The slow flower movement is growing in Europe and aims to provide local, seasonal and organic flowers. Why? Because the international flower industry is very harmful to nature and has major negative impacts in developing countries.
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ReCreate pushes towards circular construction by investigating the system changes needed in the whole ecosystems of construction and demolition.
This white paper on Quick Scan Circular Business Models - Inspiration for organising value retention in loops from the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy offers an approach for developing a circular business model. It is based on a classification for existing and future circular business models developed in 2021. It consists of seven basic models geared primarily to the manufacturing industry, although it can also be used in other sectors.
The paper is divided into three parts:
- an introduction explaining the background and central concepts
- an overview of the seven circular business models comprising the classification, and
- the actual Quick Scan.
The interactive Quick Scan version can be found here.
The zero waste consultancy wegozero has mapped more than 1000 businesses with zero waste potential in four European cities. Its maps are available for a monthly subscription and aim to tell people which businesses in their city are sustainable and geared to circular thinking.
In Limbo is a platform (digital website and physical warehouse) facilitating the reuse of materials within the social and cultural sectors and schools in Brussels.
It encourages exchange and mutual aid within these sectors, as well as boosting recycling, reducing landfill costs and enabling organisations with limited resources to obtain reusable materials. Following the principles of circularity and sharing, all partners are invited to give and receive materials for free.
In Limbo is open only to registered partners which must be formal or informal non-profit associations or collectives, specifically social, cultural and artistic organisations, schools and temporary projects in Brussels. However, In Limbo accepts donations from all types of organisations.
Watch a video on In Limbo
The Federal Council for Sustainable Development Belgium has issued a formal response to the Federal Belgian Action Plan on the Circular Economy. The council addressed issues regarding the substance and procedure of the action plan.
Procedural issues include the vagueness of the plan's exact intentions and deadlines as well as the lack of a better governance mechanism. Substantive issues include:
- more focus needed on the social challenges associated with the introduction of a circular economy
- more focus on the impact on the climate of increasing digitalisation
- recycling of critical metals, and
- importance of removing all known barriers (regulatory, fiscal, financial, etc.) to the circular transition.
The Babytheek is a handy system for borrowing baby items during the first year of the baby’s life.
C2C ExpoLAB is a consultancy firm which specialises in the practical application of Cradle to Cradle (C2C) principles in the built environment. It enables its clients to exploit the circular economy concept. One of its projects was Venlo city hall which illustrates its approach and principles.
Schijvens has been producing corporate uniforms for more than 150 years now. In 2017, they began collecting customers' old clothing, shredding it and mixing the textile fibres with shredded PET-polyester ones from sportswear, fishing nets and bottles. This led to 100% recycled yarn, which is used to make new fabrics and ultimately new uniforms.
Van Werven Plastics Recyling specialises in creating high-quality raw materials from post-consumer hard plastics, collected from construction waste, industrial waste and municipal recycling centres. Van Werven has a separate machine for each type of plastic, as every material has its own properties.
Groningen Seaports is the economic operator, developer and port authority for the port of Delfzijl, Eemshaven and adjoining industrial sites. Groningen Seaports is at the forefront of the circular economy with an innovative circular cluster and ongoing sustainable investments. They facilitate mechanical and chemical recycling and specialise in recycling plastics.
BE O Lifestyle is a Dutch company which has developed a form of plant-based plastic that it uses to manufacture water bottles. The bottles are made from sugar cane residue and are reusable, completely environmentally-friendly - and nice to look at!
The E-waste Race is an educational competition between ten primary schools to collect old electronic devices. Project participants are given an introductory lecture about recycling and the valuable materials contained in electronic devices. They then start collecting e-waste and the school which collects the most wins an educational - and fun! - school trip.
LENA is the first online and offline fashion library in the Netherlands. It has a system for borrowing clothes and provides an extended wardrobe for every occasion. Their aim is to speed up the fashion industry's transition towards a circular system.
Ocean Sole takes the world's most widely worn shoe, the flip flop, and turns it into art, and the Dutch company Nic&Mic sells it in the Benelux countries. Ocean Sole is Kenya-based and began with the desire to clean up beaches that were heavily polluted with plastic and flip flops. Ocean Sole has grown to employ 90 Kenyans.
Back in 1931, EMMA was founded as a social enterprise for injured workers from the Dutch State Mines. Hence, social entrepreneurship is in the DNA of EMMA Safety Footwear. Today, EMMA still employs about 100 people who need some additional support in the labour market. Making sustainable safety shoes was, therefore, a logical next step in EMMA’s journey towards a positive footprint.
SNEW has developed a circular system reusing the raw materials in existing equipment. It aims to give business telecoms and IT equipment a second life. Companies which hand over their old ICT equipment get either maintenance for their current equipment or money for the old equipment.
FIBI-buffer is an eco-friendly alternative to Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) or Polyurethane (PU) foam used to protect products during transport. It is a unique and patented product which offers high-quality protection, is universally applicable, is price competitive, can be reused again and again, and is biobased and 100% compostable.
RECYCLO is a multi-stakeholder cooperative society (SCRL). It provides consultancy, training and business development, with the objective of raising awareness about urban waste.
It offers a collection service tailored to urban constraints and catering for professionals. It helps them to reduce the quantity of waste produced and to sort it more effectively. Its projects are conducted by means of partnerships with private and public initiatives, and tackle issues such as recycling smartphones, biomaterials, putting orange peels to use and creating a compost site in Brussels.
Coolrec, an electronics goods recycling company, extracts cast iron counterweights from old Miele washing machines to be returned to the factory for recycling.
Buurman: the local hardware store and workshop that teaches you about the value of secondary materials
Buurman is a hardware store and workshop that only uses secondary materials, such as wood from demolition sites and insulation materials, plywood and cables from construction sites in Rotterdam or from exhibitions and festivals.
In May 2019, the Belgium-based fruit and vegetable cutting business Allgro set up its own water plant. The facility turns wastewater into drinking water, thereby slashing the food company’s mains water consumption.
Charity shops are the most basic form of circular economy-driven supply chains: people donate unwanted items rather than throwing them away so that they can be put to use by someone else. La Poubelle is a variation on the theme of charity shops: it's a goods bank tailored specifically to the needs of people facing hard times.
In 2019, Carrefour Belgium introduced a range of reusable and recyclable carrier bags made from marine waste. The retailer collaborated with Seaqual, an organisation that cleans up the oceans and seabed, to source the plastics needed.
ReBlend develops textiles and textile products made from textiles that otherwise end up in incineration. Textiles made from recycled fibres offer a positive alternative for designers and companies. In collaboration with waste collectors, producers, designers, makers and visionaries, ReBlend organises a full supply chain from start to finish to accelerate a new ecosystem for circular textiles.
The Flemish municipality of Sint-Amands has transformed an old shoe factory into the unique and sustainable multifunctional de Nestel community centre where residents and local associations can feel at home.