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Avis sur le projet de Plan d'action fédéral pour une économie circulaire

Response to the Belgian Federal Action Plan on the Circular Economy

FRDO CFDD logo
Author: 
Federal Council for Sustainable Development (Belgium)
Publication Date: 
07/2021
Country: 
EU

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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.

C2C ExpoLAB: Venlo city hall

c2c-expolab logo

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: Circular corporate fashion

Schijvens logo

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Country: 
Netherlands

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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 recycling

Van Werven image

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Netherlands

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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: working towards a bio-based, circular economy

Groningen Seaports logo

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Netherlands

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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: From oil-based plastic to bioplastic

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Netherlands

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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!

E-waste Race: school-based collection of old electronic devices

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Country: 
Netherlands

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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: the fashion library

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Netherlands

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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.

Nic&Mic: Upcycling waste while supporting employment

Nicmic logo

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.

EMMA Safety Footwear: Sustainable safety shoes

EMMA logo

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Netherlands

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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 Telecom – Circular telecoms and IT equipment with a social heart

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Country: 
Netherlands

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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: a sustainable alternative for protecting products during transport

FIBI

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Netherlands

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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: Urban platform for the circular economy

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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: recovering cast iron from washing machines

Cast iron

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Netherlands

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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 logo

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.

Allgro: turning wastewater into water for their fruit and vegetable cutting business

Cut vegetables

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Country: 
Belgium

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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.

La Poubelle: A bank for secondhand goods

La Poubelle

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Netherlands

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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.

Carrefour: reusable and recyclable carrier bags made from marine waste

Plastic marine waste

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Country: 
Belgium

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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 - a Social enterprise promoting circular economy for textiles

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Netherlands

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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.

Transforming an old factory building into a community centre and party venue in Sint-Amands

provided by Cedral, photographer Marcel Van Coile

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.

Fjällräven up-cycles wool as a by-product of the meat industry

Sheep @cvil

Fjällräven is giving wool waste a second life by using it for innovative purposes, like padding in jackets or backplate in backpacks.

Purified Metal: Responsible processing of contaminated steel scrap into high-quality raw material

EIT

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Netherlands

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Purified Metal Company can responsibly process contaminated steel scrap into a high-quality raw material.

Circulair Friesland's three lines of action: Doing. Learning. Telling.

Circulair Friesland logo
Publication Date: 
01/2021
Country: 
Netherlands

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Friesland, a province in the north of the Netherlands, has a strong cultural identity, its own language, an economy mostly devoted to agriculture and 20 000 companies - 99% of them SMEs. The province faces economic and demographic challenges but is becoming one of the best examples of a successful transition towards a circular economy. It aims to be the most circular EU region by 2025.

According to the public/private association Circulair Friesland, this province is thus:

  • Doing: policies on the circular economy, financing circular SMEs and research, ambitiously developing public procurement
  • Learning: active member of the Association of Cities and Regions for sustainable Resource management and involved in European projects
  • Telling: sharing their story with others.

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