Re-using textiles locally is the most sustainable way to close the textiles loop as well as to deliver local jobs for the circular and just transition.
Social enterprises in the re-use sector seek to implement the waste hierarchy and abide by the proximity principle. As such, they manage to extend textile products’ lifetime locally while equipping vulnerable individuals with circular skills and building local communities.
This paper by RREUSE outlines good practices in responsible used-textile management carried out by our social enterprises community. It focuses on ways to improve textile collection and local reuse and bolster textile transparency.
The French National Institute for Circular Economy (INEC) has published its Programme Ecole circulaire(in FR), whose objective is to use schools - a place familiar to all - as showcases for the circular economy. It contains a series of good practices (for public and private actors, youth) - over 40 territorial initiatives and 50 operational solutions - on the following themes:
school buildings (construction, renovation)
inner/outer spatial planning
school cleaning (products and apparel, staff training)
food loop (local and sustainable food, waste, water fountains)
By designing and enabling the use of Electric Vehicle (EV) batteries for multiple use-cycles, valuable materials are maintained, and a range of economic and environmental benefits can be unlocked.
Innovators from the automotive industry, Dutch and French public authorities, and the European Commission have collaborated to identify regulatory barriers to reusing EV batteries as energy storage devices and unlock solutions.
France’s Anti-waste and Circular Economy Law is a great example of cross-sectoral collaboration. Policymakers, municipalities, NGOs and businesses worked together with the public administration to identify a richer range of needs, solutions, and policy measures. As a result, the law is ambitious and contributes to a system-wide transition towards a circular economy.
The circular economy has become a priority policy topic in Europe (EC, 2015, 2020) and is a key objective of the European Green Deal. There is increasing interest in the potential for altering traditional business models to enable materials and products to be reused and remain in the economy for as long as possible — as opposed to being used once and then discarded.
This briefing presents an analytical framework, identifying actions that can be taken to implement circular business models effectively.
Plastic-based — or ‘synthetic’— textiles are woven into our daily lives in Europe. They are in the clothes we wear, the towels we use and the bed sheets we sleep in. They are in the carpets, curtains and cushions we decorate our homes and offices with. And they are in safety belts, car tyres, workwear and sportswear. Synthetic textile fibres are produced from fossil fuel resources, such as oil and natural gas. Their production and consumption and handling the related waste generate greenhouse gas emissions, use non-renewable resources and can release microplastics.
This briefing provides an overview of the synthetic textile economy in Europe, analyses environmental and climate impacts, and highlights the potential for developing a circular economy value chain.
Bart Ullstein, Bettina-Bahn Walkowiak, Jeroen Gillabel, Margareta Wahlström, Jutta-Laine Ylijoki, Dirk Nelen, Theo Geerken, Veronique Van Hoof and Evelien Dils (ETC/WMGE) and Pawel Kazmierczyk and Daniel Montalvo (EEA)
The fourth Thematic Working Group (TWG) set up by Interreg MED's Green Growth community implemented and assessed solutions to promote competitiveness and innovation of Mediterranean SMEs in a circular economy.
The TWG's White Paper addresses the following issues:
smart specialisation, public-private partnerships and innovative funding;
lack of effective clusters for companies and stakeholders to connect, work together and transfer innovations;
limited access of SMEs to tools, services and funds driving innovation;
limited consumer awareness and interest in “green” and “circular” products and services.
This White Paper promotes solutions to reduce organic (livestock) and inorganic waste, and maps technologies, systems, and strategies for proper waste management. It illustrates issues - e.g. over-production/application of high-nitrogen slurry and manure and need to treat it, as well as lack of treatment of agrifood waste - and highlights the projects’ contributions to achieve full use of resources through their life cycle to create a circular economy.
Among the results: policy guidelines based on four Struvite Precipitation (SP) plants to stimulate innovation and set up a common legal framework for struvite as fertilizer.