Flexible plastic packaging is a growing and challenging segment of the plastic stream that deserves its own strategies and investments. On 5 May, the first webinar will feature perspectives and lessons from four leading organisations that have developed comprehensive roadmaps and plans to step up the recovery of flexible plastics.
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Secondary raw materials
Low-carbon technologies and Russian imports: how far can recycling reduce the EU's raw materials dependency?
Low-carbon technologies and Russian imports: how far can recycling reduce the EU's raw materials dependency?
Russia is among the larger suppliers of raw materials to the EU. It is the biggest world supplier for palladium, platinum and nickel, and a prominent one for aluminium and copper. The country still holds large untapped reserves of rare-earth elements.
This paper provides an overview of EU import dependency on raw materials and Russia’s share among EU sources of key supplies for low-carbon technologies. It then looks at prospects for meeting future material demands through circularity for three technologies, namely lithium-ion batteries, wind turbines and fuel cell electric vehicles.
The analysis is based on two scenarios with different levels of ambition. They aim to give an indication of the scale of potential benefits that can be achieved through circular approaches.
The European Food Safety Authority EFSA foresight workshop Circular Future: emerging feed sources, technologies & related risks will take place online on 9-10 June 2022. The event is open to policymakers, practitioners and stakeholders from along the feed value chain, as well as scientists and experts in emerging risk identification, risk assessment and foresight selected from among participants.
Research: best criteria for the new EU strategy for sustainable textiles and the Ecodesign directive
This research project lists ecodesign criteria for circular fashion and textiles.
It focused on giving consumer textiles a longer lifespan with optimal reuse potential, making disassembly and recovery possible, and exploring upcycling and high-quality recycling. Extending the life of textile products turned out to have the greatest impact in the short term. Quality seems to be the most impactful ecodesign criterion when it comes to improving the sustainability and circularity of consumer textiles as quickly as possible.
The project defined seven product categories, identifying a set of minimum criteria for each. The report looks at existing labels, standards and regulations and the authors hope it will help expand the Ecodesign Directive by adding a textile category.
Longstanding research on wood cascading has identified a variety of factors to enable more efficient, circular use of forest-based products in Europe.
This paper finds that two of the most critical barriers to wood cascading are:
- Competition between energy and material uses of waste wood in policy, market and infrastructure
- Inadequate information on and low quality of waste wood, including pollutant content.
It makes the following recommendations for policies and business:
- Redesign production processes to deal with contamination and increase quality
- Coordinate energy and waste policies
- Advance reporting standards about material composition of bioproducts
- Explore the best forms of involvement, awareness raising, communication and policies.
Urban agriculture comes with its own share of environmental impacts. Circular strategies promise to reduce these impacts, but not all strategies are resource efficient and environmentally effective.
This paper finds that the most eco-friendly and circular strategies for urban agriculture, taking a Mediterranean tomato crop as a case study, include:
- Struvite (phosphate mineral recovered from wastewater treatment) instead of non-renewable phosphate fertiliser to conserve freshwater
- Recycled steel and materials for urban agricultural infrastructure to reduce carbon emissions, toxicity and freshwater pollution
- Closed-loop irrigation to minimise ocean and freshwater pollution. However, if new infrastructure is required, it could lead to an increase in carbon emissions.
Join the event on 21 April 2022 for the launch of the Circularity Gap Report Sweden to learn more about the state of circularity in Sweden and how advancing it can help strengthen climate action.
This literature review identified and categorised circular economy (CE) practices within all stages of the food and feed production chain in Europe to provide an overview of current and envisaged practices. There are four macro areas:
- primary production of food and feed
- reducing industrial/manufacturing/processing waste
- reducing food and feed waste in wholesale, food retail, catering and households and
- reducing food and feed packaging waste.
It is recommended that future primary research in novel food and feed in the CE focuses on areas other than insect farming, and that there are further investigations into the potential risks associated with importation into the EU of livestock/goods that may have been subject to different restrictions/legislation.
Under the framework of the INSIGHT project, a Blueprint has been developed to provide specific recommendations on how to promote the application of Industrial Symbiosis and its facilitation to various stakeholders, as well as a roadmap of how the organisations are expected to apply the IS principles, by making use of educational specific inputs and resources.
After two years of cancellations due to COVID-19, EuRIC is delighted to announce that the European Recycling Conference is back and will take place on 14-15 June 2022 at IFEMA in Madrid.
The 4th conference will offer unique networking opportunities, brief participants on the latest regulatory and business developments and be part of the International Recycling and Recovery Trade Fair in Madrid which attracts over 10 000 visitors and 200 exhibition stands. The event will bring together top-level executives from companies, federation leaders and officials from EU institutions.
The 3rd Symposium on Circular Economy and Sustainability will take place in Chania, Greece on 27-29 June 2022. Researchers, practitioners and entrepreneurs are invited to submit both empirical and theoretical papers that are broadly consistent with any of the topics covered by the Symposium.
ReCreate pushes towards circular construction by investigating the system changes needed in the whole ecosystems of construction and demolition.
EFIC is organizing an hybrid event on 19 May, to create a cross value chain discussion about the furniture industry and its future competitiveness and positive societal impact. Policymakers, furniture industry and supply chain representatives will debate about the impact of the pandemic and the twin transition: sustainability and digitalisation.
The Circular Appliances website, an initiative powered by APPLiA - Home Appliance Europe representing home appliance manufacturers from across Europe, is an online platform which takes readers through each phase of the home appliances’ lifecycle, from design to end-of-use, aimed at displaying the achievements of the sector and fostering a more sustainable culture among European citizens.
Thanks to an immersive and interactive format, the Circular Appliances website offers the public a comprehensive experience to discover each phase of the product’s lifecycle and how the home appliance industry drives the circular transition. This is all based on what APPLiA calls a “circular culture”, which means bringing all societal actors together to achieve more ambitious circularity objectives.
The Italian Cartiera is an ethical fashion workshop founded in Lama di Reno, Marzabotto in 2017 which makes leather and fabric items.
Believing strongly that work is an extraordinary tool for social inclusion, Cartiera offers paths for employment and integration of disadvantaged people, mainly refugees and asylum seekers.
The availability of a quality infrastructure system – networks of roads, railways, bridges and waterways – is a prerequisite for all economic activity to flourish and is also paramount for people’s health, wellbeing and safety. Infrastructure is very important for human society - but its adverse environmental impact on our planet is undeniable.
To mitigate the long-term catastrophic effects of climate change and depleting material resources, a circular economy for infrastructure is crucial. The publication Circular Infrastructure: the road towards a sustainable future aims to bring this aspect into the limelight to inspire action by public actors and practitioners.
The built environment has a significant impact on a multitude of sectors, on local jobs and on quality of life. The construction sector accounts approximately for 50% of materials extracted in Europe, and is responsible for more than 35% of Europe's waste.
The EU’s second Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP 2.0) is now moving ahead, with further elements expected in March and July 2022. Will this package deliver what is required in terms of industrial decarbonisation? A renewed focus on carbon budgets, combined with climate neutrality by mid-century, means the EU’s green industrial transition must increasingly harness the enormous greenhouse gas abatement potential offered by enhanced circularity and materials efficiency for the most CO2-intensive materials and products.
Join the discussion at an Agora Online Event on 17 March at 9:00-11:00 CET!
This paper by ENEA focuses on circular economy in the construction sector, by illustrating the main market dynamics related to materials for buildings and infrastructures, and active and/or potential value chain collaborations in a circular and industrial symbiosis perspective.
The paper offers an overview of:
- the relevance of construction and infrastructure value chains within the EU economy,
- their potential for circularity, resource efficiency and decarbonisation and
- the main barriers and levers.
This report, which contains best practices and policy recommendations, provides updated information relevant to all organisations and stakeholders, both in the public and private sector, who wish to learn more about material recycling.
The objective is to help stakeholders - throughout the whole value chain - work collaboratively to achieve APEAL’s vision of zero steel packaging to landfill by 2025.
Steel for packaging is already the most recycled primary packaging material in Europe (2019 recycling rate: 84%), bringing great savings in emissions, resource and energy use.
Steel’s unique inherent qualities give it a natural advantage. Its magnetic properties make it easy and economical to recycle. As a permanent material, it can also be recycled forever.
The International MonGOS conference - Water and Sewage in the Circular Economy Model, which will be held from 30 June to 1 July 2022 in Cracow (Poland), will provide a summary of the MonGOS project "Monitoring of water and sewage management in the context of the implementation of the circular economy assumptions" financed by the Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange (NAWA) under the International Academic Partnerships Programme (2020-2022).
You are invited to participate in a webinar led by the European Commission, DG ENV, on 8 March 2022, to launch a "Support study for the development of the Roadmap for the reduction of whole life carbon of buildings", .
Each year, humanity consumes resources equivalent to 1.7 planets. Sustainable resource use is therefore essential if we are to achieve our national environmental and climate objectives and the sustainable global development goals in the 2030 Agenda.
RE:Source is a strategic innovation programme co-funded by the Swedish Agency for Innovation Systems (Vinnova), the Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning (Formas) and the Swedish Energy Agency. The programme focuses on research and innovation in sustainable material use.
Within RE:Source, the RE:Agenda describes the innovation area of sustainable use of resources, which aims to support solutions that contribute to the efficient use of the earth’s resources within the planetary boundaries.