In 2015, the European Commission adopted the Circular Economy Action Plan to help stimulate the transition towards circular economy. The growing number of plastic products and packaging marketed as ‘biodegradable’ or ‘(home) compostable’ raises the question of the extent to which biodegradability and compostability of plastic is beneficial in the context of the transition towards a circular economy.
The study assesses this question, identifying conditions in which (home) compostability of products could be of added value, compared to reuse and other forms of recovery. The results indicate weak evidence in favour of beneficial agronomics associated with compostable plastic material. Choices of materials for products and packaging should prioritise recyclability over compostability.
In 2018, Hjørring Municipality decided to embark on a pilot project to increase the recovery and recycling of bricks when procuring demolition services for two buildings at the end of their functional life. Once cleared, the sites were destinated to be a part of a new climate adaptation project including a new rainwater collection basin and a recreational area.
Enhanced Landfill Mining (ELFM) of historic (and future) landfills is a key part of the solution for closing material loops. It addresses major societal challenges by recovering materials, energy and land. Machiels' ‘Closing the Circle’ project will be the first to put ELFM into practice.
The Woody Group, a company which manufactures pyjamas, wants to use raw materials more efficiently and responsibly in the future. It also wants to take more responsibility for its products once they are put on the market.
EU institutions and agencies are increasingly raising awareness about the circular economy agenda. They are encouraging marketplace stakeholders to engage in sustainable production and consumption by reducing, reusing, restoring, refurbishing and recycling resources throughout their value chain.
This research evaluates the latest European environmental policies including the new circular economy plans for a cleaner and more competitive Europe. It then goes on to present a systematic literature review focused on the circular economy in the EU context. The findings suggest that there are a number of opportunities and challenges for the successful planning, organisation, implementation and measurement of circular economy practices.