You are here

Report

Waste Management in Europe. Good Jobs in the Circular Economy?

Waste Management in Europe. Good Jobs in the Circular Economy?

Good CE jobs

Type:

Author: 
Vera Weghmann
Publication Date: 
01/2017
Country: 
EU

Language for original content:

Scope:

Contact: 
Guillaume Durivaux

The report was commissioned by the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) to inform a workshop on "the future of the waste sector in Europe: challenges and opportunities for workers" held on 7th December 2017 in Brussels.

The report deals with the following questions:

  • What are the EU policies towards waste management?
  • What are the implications of the circular economy for the waste management sector?
  • What is the public/private provision in waste management in Europe?
  • Which multinational companies dominate the sector?
  • What are the current collective bargaining arrangements?
  • What are the opportunities and obstacles for organising waste management workers in Europe?

The report focuses on:

  • Improving the health and safety of workers
  • Ensuring quality jobs and decent pay and conditions
  • Fighting against social dumping
  • Improving the quality of jobs through up-skilling.

The European Machine Tool Industry and the Circular Economy

The European Machine Tool Sector and the Circular Economy

CECIMO Circular Economy Report

Type:

Author: 
CECIMO - The European Association of the Machine Tool Industry and related Manufacturing Technologies
Publication Date: 
04/2019
Country: 
Belgium

Language for original content:

Scope:

Contact: 
Maitane Olabarria

CECIMO has published a report underlining how the shift towards a circular economy calls for a prominent role of manufacturing. Within it, the machine tool sector plays a crucial role. Machine tools already have multiple lifetimes and embrace some key principles of the circular economy. But there is always room for improvement.

The sector can invest in advanced manufacturing technologies, but also build upon the existing good practices. This would lead to improved productivity and resource efficiency, and consumers enjoying products that last longer and use less energy.

The report also makes recommendations to the industry and policy makers.

Circular Fashion Advocacy - A Strategy towards a Circular Fashion Industry in Europe

Circular Economy Advocacy - A Strategy towards a Circular Fashion Industry in Europe

Circular Fashion Advocacy

Type:

Author: 
Arthur ten Wolde, Polina Korneeva
Publication Date: 
03/2019
Country: 
Belgium

Language for original content:

Contact: 
Arthur ten Wolde

Waste and pollution from the production of textiles and clothing have become critical global issues. This report launched by Ecopreneur.eu and the European Sustainable Business Federation calls for decisive policy measures based on 5 pillars:

  • Innovation policies: funding research programmes, investment tax deduction, support for technological development and SMEs.
  • Economic incentives: procurement, extended producer responsibility, VAT, tax shift.
  • Regulation: common regulatory framework for transparency and traceability, circular design, improved end-of-waste status.
  • Trade policies: facilitating export of reusable textile waste and avoiding negative social impacts in producing countries.
  • Voluntary actions: covenants, commitments and standards to engage stakeholders.

Circular Prague

Type:

Roadmap
Author: 
Circle Economy, INCIEN
Publication Date: 
06/2019
Country: 
Czech Republic

Language for original content:

Contact: 
Annerieke Douma
Vojtech Vosecky

The Circular Prague report is a visual roadmap that identifies the strategies that are best positioned to kick-start the Czech capital’s transition towards a circular economy.

The report marks the culmination of Prague’s Circle City Scan; a 12-month collaborative innovation process involving local government, research organisations and businesses. The collaborative Circle City Scan process has highlighted the potential to promote circular lifestyles in ReUse Hubs using public procurement, to boost the construction through circular procurement, and  to use the city’s food waste as biomethane to power the city’s waste collection fleet.
 

The Circular Service Platform

Circular Service Platform
Author: 
Elisa Achterberg (Sustainable Finance Lab, Circle Economy)
Publication Date: 
04/2019
Country: 
Netherlands

Language for original content:

In a circular economy, assets are no longer sold. Rather, the assets are collectively maintained by a network of stakeholders involved in the ongoing functioning of the assets - the circular service (CISE) network.

A CISE network however requires unprecedented levels of cooperation and coordination between participants, leading to high administrative costs and the need for trust and transparency in the network. CISE networks are a totally different way of doing business, requiring different financial, legal and governance structures. Would it be possible for assets to be owned and procured by a network that creates value from them? Could this, simultaneously, reduce administrative costs?

Scaling the Circular Built Environment: pathways for business and government

scaling the circular built environment cover page

Type:

Author: 
WBCSD, Circle Economy
Publication Date: 
12/2018
Country: 
Switzerland

Language for original content:

Contact: 
Brendon Edgerton
Harald Friedl

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.

 

Deposit-refund systems in Europe for one-way beverage packaging

Deposit-refund systems for one-way beverage packaging

ACR+ DRS report cover

Type:

Author: 
Bilyana Spasova
Publication Date: 
03/2019
Country: 
Spain

Language for original content:

Key Area:

Contact: 
Philippe Micheaux-Naudet

Within the discussion on possible instruments that policy-makers can use to achieve waste collection targets and implement the 2015 Circular Economy Action Plan, deposit-refund systems (DRS) are often cited as a promising & useful policy tool.

In this report, ACR+ explored DRS experiences across ten European countries: Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. This analysis concludes that the launch timing in relation to other waste management systems and the positive participation of producers are both decisive in determining the success of the system.

To learn more about the hands-on implementation of DRS in Europe, read the full report here.

Circular Economy - Future of the Development of Slovakia

Circular Economy - Future of the Development of Slovakia

CIRCULAR ECONOMY - FUTURE OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF SLOVAKIA

Type:

Author: 
Slovak Environment Agency
Publication Date: 
02/2019
Country: 
Slovak Republic

Language for original content:

Scope:

Contact: 
Tatiana Guštafíková

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.

Good practices in separate collection, sorting and recycling of steel for packaging

Good practices in separate collection, sorting and recycling of steel for packaging

Type:

Author: 
APEAL
Publication Date: 
06/2018
Country: 
EU

Language for original content:

Contact: 
Steve Claus

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.

Enablers and Barriers to a Circular Economy

Enablers and Barriers to a Circular Economy

Type:

Author: 
R2Pi Project
Publication Date: 
09/2018
Country: 
EU

Language for original content:

Contact: 
Raymond Slaughter

The report provides a simple, yet rich overview of the barriers and enablers of circular economy business models as identifed by stakeholders, drawing upon a range of interviews, workshops and events, and a survey conducted with representatives of the European business sector.

Within businesses, stakeholders have identified high-level commitment accompanied by long-term perspectives, the personal drive and attitudes of staff, as well as the promise of enhanced competitiveness as key in supporting the transition towards circularity. Yet, from an internal company perspective, a number of factors were highlighted as getting in the way of the transition. Difficulties in financing new business models, taxation systems, resistance to change and the perceived lack of consumer demand are key examples of obstacles that hamper the circular transformation.

Importantly, stakeholders have provided interesting insights into possible solutions and recommendations able to overcome the challenges posed by circular economy barriers: tax incentives, the development of wealth-measurement systems other than GDP, material passports and quality standards, to name a few. Future solutions should also focus on ensuring safe areas for innovation out of tendering calls, green public procurement and increased financial support.

 

Master Circular Business with the Value Hill

circular business value hill

Type:

Author: 
Elisa Achterberg, Jeroen Hinfelaar, Nancy Bocken
Publication Date: 
09/2016
Country: 
Netherlands

Language for original content:

Contact: 
Harald Friedl

Although the opportunities for investing in circular business models are widely available, current investment methods do not match the needs of these particular businesses. Businesses need to create an attractive business model for financiers, and financiers need to change the way they perceive the risks and opportunities associated with these models.

To help businesses position themselves in a circular context and develop future strategies for doing business in a circular economy, Sustainable Finance LabCircle EconomyNuovalenteTUDelft, and het Groene Brein got together to create the Value Hill that proposes a categorisation based on the lifecycle phases of a product: pre-, in- and post-use.

Circularity Gap Report 2019

Circularity Gap Report 2019

logo of 2019 circularity gap report

Type:

Author: 
Circle Economy
Publication Date: 
01/2019
Country: 
Netherlands

Language for original content:

Contact: 
Harald Friedl

The Circularity Gap Report 2019 finds that just 9% of the 92.8 billion tonnes of minerals, fossil fuels, metals and biomass that enter the economy are re-used annually. Circle Economy calculates that 62% of global greenhouse gas emissions are released during the extraction, processing and manufacturing of goods to serve society’s needs; only 38% are emitted in the delivery and use of products and services.

It highlights the vast scope to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by applying circular principles - re-use, re-manufacturing and re-cycling - to key sectors such as the built environment. Most governments barely consider circular economy measures in policies aimed at meeting the UN target of limiting global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

Building Carbon Neutrality in Europe

Cemberau

Type:

Author: 
CEMBUREAU - the European Cement Association
Publication Date: 
10/2018
Country: 
Belgium

Language for original content:

Scope:

Contact: 
Nikos Nikolakakos

Europe has an ambitious vision of a carbon-neutral future, a vision that integrates energy-intensive industries as well as the construction sector and its entire value chain.

Cement, which binds concrete together, is at the heart of solutions to turn this vision into reality. These solutions span over the entire cement and concrete value chain: from raw materials to production, use, re-use, and recycling.

CEMBUREAU, the European Cement Association, as part of its effort to move towards a carbon-neutral construction sector, has taken stock of progress done since the publication of its 2050 Low Carbon Roadmap in 2013 and mapped routes to a resource-efficient and carbon-neutral built environment.

Report on Horizon 2020 R&I projects supporting the transition to a Circular Economy

Report on Horizon 2020 R&I projects supporting the transition to a Circular Economy

Report on H2020 R&I projects supporting the transition to a Circular Economy

Type:

Author: 
Anonymous
Publication Date: 
11/2018
Country: 
EU

Language for original content:

Scope:

The European Commission has published a policy booklet presenting a selection of its research, science and innovation on climate change adaptation. In order to mitigate the impacts of climate change and to adapt to the changes that are already taking place or are impossible to avoid, fundamental changes in societies and behaviours all over the world – as well as scientific breakthroughs, both technological and social - will need to be made.

The objective of the report is to provide a snapshot of the numerous projects resulting from the calls for proposals of 2016-2017 in the Horizon 2020 priorities ‘Industrial leadership’ and ‘Societal Challenges’, that are contributing to the circular economy strategy.

Without aiming to be exhaustive or exclusive, the 156 listed projects represent a good sample of actions financed by Horizon 2020 in the different stages of a circular economy (production, consumption and waste).

The spectrum of priorities contemplated by the selected projects are very diverse and address more sustainable production in all kind of industrial processes, new bio-based and biodegradable products, substitution or recovery of raw materials, conversion of CO2 packaging, plastics, etc.

Report on Horizon 2020 R&I projects supporting the transition to a Circular Economy

Research & Innovation Projects relevant to the Circular Economy Strategy CALLS 2016-2017 - HORIZON 2020

Type:

Author: 
DG RTD
Publication Date: 
11/2018
Country: 
EU

Language for original content:

Scope:

The objective of the report is to provide a snapshot of the numerous projects resulting from the calls for proposals of 2016-2017 in the Horizon 2020 priorities ‘Industrial leadership’ and ‘Societal Challenges’, that are contributing to the circular economy strategy.

Without aiming to be exhaustive or exclusive, the 156 listed projects represent a good sample of actions financed by Horizon 2020 in the different stages of a circular economy (production, consumption and waste).

The spectrum of priorities contemplated by the selected projects are very diverse and address more sustainable production in all kind of industrial processes, new bio-based and biodegradable products, substitution or recovery of raw materials, conversion of CO2 packaging, plastics, etc.

Destination: a circular tourism economy

Destination: a circular tourism economy

Destination: a circular tourism economy handbook cover

Type:

Author: 
Centre for Regional & Tourism Research (CRT)
Publication Date: 
08/2018
Country: 
Denmark

Language for original content:

Scope:

Destination: a circular tourism economy aims to increase the innovativeness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) within the tourism sector by supporting the integration of circular economy elements into their services, products and business models. This handbook is the result of work carried out in the Interreg South Baltic innovation project, CIRTOINNO.

In addition to providing an overall understanding of the concept of circular economy and the specificities of tourism and the South Baltic partner regions, the CIRTOINNO handbook investigates and discusses the opportunities and barriers for tourism SMEs to adopt circular economy principles, and identifies best practices. Focusing on Hotels, Restaurants and Spas, the handbook provides overall recommendations to:

  • implement monitoring systems and strategies to reduce energy and water use
  • build relationships with suppliers to rethink material flows
  • train staff to improve resource use and reduce spillage

100 Italian Circular Economy Stories

100 Italian Circular Economy Stories

Type:

Author: 
Enel, Symbola
Publication Date: 
03/2018
Country: 
Italy

Language for original content:

Scope:

Contact: 
CircularEconomy@ENEL

100 Italian circular economy stories compiles successful innovations from companies, research institutes and non-profits across 11 sectors throughout Italy. Their stories show the transition towards a circular economy is gaining traction on the ground as a sustainable alternative to the incumbent methods of production.

A circular economy will not happen through policy alone: it requires companies, start-ups, foundations, research centres, universities, consortia and associations to apply the principles of a circular economy to practice. This book features 100 such examples from Italy, including Aquafil's regenerated nylon yarn and Favini's non-virgin papers. The whole collection of stories ranges from across the following 11 sectors:

  • Clothing and accessories
  • Agri-food
  • Furniture / Construction
  • Industrial automation and other Manufacturing
  • Chemistry and Pharmaceutics
  • Research & Development
  • Electrics and Electronics
  • New Materials and Resources
  • Enablers and Platforms
  • Promotion and Dissemination

​​These 100 stories clearly demonstrate that change is underway by showing how Italian products are brought to market using increasingly integrated technologies and supply chains which exchange materials and energy. The diffusion of such circular processes will enable more and more companies to free themselves from using costly virgin resources, gradually rendering the whole economy more sustainable.

For reference with the Italian circular economy strategy, please check the 2017 white paper "Towards a model of circular economy in Italy"

Behavioural Study on Consumers’ Engagement in the Circular Economy

Behavioural Study on Consumers’ Engagement in the Circular Economy

Infographic explaining aims of behavourial study

Type:

Author: 
LE Europe, VVA, Ipsos, ConPolicy, Trinomics
Publication Date: 
10/2018
Country: 
EU

Language for original content:

Key Area:

Scope:

Contact: 
Jeroen van laer

To obtain empirical policy-relevant insights to assist with the implementation of the EU Circular Economy Action Plan, the European Commission requested a behavourial study that aimed to:

  1. identify barriers and trade-offs faced by consumers when deciding whether to engage in the CE, in  particular whether to purchase a more or a less durable good, whether to have a good repaired, or to discard it and buy a replacement;
  2. establish the relative importance of economic, social and psychological factors that govern the extent to  which  consumers engage in the CE, especially purchasing durable products and seeking to repair products instead of disposing of them; and
  3. propose policy tools to enable and encourage consumers to engage in CE practices related to durability and reparability.

The study focused on five products: vacuum cleaners, televisions, dishwashers, smartphones and clothes. The methodology encompasses a systematic literature review, 50 stakeholder interviews, consumer focus groups, an online consumer survey with 12,064 participants, and a behavourial experiment with 6,042 participants. Whereas the survey collected information on consumers' perception of and experiences with circular practices, the financially incentivised experiments included a repairing and purchasing task.

Findings include a general willingness to engage but little practical action to date. Consumers appear to be hampered by insufficiently developed markets for repair, reuse and refurbish in addition to a lack of information regarding product durability and repairability. Such information appeared seminal in shifting purchasing decisions towards sustainable products in the behavourial experiment, highlighting great potential to bridge the gap between theoretical and practical engagement. This experiment also uncovered substantial consistency between a self-reported circular mindset and corresponding behaviour.

As product size and price increases, consumers also appear to have greater interest in repairability and durability. Whereas repairability is linked to spare parts, durability appears to follow from perceived product quality. Overall this study concludes that the price-quality ratio, followed by convenience, is the most important driver and simultaneously barrier for consumer engagement in the circular economy. Building on these finidngs, the study makes 5 recommendations for policy action to enhance consumer engagement in the circular economy:

  • boost CE engagement by increasing awareness of the circular economy;
  • make repairing products easier;
  • create financial incentives for repairability and durability;
  • make information on durability and repairability available at point of sale;
  • strengthen legislation requiring the provision of accurate information to consumers.

Austria Glas Agenda 2030 - Future in Glass

Austria Glas Agenda 2030
Author: 
Austria Glas Recycling GmbH
Publication Date: 
10/2017
Country: 
Austria

Language for original content:

Scope:

Contact: 
Marina Luggauer

Austria Glas Recycling Gmbh is setting the course for the future: the Austria Glas Agenda 2030, which it has developed together with stakeholders, experts and scholars, defines the orientation of the glass recycling system according to the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

The Austria Glass Agenda 2030 is pioneering work setting new impulses for the implementation of the SDGs. As one of the first companies in Austria, Austria Glas Recycling Gmbh is facing the challenge to implement the SDGs in all its business processes. The Austria Glas Agenda 2030 is the basis for future project developments of the glass recycling system.

In addition, the Austria Glas Agenda 2030 should serve as a role model for other sectors and inspire them to take action for the SDGs.

Circular Economy in the Furniture Sector: Overview of Current Challenges and Competence Needs

Circular Economy in the Furniture Sector: Overview of Current Challenges and Competence Needs

Circular Economy in the Furniture Sector: Overview of Current Challenges and Competence Needs

Type:

Author: 
Ecores, University of Vaasa, CETEM - Technological Centre of Furniture and Wood, AMUEBLA - Innovative business association of furniture manufacturers and related in the Murcia Region, CENFIM - Home & Contract furnishings cluster, KIT - karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Publication Date: 
09/2018
Country: 
Spain

Language for original content:

Key Area:

Sector:

Scope:

Contact: 
Juan Jose Ortega (Amuebla) | Erwan Mouazan

The report ‘Circular Economy in the Furniture Sector: Overview of Current Challenges and Competence Needs’, provides an overview on how the circular economy is currently being implemented within the furniture sector.

By focusing on existing practices, challenges and opportunities at the micro-level, the main objective of this report is to identify the necessary skills and competences needed to support the transformation of furniture companies towards a circular economy.

Project partners identified 25 furniture companies active in the circular economy throughout Europe.

Interviews, held between March and May 2018 in Belgium, Finland, Germany, Spain, France, The Netherlands, Italy and Sweden, yielded insights on the necessary skills and competences needed to develop circular business models relevant for the furniture industry.

Finally, 10 examples of circular furniture cases are presented in the report. Examples show companies from different EU countries that have implemented different actions to work towards the circularity of the company, as well as specific examples of furniture products that are sustainable.

Beyond the CE package: Maintaining momentum on resource efficiency

Beyond the Circular Economy package

Aldershot group report image

Type:

Author: 
Aldersgate Group
Publication Date: 
12/2017
Country: 
United Kingdom

Language for original content:

Scope:

Despite resource efficiency improving 41% between 2000 and 2016,with  the Circular Economy Package and the initiatives set out in the accompanying Action Plan nearing completion, the EU institutions must acknowledge that the move to a more resource efficient or “circular” economy will take time. To invest in new business models, more resource-efficient processes and new supply chains for good quality secondary materials, businesses need the assurance that the resource efficiency agenda will remain a priority for the EU in the long term.

This briefing sets out a range of policy recommendations that the Aldersgate Group believe EU institutions should continue to pursue beyond completion of the Circular Economy Package to scale up business action on resource efficiency. These recommendations are based on business case studies, including some developed as part of the EU LIFE+ funded REBus project, which began in 2013 and on which the Aldersgate Group is a partner. By the end of 2016, pilots taking part in the REBus project (many of which involved SMEs), had already delivered a financial benefit of €5.62m, material savings in excess of 62,000 tonnes and a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions of just under 2,000 tonnes. These benefits have continued to grow since.

Recommendations based on the report's findings include:

  1. Pursuing work to include resource efficiency design criteria in product standards by delivering on the commitment to publish an updated Ecodesign Working Plan once a year and rapidly broadening the range of products subject to resource efficiency design criteria;
  2. Promote business innovation on resource efficiency, through continued financial support for business trials and broadening the sectors that receive technical support through the Commission’s Innovation Deals;
  3. Expand the use of circular economy criteria in the public procurement of a broadening range of products and encourage their application across EU Member States and EU institutions;
  4. Encourage Member States to develop pricing mechanisms that support material re-use where it is environmentally effective to do so; and
  5. Ensure a consistent implementation of the Circular Economy Package in different Member States. This is especially important in terms of the improved definitions of “waste” currently being negotiated by all three EU institutions, which must ensure that materials are no longer classified as “waste” when they can be re-used safely.

Circular City Governance: An explorative research study into current barriers and governance practices in circular city transitions across Europe

Circular City Governance

Circular City Governance cover page

Type:

Author: 
Jan Jonker, Naomi Montenegro Navarro
Publication Date: 
11/2017
Country: 
Luxembourg

Language for original content:

Scope:

Contact: 
Jan Jonker

Circular City Governance - An explorative research study presents the results of an empirical research study into current barriers and governance practices in circular city transitions across Europe carried out by a team from the Radboud University Nijmegen School of Management (NL). The research activities ran from October to December 2017. The main objective of the study was to support the European Investment Bank (EIB) and other members of the Urban Agenda Partnership on Circular Economy involved in the working group on “Circular City Governance” (CCG) with the identification, analysis and elaboration of actions in support of Circular Governance in Cities, particularly through better knowledge and better funding. At the time this report was completed, the UAPCE’s Action Plan had been recently published for public consultation.

The research study follows an empirical approach primarily focussed on the identification of (i) the most common barriers and challenges that are encountered by cities seeking to promote the circular economy, and (ii) the most important governance interventions cities have taken to initiate and advance in the transition to a circular city. This information was drawn from the analysis of selected case studies of circular economy projects in urban environments, various publicly available circular economy strategies, plans prepared by cities and interviews with experts and officials of front-runner cities that have embraced the CE agenda across Europe. The results of this research study should contribute towarads improving the general knowledge basis on the promotion of the CE in cities by presenting the experiences and main lessons learnt by cities at the forefront of the CE agenda.

Circular Economy in Cities: Evolving the model for a sustainable urban future

Circular Economy in Cities

Type:

Author: 
World Economic Forum
Publication Date: 
03/2018
Country: 
Switzerland

Language for original content:

Scope:

The World Economic Forum’s Future of Urban Development and Services Initiative has released its new White Paper on the Circular Economy in Cities: evolving the model for a sustainable urban future.

This White Paper traces the conceptual underpinnings of the Circular Economy, and explains why cities are key to accelerating the transition away from the traditional ‘take-make-dispose’ model. It draws on examples from cities around the world in areas that include: channelling used building materials to new building sites, water harvesting and reuse, reducing energy use, electronic waste, healthcare and procurement. It explains the opportunities in the Circular Economy for all stakeholders and the ways in which they can work together at city level.

Regulatory barriers for the circular economy

Regulatory Barriers for CE cover page

Type:

Author: 
Technopolis Group, Fraunhofer ISI, Wuppertal Institute, thinkstep
Publication Date: 
11/2016
Country: 
Germany

Language for original content:

Scope:

This report, commissioned by DG GROW and prepard by Technopolis and Franhofer ISI, identified major obstacles of regulatory nature or gaps within the existing legal framework where significant unlocked opportunities remain. The study includes an in-depth analysis of the identified obstacles and possible solutions through specific cases.

The analysis of specific regulatory barriers includes the full product lifecycle and focuses on the interfaces between different steps of the value chain (extraction/production, production/production internal loops, production/use, collection, waste-management/recycling/production). Barriers can be categorised within these 3 themes:

  • Several case studies identified regulatory barriers often related to lacking legislation that would allow the collection and pre-treatment of homogenous waste streams.
  • The second type of barrier refers to legislation that hinders the use of recycled materials in production processes
  • The third type of barrier is related to the lack of concrete and enforceable product requirements.

The analysis also highlights a variety of different generic types of barriers: in many cases waste legislation focuses on quantities (weight based collection or recycling targets) and not so much on the qualities of recycled materials. Inconsistencies between existing regulations, e.g. related to REACH or End-of-Waste criteria, have also been mentioned in a variety of case studies.

The study concludes that in general, high-quality recycling is definitely not prevented by regulatory obstacles, but by lacking or unclear legislation. Prime examples are End-of-Waste criteria or quality standards for secondary raw materials that create legal uncertainties for the industry that make it rational to continue to focus on primary raw material input.

Models of circular business ecosystem for textiles

Model of circular business ecosystem for textiles

Diagram of circular business ecosystem for textiles

Type:

Author: 
Paula Fontell, Pirjo Heikkila
Publication Date: 
11/2017
Country: 
Finland

Language for original content:

Scope:

Contact: 
Paula Fontell

The Relooping Fashion Initiative (2015-2017) was aimed at piloting and modelling the circular business ecosystem for textiles. This report covers the business ecosystem modelling work and introduces the project team’s crystallized vision of a higher-level system that enables the textiles industry to operate according to the basic principles of a circular economy. 

The focus of the report is on explaining the principles of a circular economy in the context of textiles, and drawing a picture of the key material flows and types of actors along the value cycles from end-user back to end-user. The overall goal is to maintain the value of materials as high as possible, with minimum environmental impact. The different circular business models for textiles are introduced along the value cycles. The report covers 1) repair and maintenance, 2) re-use as product, 3) re-use as material, and 4) recycling-related activities, and business models for post-consumer/user textiles along the entire value chain.

All these processes need to work seamlessly together for the circular business ecosystem to function effectively. New recycling technologies are crucial to solving the global textile waste problem, and to be able to replace some of the virgin materials such as cotton with recycled textile materials. The report also discusses the topic of shared value creation in the circular economy context.

The circular economy and the bioeconomy — Partners in sustainability

The circular economy and the bioeconomy — Partners in sustainability

EEA circular and bioeconomy report cover page

Type:

Author: 
European Environmental Agency
Publication Date: 
08/2018
Country: 
Denmark

Language for original content:

Scope:

'The circular economy and the bioeconomy — Partners in sustainability' is the third EEA report on the circular economy. It aims to support the framing, implementation and evaluation of European circular economy policy from an environmental perspective. It shows that the two policy agendas have similar objectives and areas of intervention, including food waste, biomass and bio-based products, and that they would benefit from stronger links, particularly in product and infrastructure design, and collaboration throughout the value chain.

The increasing demand for food, feed, biomaterials and bioenergy resources could worsen the over-exploitation of natural resources. By extending the lifetime of products and recycling materials, a circular, bio-economy approach can help retain material value and functionality for longer time as well as avoid unrecycled biowaste.

Promising innovations and strategies for circular biomass use include biorefinery, 3D printing with bioplastics, multi-purpose crops, better use of residues and food waste, and biowaste treatment. Consumers can also contribute by eating less animal-based protein, preventing food waste and separating biowaste from other waste streams.

Implementing the circular and bio-economy in tandem, by applying specific design principles within a systemic approach, would improve resource efficiency and reduce environmental pressures.

 

Circular Economy opportunities in the furniture sector

Type:

Author: 
EEB, Eunomia
Publication Date: 
09/2017
Country: 
Belgium

Language for original content:

Contact: 
Stephane Arditi

This EEB and Eunomia report estimates the material consumption and CO2 emissions of the furniture sector at EU level and suggests some circular scenarios and policy options to grasp improvement opportunities.

Barriers to a circular furniture sector range from low quality materials, limited logistical infrastructure, poor demand for recycled materials to a wider range identified through the course of this research, informed through stakeholder consultation and literature review.

A move towards circular economy models within the European furniture sector would benefit from a variety of complimentary policy instruments to deal with market failures on the supply side and the demand side (creating demand for these products).

 

 

Implementing Circular Economy globally makes Paris targets achievable

Implementing Circular Economy globally makes Paris targets achievable

Paris targets achievable title page

Type:

Author: 
ECOFYS, Circle Economy
Publication Date: 
06/2016
Country: 
Netherlands

Language for original content:

Contact: 
Cornelis Blok
Preeti Srivastav

The climate conference in Paris has produced a landmark agreement. The emission reduction commitments made by 195 countries are a leap forward, but not yet sufficient to stay on a 2 °C trajectory, let alone a 1.5 °C pathway. Current commitments address only half the gap between business as usual and the 1.5 °C pathway. There is still a reduction of about 15 billion tonnes CO2e needed to reach the 1.5 °C target. Further solutions are therefore needed; solutions that go beyond decarbonising our energy system. This white paper by Ecofys and Circle Economy looks into the contribution a global circular economy could presumably make to bridging the emissions gap.

Since over half of the worldwide greenhouse gas emissions are associated with producing basic materials, there is a clear role for circular economy strategies in reducing this gap. To do this, the circular economy describes a practical and scalable landscape of opportunities by moving towards business models for an economy that is by design regenerative and as waste free as possible. Strategies at the heart of the circular economy include measures to reduce the input of virgin materials, improve the use of existing assets and reduce the output of waste. Circular economy strategies related to materials are: recovery and reuse, lifetime extension, sharing and service models, circular design and digital platforms.

Pages