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The built environment, consuming almost half of the world's resources extracted every year and responsible for a massive environmental footprint, is a fundamental sector in the circular transition. The circular economy has great potential to help meet global sustainability targets and the Paris Agreement's goals in particular. Moving towards a circular built environment involves a shift in roles and business models for stakeholders active in this sector. However, barriers related to culture, regulations, market, technology and education are slowing down the transition. The private and public sector need to create a level playing field in order for circular materials, products and services to become the new normal in the built environment.
On March 19, GLOBE EU and the Center for European Policy Studies (CEPS) organised a conference to look back on what the 2014 - 2019 EU mandate has achieved for the circular economy and present GLOBE EU’s recommendations with priorities for the next European Commission.
The European Resource Efficiency Knowledge Centre (EREK) offers SMEs operating in the field of waste management, information and examples of good practices regarding logistics, technology and organisation solutions that allow companies to reduce the operating costs by savings in energy, water and materials consumption while improving their efficiency, performance and cost-effectiveness. The workshop will provide a forum for exchange of ideas, learnings and opportunities to problem-solve issues related to improving the overall resource efficiency performance of the packaging waste recycling entities.
The World Circular Economy Forum is a ground-breaking event that presents the best innovations for circular economy and gathers the most recognised experts and decision-makers in the field. Be at the epicentre of the circular economy in Helsinki, Finland, on 3 - 5 June 2019.
In this policy note, the City of the Hague outlines why a circular transition is necessary and what benefits it can provide to the city for its sustainable development. Continuing with a state-of-play, the note sketches out the policy framework at European, national and regional level to provide strategic context and introduce analysis of a non-exhaustive list of 143 ongoing circular projects in The Hague area. Links to further research show that making use of the opportunities a circular economy provides in the Construction, Procurement and Retail Trade sectors alone could substantially reduce carbon emissions and deliver 3,500 jobs in The Hague area.
Building on this research, the policy note indicates the city's priorities best lie in biomass, construction material and critical raw materials. To showcase possible next steps, the note provides a list of easily implementable projects and policies in these priority areas, while concluding with a stakeholder engagement strategy that should enable the city's administration to realise its goals for the priority sectors.
The Which sustainable future for plastic? conference, to be held in Brussels on 21 March, aims to stimulate the debate on the way plastic is produced, used and discarded.
WREP 2018, "Waste from demolition collection of Recycling Pilot Scheme for 2018", is a pilot project born with the aim of implementing and optimizing in the field a "pilot scheme" for the interception and recycling of PVC produced in construction activities and demolition of buildings and end of life items.
By initiating collection and composting practices into a 1500 inhabitants city district, the El Ouidane project aims to combat the desertification and to protect a fragile environment such as oases.
Everything is transformed - a new look at waste is an educational campaign. It aims to involve students from secondary and primary schools in Italy to promote a more circular approach to waste management.
From the production of agricultural lime to summer barbecues, olive pits make a perfect circular fuel
KLIMIS has been using the woody part of Greek olive pits as heating fuel for its kiln in order to bake lime stones since 1968. In 1992, it developed a patented process to recycle the residual material from this combustion into highly-efficient, low-emission barbecue briquettes.
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.
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.
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.
Gumdrop Ltd is the first company in the world to recycle and process chewing gum into a range of products such as boots or phone covers that can be used in the rubber and plastics industry.