The European Plastics Converters Association, together with the German association for plastic packaging Industrievereinigung Kunststoff-verpackungen, is organizing its annual conference under the theme A Circular Future with Plastics on the 13-14 June 2019 in Berlin.
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Secondary raw materials
The 4th Circular Change (CC) Conference will address the circular economy situation on the ground and explore the everyday challenges of circular companies.
On 28 March 2019 the Economy Circular Chair (ESCP Europe & Deloitte) and the European Research Project R2Pi are co-organising an event (at ESCP Europe Business School, Paris) which focuses on various types of circular economy partnerships among enterprises (firm-centric, consortium and market-based).
Polyolefin Circular Economy Platform
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.
Economía Circular y Empleabilidad de los Jóvenes en la Comunidad de Madrid
The Centro de Documentación Europea de la Universidad Francisco de Vitoria (European Documentation Centre, UFV) has completed a project titled Economía Circular y Empleabilidad de los Jóvenes en la Comunidad de Madrid (Circular Economy and Employability of Young People in the Autonomous Region of Madrid).
The outcomes include a report on communicating the circular economy through the lens of employment opportunities circular business models provide for young people. The project has also created a guide on communicating the circular economy to students, which introduces the subject, presents the 7R model and shows how innovative companies provide opportunities for employment in circular business.
Start-up of a microalgae-based treatment system within the biorefinery concept: from wastewater to bioproducts
Within the European project INCOVER, an experimental plant uses low-energy photobioreactors to cultivate micro-algae and transform wastewater into bioproducts.
This article describes this new experimental plant and the start-up stage, starting from the new design of three semi-closed horizontal photobioreactors with low energy requirements, for microalgae cultivation (30 m3 total), using agricultural runoff and urban wastewater as feedstock.
The inflow nutrients concentration is adjusted to select cyanobacteria, microalgae able to accumulate polyhydroxybutyrates, which can be used for bioplastics production. Part of the harvested biomass is used as substrate for anaerobic co-digestion (AcoD) with secondary sludge to obtain biogas. This biogas is then cleaned in an absorption column to reach methane concentration up to 99%. The digestate from the AcoD is further processed in sludge wetlands for stabilization and biofertilizer production.
On the other hand, treated water undergoes ultrafiltration and disinfection through a solar-driven process, then it is pumped through absorption materials to recover nutrients, and eventually applied in an agricultural field to grow energy crops by means of a smart irrigation system. This plant presents a sustainable approach for wastewater management, which can be seen as a resource recovery process, more than a waste treatment.
Circular Economy - Future of the Development of Slovakia
The publication presents a state-of-play for Slovakia's circular economy transition and introduces its circular economy policies. It also contains interviews with representatives of the Slovak State administration, NGO representatives and scientists, as well as examples of good practices from municipalities, businesses, and NGOs.
Good practices in separate collection, sorting and recycling of steel for packaging
With an average of 79.5% recycled across Europe in 2016, steel for packaging is already the most recycled packaging material in Europe.
This report compiles examples of good practices from countries across the EU showcasing the varied projects, systems and processes by which steel for packaging is recycled, bringing significant reduction in emissions, resource and energy use.
Steel, a permanent material that can be infinitely recycled to make high quality products, can be easily sorted from the waste stream owing to its magnetic properties which make it the most economical packaging material to collect, sort and recycle over and over again.
Good practices in separate collection, sorting and recycling of steel for packaging contribute to improving its recycling rate, but can also serve as a guide for any stakeholder interested in improving these essential steps in a circular perspective.
MaterialDistrict Rotterdam 2019 is the leading event for R&D and design professionals within six sectors, including textiles and fabrics. Circularity is among the priority themes to be treated.
The European Recycling Industries’ Confederation will hold its annual conference, entitled Implementing Circular Value Chains, in Brussels on 13 March 2019.
The conference Fast-tracking a Circular Economy in the EU will take stock of actions aimed at advancing towards a circular economy.
EREK will hold its first webinar on 19th March 2019. The event will be co-organised by ADEME and will focus on the lessons learned from delivering resource efficiency support programmes in Europe. It will focus on the cases of France, Scotland, and Estonia, with speakers from those countries.
SK-Tex takes old clothing and turns it into products that can be used in cars, furniture and buildings. The company has been in operation since 1998, beginning as a textile raw materials trading company before developing into a recycling company.
On 19 February 2019 the European Parliament and ACR+ hosted experts and practitioners from local and regional authorities, training providers, NGOs and academia across Europe.
Use of recycled plastic material (rPM) in North West Europe is homogeneously low. In packaging and building, the highest plastic-consuming sectors, only 8% of plastic employed is recyclate (Plastics Europe 2016). This is often due to the lack of information on purity and composition of recycled plastics. The Interreg NWE research project Di-Plast develops digital technology to enable complete documentation and quality assurance of recycled plastic material flows.
Join five inspiring speakers to hear the latest thinking on circular economy at TedXParcduCinquantenaire, to be hosted hosted by the European Commission on the 5th of March in Brussels.
On 7 March the European Commission will host a workshop to inform stakeholders about the product environmental footprint, its development and possible contribution to a Single Market for Green Products.
The LIFE EPS SURE project aims to offer a technically, environmentally and economically viable solution that allows EPS fish boxes to be collected, washed and converted into new PS food contact packaging, thus closing the loop.
Enablers and Barriers to a Circular Economy
The report provides a simple, yet rich overview of the barriers and enablers of circular economy business models as identifed by stakeholders, drawing upon a range of interviews, workshops and events, and a survey conducted with representatives of the European business sector.
Within businesses, stakeholders have identified high-level commitment accompanied by long-term perspectives, the personal drive and attitudes of staff, as well as the promise of enhanced competitiveness as key in supporting the transition towards circularity. Yet, from an internal company perspective, a number of factors were highlighted as getting in the way of the transition. Difficulties in financing new business models, taxation systems, resistance to change and the perceived lack of consumer demand are key examples of obstacles that hamper the circular transformation.
Importantly, stakeholders have provided interesting insights into possible solutions and recommendations able to overcome the challenges posed by circular economy barriers: tax incentives, the development of wealth-measurement systems other than GDP, material passports and quality standards, to name a few. Future solutions should also focus on ensuring safe areas for innovation out of tendering calls, green public procurement and increased financial support.