forum (Switzerland) and Green Alliance (UK), to name a few, have joined the discussion.
ACEN currently disseminates and shares knowledge about the circular economy through LinkedIn and Facebook, and in the future, will also use other online channels to develop a strong base of knowledge and information and extend its reach throughout South Africa and Africa.
The network is active in over 24 countries. In 2017 it co-organised the first Circular Economy Conference in Africa with the European Union and the South African Government (World Economic Forum Africa, Durban). It is engaged with the EU to discuss approaches on ways to be inspired by the African continent and enable more circular strategies (less negative impact), and with training, research and knowledge sharing with corporate and universities.
The ECO.NOMIA portal, created in 2016, is one of the components of the Portuguese Action Plan for Circular Economy (2017), adopting the role of a knowledge-sharing space. It is a one-stop-shop for all things circular, in Portuguese, aimed at citizens, companies and investors. Not only does it explain the principles, advantages and opportunities of the circular economy, it also provides examples and information on financing, learning opportunities and national and international events.
The Italian Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform (ICESP) is the mirror initiative launched at national level by the National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA) - the only Italian member of the ECESP's Coordination Group.
The ICESP is bringing together Italian circular economy initiatives, experiences, critical issues and perspectives to be represented at European level. Its objective is to promote the Italian way for circular economy at national and international level.
The ICESP acts through six working groups: 1) Research and eco-innovation, 2) Policy and governance, 3) Measuring the circular economy, 4) Sustainable and circular design, production, distribution and consumption, 5) Cities and territory, 6) Good practices.
Valdelia is a non-profit simplified joint stock company (SAS) founded in 2011 by 13 companies specializing in the manufacture of non-household furniture in order to set up a joint service for the management of non-household furniture waste.
Valdelia was approved by the French authorities in December 2012 for the management of non-household furniture waste. Valdelia supplies professional furniture marketers with a shared, turnkey solution enabling them to meet new regulatory obligations for furniture waste management. It favours upcycling whenever possible and in the process is actively contributing to social entrepreneurship in the sector.
This free online event – organised by NoAW (No Agricultural Waste) H2020 project – will give participants the opportunity to discuss current and upcoming innovations in agro-waste management. Experts across continents, from Europe and China will share their knowledge and experiences on successful innovative solutions, emerging tools, methods and technologies, developed in NoAW project and beyond.
Part of the Circular Week 2020, the Mazovia Circular Congress on 16 October 2020 is aimed at representatives of public administration, local government, enterprises, managers dealing with sustainable development and CSR, start-ups, and media. It will include a panel discussion of various stakeholder groups on how to use circular economy solutions.
Part of Circular Week 2020, the event Circular Business Models 2020 is a conference about the transformation to circular economy in businesses. The event aims to familiarise companies with the idea of circularity and its opportunities for both new and established enterprises.
The 3rd event of the 5th Circular Change Conference, organised in partnership with the Managers’ Association of Slovenia, is taking place on 24-25 of September 2020.
A series of 4 lunchtime webinars organised by the Federation of Enterprises of Belgium. Speakers will highlight specific circular economy solutions that they are developing as companies or academics. The first one on 25 September is focused on How to maximise raw materials in the circular economy.
Join the "Solution" session of the 9th European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns (30 September - 2 October 2020) to hear the experience of three cities that have got down to the job of reducing or reusing plastic, construction and bio-waste.
This policy panel on implementing a circular economy in cities is part of the 9th European Conference on Sustainable Cities and Towns, taking place from 30 September to 2 October 2020 in Mannheim, Germany.
Always wondered how circular economy could help take your city or region to the next level? This webinar by the European Federation of Agencies and Regions for Energy and the Environment (FEDARENE) is for you!
This workshop on 20 October 2020 will look at how cities and regions have invested in a circular economic system and how this has made them more resilient during the Covid-19 crisis.
As part of Circular Week 2020, this meeting will highlight how Finland is building a circular economy system and how important a holistic approach to this concept is. We will learn about the latest circular packaging materials presented by representatives of Finnish companies. In the end, a matchmaking session will be held for interested business representatives.
The City of Amsterdam aims to halve its use of raw material and resources by 2030, and achieve a fully circular economy by 2050. To this effect, its new circular economy strategy will use an adapted version of British economist Kate Raworth's "doughnut model".
How can we best equip people to transform the fashion industry from the inside out? (Re)education is one promising avenue – and there is a lot to learn!
The European Green Deal sets out ambitious goals for plastic packaging products in the EU, which include ensuring that all products on the market are reusable or recyclable by 2030. The European project CIRC-PACK shared key lessons at its final online event in March.
The BeCircular call for projects is open to all circular innovators in the Brussels Region. Due to exceptional circumstances, the deadline of the 2020 edition has been extended to 19 June 2020.
According to the 7th edition of the International Seminar on Biopolymers and Sustainable Composites organized by AIMPLAS on 4 and 5 March, bioplastic production is expected to increase by 15% by 2024 and is carving out a niche in the construction and automotive sectors.
In March Ecopreneur.eu published the preliminary results of a study on the potential impacts of an EU circular fashion industry on non-EU textile producing countries.
Following the publication of the new Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP) by the European Commission in early March, the members of the Coordination Group of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform have issued a joint statement on the CEAP, while also reflecting on the coronavirus pandemic ravaging the world.
The French "Institut National de l'Economie Circulaire" (INEC) and Orée have published a co-authored study to better understand circular economy initiatives dynamics at work in different countries.
At times of Covid-19 quarantine, Belgian startup ASmartWorld who reconditions second-hand smartphones, took the initiative to distribute them free of charge in old people's homes to help guests reconnect with their families.
Check out the Circular Conversation - A Circular Bridge for Europe - with Ladeja Godina Košir, Chair of the Coordination Group of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform (ECESP).