Despite 66% of the world’s population being covered by e-waste legislation, only 20% of global e-waste is recycled each year. This means 40 million tonnes of e-waste end up outside of the waste infrastructure, and to help address this huge issue, the WEEE Forum launched the first International E-Waste Day in 2018. Organisations from across the world can get involved by organising activities on 14 October 2019 to unite in tackling the e-waste challenge.
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Secondary raw materials
Businesses across Europe are fully engaged to maximise the value of materials, transition to circular business models and achieve a circular economy. This can be best achieved through a functioning market for secondary raw materials (SRMs) and circular products. A real market for SRMs requires a global level-playing field with similar regulatory frameworks and standards, but within the EU several challenges and untapped opportunities still remain. Among others, BusinessEurope recommends policy-makers to:
- put more emphasis on removing inconsistencies and filling the gaps in the current policy framework, starting with a better implementation of the existing waste acquis, including more guidance to Member States and performing ex-post impact assessments on the benefits of full compliance.
- develop an enhanced investment strategy for SRMs to stimulate the market, with support from public and private spending on innovation, education and reskilling, an effective circular public procurement strategy, and introduce smart eco-modulation of fees.
- integrate circular economy thinking into other legislation to maximise its benefits, in particular in the fields of product and material design, climate change, digitalisation, bioeconomy, security of supply and waste shipments.
- collaborate with stakeholders to improve consumer engagement by reducing barriers and increasing incentives, improving awareness and knowledge on consumption behaviour and the lifecycle of materials based on a common EU methodology, and boosting the opportunities for industrial symbiosis.
Join the German Institute for Standardisation on 27 September 2019 for a free conference on How standardisation can support innnovation for a circular economy
Votechnik has created a unique state-of-the-art recycling technology, the ALR 4000 machine, which safely removes hazardous waste materials from LCD flatscreen panels and monitors through a fully automated process.
The "No time to waste: unlocking the circular potential of the Baltic Sea Region" report, prepared by Politiyka Insight for the 10th annual forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (BSR) attempts to review the state of circular economy in that region, while assessing the challenges and opportunities connected with a circular transition. The report also looks into the future by trying to identify key trends that will impact the BSR countries until 2030, and on that basis project the future development of the circular economy, along with alternative scenarios.
The report shows that as of 2019 only Finland and Germany have adopted a circular economy strategy, while Poland, Estonia and Sweden are drafting one. On the other hand, there are circular economy projects active or planned in all countries neighbouring the Baltic sea, except for Lithuania and Latvia. According to its baseline scenario, "the transition to a circular economy will only happen partially. Cooperation between the BSR countries will remain on a roughly the same level, with EU policy as the main unifying factor. The most significant changes will be visible in the production sector".
For four days in 2019, Antwerp was the epicentre of the circular economy. More than 750 company leaders, scientists and policy makers from all over the world came to the city from February 24 to 27 for the World Resources Forum (WRF), organised by OVAM - the Public Waste Agency of Flanders. On the menu? Sessions on the power of the circular economy and the link with climate change, and an introduction to numerous pioneering projects and initiatives that are driving the transition.
Join the Interreg Mediteranean Blue and Green Growth communities in Brussels on 19 -20 September 2019 for 2 days of capacity building and knowledge exchange - including a showcase of 28 projects helping a sustainable transition on Europe's Southern coast.
The Circular Economy Initiative Deutschland, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and participating companies, brings together economic, scientific and societal stakeholders in developing a joint vision and concrete plan on how to support the German transformation towards a circular economy.
The network also stimulates practical implementation, for example in the form of collaborative projects, with support from acatech – National Academy of Science and Engineering in cooperation with SYSTEMIQ.
These projects will also serve to formulate policy recommendations and options that will be summarised in a 'Circular Economy Roadmap for Germany'. This roadmap will additionally be underpinned using the insights of the following working groups:
Circular business models and regulatory framework conditions
New value networks for mobile energy storage systems
New value networks for packaging.
This preliminary study stimulates public debate on the circular economy in Germany and serves as a basis for discussion within the recently launched Circular Economy Initiative Deutschland. With a sizeable industry, there is substantial opportunity for Germany to adopt circular policies, but this paradigm shift would mean no less than a reinterpretation of the "Made in Germany" model.
In the past years, both the European Union and several Member States have adopted circular economy strategies to transition to a resource-efficient economy based on keeping resources in use for longer. While countries outside Europe also follow this guiding principle in their industrial and resource policies, e.g. China, Japan or Canada, such a plan is still missing in Germany.
This report discusses the preconditions for a successful implementation of a circular economy within the German context, before discussing the experiences of European countries, which have already initiated the transformation to a circular economy by developing roadmaps or comparable strategies. The learning experiences and best practices of these countries are examined with a view to transferring some of these to Germany.
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s DIF welcomes contributors from across the globe for its November 2019 sessions to share their ideas, stories and innovations to spark conversations with a worldwide audience.
The paper provides an overview of the literature on Circular Economy (CE) theoretical approaches, strategies and implementation cases. After analyzing different CE approaches and the underlying principles the paper then proceeds with the main goal of developing tools for CE implementation. Two tools are presented: a CE Strategies Database, which includes 45 CE strategies that are applicable to different parts of the value chain and secondly a CE Implementation Database, which includes over 100 case studies categorized by Scope, Parts of the Value Chain that are involved, as well as by the used Strategy andImplementation Level. An analysis of the state of the art in CE implementation is also included in the paper.
One of the observations from the analysis is that while Parts of the Value Chain (recovery/recycling, consumption/use) are prominently featured, others, including manufacturing and distribution, are rarely involved in CE. On the other hand, the Implementation Levels of the used Strategies indicate that many market-ready solutions already exist. The Scope of current CE implementation considers selected products, materials and sectors, while systemic changes to the economy are rarely suggested. Finally, the CE monitoring methods and suggestions for future development are also discussed in this paper. The analysis of the theoretical approaches can serve as an introduction to CE concept, while the developed tools can be instrumental for designing new CE cases.
The conference Sustainable Consumption for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Worldwide will take place on 30 September in Berlin.
The European Days for Sustainable Circular Economy will promote a low-carbon, climate resilient circular economy. This flagship event will be held on 30 September–1 October in Helsinki in the context of Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The event will consist of three parallel conferences, one of which is the CE 2019 Conference – Sustainable transition to a low-carbon, climate resilient circular economy: creating the knowledge base.
Come to the Embassy of the Netherlands in Belgium on 8 October 2019 to learn more about best practice in financing the circular bioeconomy.
The next BBI JU Stakeholder Forum will take place on 4 December 2019 in Brussels
The European Conference on Sustainable Cities and Towns, organised by ICLEI Europe, will open its doors for the 9th time from 30 September - 2 October 2020 in Mannheim, Germany.
Circular economy increasingly attracts the interest of business, policy makers and academia in the search for answers to sustainability challenges. While earlier studies have presented drivers that support the introduction of new business concepts for circular economy, as well as barriers that hinder the rate of innovation in the field, no systematic categorizations of such factors have been brought forward.
Drawing on current literature, a framework of drivers and barriers is introduced, including seven distinct areas: environmental, economic, social, political and institutional, technological and informational, supply chain, and organizational factors. The appearance and content of these areas in practice have been examined in four case organizations by conducting thirty-six qualitative, semi-structured interviews. Empirical illustrations of the potential barriers and drivers provide managerial implications for better execution of circular business.
The transition to a more circular economy is underway. But what can be done to speed it up? This report, authored by Institut Montaigne, recommends five principles that must drive circular economy policy:
- focus on innovation
- adopt a comprehensive, global approach
- take into account differences between sectors and enhance public / private cooperation
- measure progress
- reach out beyond developed countries.
The concept of circular economy is gaining traction. This has led to various policy actions throughout the life cycle of a product ranging from measures on eco-design to recycling targets. Despite the progressive incorporation of the circular economy in industrial and innovation policies, the EU and Member States policies have a strong focus on increasing recycling rates, reducing landfilling and creating markets for secondary raw materials. On their own these measures are insufficient to result in a paradigm shift in resource use and current targets inadequate to provide a clear direction of travel.
Within the framework of THINK 2030, an IEEP project to support a science-based agenda for European environmental policy beyond 2020, the authors set out what policy actions the EU and Member States can and should take in the coming decade to achieve a circular shift in Europe.
The Barriers & Drivers to a Circular Economy report provides a review of pre-Circular Economy Action Plan studies on green growth, and showed that "a Circular Economy demands a system change with parallel actions along the value chain rather than a purely sector and/or product focused approach".
While many strategies by national and regional governments have been launched since the report's publication in 2015, its succinct overview of the issues impeding a circular transition remains useful for policy researchers. Many barriers, especially with consumer acceptance or price incentives of recylced materials, persist till today.
The 5th International Conference on Final Sinks will be held in Vienna from 8 to 11 December 2019
Join the 5th New Business Models conference in Nijmegen on 1 to 2 July 2020
The Challenges, Opportunities and Pathways for European Business in Circular Economy report is a EUROCHAMBRES initiative launched in order to better understand if and how the circular economy will benefit European businesses, and to delineate a successful transition. This will be the basis for a policy strategy to contribute to an enriching debate on future legislative proposals at European level.
This report is a comprehensive meta-analysis of the most up-to-date quantitative studies on the circular economy, and elaborates on nine industrial sectors (agriculture, construction, mobility, hospitality and food services, metal manufacturing, electronics, textile, food & drink manufacturing, and plastics) including case studies. Bearing in mind the future of European manufacturing industries and businesses, the paper focuses on European trends derived from available data regarding investment costs, cost savings, and investment opportunities.
During its Presidency of the Council of the European Union in late 2019, Finland will highlight the EU’s role in leading the transition to a climate neutral Europe with a versatile selection of Finnish artists’ work and a number of exhibitions that will give the public a new view on sustainable development and the circular economy.
Circular Economy Transition aims to accelerate the transition of Switzerland to a Circular Economy. The programme operates in 5 Swiss cities: Basel, Bern, Geneva, Lausanne and Zurich.
In close collaboration with all Impact Hubs throughout Switzerland, sanu durabilitas and support of the MAVA foundation, this initiative will contribute to drive the new paradigm for the future of business, policy making and society through 4 main pillars:
- project & startup incubator
- community events
- business lab for corporates & SMEs
- research & policy recommendations
Circularity is a necessary solution to minimise the use of finite resources, but it requires a unified approach. The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), Global Fashion Agenda (GFA) and the Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry (FESI) have launched a Policy Hub on Circular Economy to ensure collaboration among industry partners.
Together these organisations will kick-off the development of an impactful and effective policy framework. The C&A Foundation will fund the project throughout 2020.
The Hub seeks to promote and demonstrate the value of a European policy framework that accelerates circular economy in the apparel, footwear, and textile industry. The Policy Hub will collaborate with a range of initiatives and stakeholders to support the industry in closing the loop of their business practices.