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Innovation and investments
SwitchMed Connect is a gathering of Mediterranean stakeholders to build synergies, exchange knowledge, and scale up eco and social innovations. Leading start-ups and entrepreneurs, industry agents, initiatives, change agents, policy and financial institutions working on applications of productive, circular and sharing economies in the Mediterranean will come together in Barcelona.
The first seminar on 'the City as a Business Model' was held at the Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands on 4 October. It aimed to share knowledge and discuss about how cities can make the transition to sustainable, inclusive circular economies, based on various European best practices.
Official launch of the GrandParisCirculaire.org platform on 5 October 2018.
Panel discussions around tools and methodologies to assess the impact of marine litter and to address the issue of circular economy and sustainable tourism in islands.
Strategy for the Transition to Circular Economy in the Municipality of Maribor
The underlying idea of the Strategy for the Transition to the Circular Economy in the Municipality of Maribor, as well as the Wcycle project, is its to have an own innovative model as a system for managing all the resources available in the Municipality of Maribor and the wider urban area.
The model is based on the operation of enterprises that are predominantly publicly-owned and already provide public services for residents. They are thus the city’s bottlenecks that until now have not functioned as a connecting link, which is a fundamental principle in the transition from linear to circular economy.
Only close cooperation between public companies, citizens, industry and local self-government can lead to a successful interconnected system that optimises resources and results - economic, environmental and social. This is a long-term project that provides development-oriented efficient management of resource flows in local and regional environments.
The purpose of the Strategy and Wcycle project discussed is cross-sectoral cooperation in handling, processing, re-use and development of resources, which deals with the circular economy in Maribor in seven selected sectors (i.e pillars or circles).
The positive consequences of these practices are the emergence of new business opportunities for the Municipality of Maribor, the people and the economy, the creation of high-quality, mainly green jobs, new added value and a fresh economic boost.
The Circular Fashion Games: one programme, two bootcamps. Team up and join the creative ecosystems in Eindhoven and Amsterdam to reshape the fashion industry and shift it towrards the circular economy.
The first Slovenian Circular Economy Roadmap paves the way towards a circular economy in Slovenia.
In the near future the elastomers industry will be facing changes due to the transition to a sustainable and circular economy, which will be addressed during ACI’s 6th World Elastomer Summit.
The Italian Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform (ICESP) was inaugurated and launched at the ENEA headquarters in Rome on 7th June 2018.
The second meeting of the ECESP Coordination Group, to be held on 18 and 19 October 2018 in Brussels, will be an opportunity to discuss the practical implementation of its objectives.
The first meeting of the ECESP Coordination Group provided a fertile ground for discussion on how the platform will reach its objectives.
EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste
The Communication on Circular Economy, adopted in 2015, calls on the Commission to establish a Platform dedicated to food waste prevention. Thus the EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste (FLW) was established in 2016, as an informal European Commission expert group bringing together EU institutions, international organisations, experts from Member States and actors in the food value chain including consumer and other non-governmental organisations.
The Platform aids the Commission in identifying and prioritising actions to be taken at EU level in order to prevent food losses and food waste and supports all actors in identifying and implementing appropriate actions to take at national, regional and local levels. Its work is of a horizontal nature, aiming to identify opportunities for food waste prevention across the food production and consumption chain and facilitate inter-sector cooperation.
The most recent estimates of European food waste levels (FUSIONS, 2016) reveal that 70% of EU food waste arises in the household, food service and retail sectors, with production and processing sectors contributing the remaining 30%. The EU and Member States are committed to meeting Sustainable Development Goal 12.3, adopted in September 2015, which targets to halve per capita food waste at the retail and consumer level by 2030 and reduce food losses along the food production and supply chains.
All relevant documents related to the work of the Platform (such as agendas, minutes and participants' submissions) can be found on the Commission's dedicated food waste website
The European Commission and UN Environment are jointly convening an event with the objective of inspiring new commitments to reduce plastic waste.
The 4th edition of ACI’s European Food & Beverage Plastic Packaging Summit will focus on the industry’s increasing challenges in the way of sustainable packaging, recyclability, packaging performance and consumer experience, with special attention to the European Commission’s Circular Economy Package and its implications for the industry.
ACR+ is co-organising a workshop to inform cities and network organisations of the opportunities of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform as a portal to strategies and case studies in CE.
Prospects for electric vehicle batteries in a circular economy
Electric vehicles are a key technology to decarbonise the road transport sector and their use is expected to increase, thereby increasing demand for lithium-ion batteries.
This makes the development of a full value chain for batteries in Europe a priority, particularly the recycling of lithium-ion batteries where Europe is at an advantage being among the market leaders.
What will happen to this huge number of batteries at their end-of-life and how the valuable materials within each battery can be recovered and recycled are important questions for EU policymakers, as is information on the impacts of developing a lithium-ion battery recycling industry within the EU.
Part of a wider project, CIRCULAR IMPACTS, which looks at the economic, employment and societal impacts of shifting towards a circular economy, this case study examines the impacts of managing electric-vehicle lithium-ion batteries reaching their end-of-life in the years to come. It concludes that increasing the collection and recycling efficiency rates of electric vehicle batteries in the EU can mitigate dependence on imported materials and help to retain the value of recovered materials in the EU economy. Further potential benefits include job creation in the lithium-ion recycling sector, while recycling certain materials, as opposed to extracting the raw material, may mitigate CO2 emissions.
In October 2015 the Luxembourg government named the municipality of Wiltz a Circular Economy Hotspot. In February 2018 Wiltz renewed its political commitment with a Circular Economy Charter signed by its municipal council, by which it committed itself to mainstreaming circular economy in its future project and activities in order to improve its global footprint on the Ardennes region and to take on its responsibilities towards future generations of citizens.
G-STIC 2018 builds onto the key findings of G-STIC 2017, which demonstrate that a transition to a new industry framework requires a circular economy approach that is enabled by smart technologies.
Luxembourg as a knowledge capital and testing ground for the circular economy
The circular economy is more than a potential model for Luxembourg; it is an economic imperative. Due to its history of exhausting resources then finding substitutes, Luxembourg is already a testing ground for circularity methods. For example its steel, aluminum, glass, and other industries are expert at re-using secondary raw materials. The re-use of those materials is core to their economic survival. It is a competitive necessity to sharpen their capacities in those areas.
Because Luxembourg’s exemplary European society is based on equity, cultural tolerance, economic stability, responsive government and manageable size, the country is a powerful proving ground for circularity. Its heritage of quality and its service-based economy allow leveraging of skills to take advantage of the embedded growth potential. The likely benefits for Luxembourg are considerable. The starting position is excellent. The capabilities and motivation seem to be in place. It is now only a question of providing a nucleus and initial catalyst to accelerate the transition towards a circular economy at scale. The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the Ministry of the Economy in particular have powerful roles to play as catalysts for circularity.
In the present situation where knowledge of circular economy potential is low but know-how for supporting technology and services is high, the government has a special brief opportunity to seize the initiative by delivering powerful messages about circularity through initiating and coordinating actions, as well as supporting those with a solid foundation of education, training and national co-branding. By leveraging those mechanisms the government will provide the enabling framework for its stakeholders to implement a circular economy with innovative lighthouse initiatives.