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By experimenting with recycled water bottles as material for internal components, Océ discovered the drivers and barriers to using recycled plastic in manufacturing

varioprint 135 circular economy

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Country: 
Netherlands

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In designing the varioPrint 135, Océ partnered with the Netherlands Enterprise Agency and Philips to experiment with the use of recycled plastic in the production of industrial printers. Building on Océ's adoption of longevity and reuse principles in design, the company has made a further step towards circular economy and succeeded in developing an internal component that contains at least 30% post-consumer recycled polycarbonate from used 5 gallon water bottles.

Destination: a circular tourism economy

Destination: a circular tourism economy

Destination: a circular tourism economy handbook cover

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

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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

Orange Fiber squeezes orange peel into versatile, biodegradable textile

orange fiber image

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Country: 
Italy

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Orange Fiber has closed the loop for oranges by patenting a technique to squeeze orange peel and citrus waste into cellulose fibre. With growing demand for sustainable fashion, the company is well placed to commence production in 2019, having already prototyped a collection with Salvatore Ferragamo and won the Global Change Awars

The contribution of the Digital Industry to repair, remanufacturing and refurbishment in a Circular Economy

The contribution of the Digital Industry to repair, remanufacturing and refurbishment in a Circular Economy

DigitalEurope
Author: 
Digital Europe
Publication Date: 
11/2018
Country: 
EU

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In "The contribution of the Digital Industry to repair, remanufacturing and refurbishment in a Circular Economy”, DIGITALEUROPE describes longstanding business practices in the ICT sector which represent, next to waste collection and treatment facilities, the circular economy backbone of the ICT industry in Europe.

With roughly 28,000 tons of IT equipment and spare parts being shipped cross-border annually in Europe, the ICT sector is adopting circular business practices such as designing for longevity, durability and reliability, stimulating reuse, and facilitating refurbishment. There is significant market opportunity for circular economy in the ICT sector: in 2015, the business of refurbishing IT equipment already accounted for €3.1 billion in annual turnover across 2,500+ European firms.

Alongside a series of case studies on best practice such as Nokia's Global Asset Recovery & Remarketing Services, DIGITALEUROPE outlines the following position on legislating circular economy for ICT:

  • reuse, repair and refurbishment should not be addressed under waste legislation
  • recognise authorised repair networks and protect IP rights
  • consult stakeholders when legislating ecodesign to ensure feasibility
  • ensure requirements for spare parts continue to exist
  • keep the two-year guarantee and revise consumer protection without increasing refunds / replacements
  • remove administrative burden for and regulatory barriers to shipping products for repair, reuse and refurbishment

Pura's Blue Right: cleaning with purely circular products

PURA

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Netherlands

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The Pura Production Group is clearly commited to sustainable production and follows up on this commitment by achieving the maximum attainable sustainability factor with its cleaning products. Pura's flagship Blue Right line for hotels and offices is a circular economy front runner: the floor, interior, sanitary and kitchen cleaners are produced without hazardous chemicals, sold in portion-controlled compostable packaging and lead to zero waste after use. 

Circular Economy Industry Platform

Circular Economy Industry Platform

What is the Circular Economy Industry Platform about?

Circulary is a web tool managed by BusinessEurope and its national members that contributes to the EU’s agenda on circular economy.

It continuously brings new examples of innovative ways in which industry, SMEs and other business add to the circular economy in Europe, and features over 150 prime examples of industrial best practice in circular economy as of November 2018. At the same time, it highlights the regulatory and non-regulatory challenges these businesses still face to upscale their current initiatives or to start new ones. As such the platform is a unique bottom-up business-led hub of knowledge and expertise.

Why should your company engage?

  • To showcase what your company is already doing on circular economy. By showing the extent to which business is already engaged into this transformation process, you will help make EU policy fit-for-purpose.
  • To raise your concerns on barriers and obstacles. The analysis of common trends in barriers and obstacles that you and other companies face to become circular will help draw the attention of policymakers.
  • To make your voice heard on upcoming EU policy initiatives. By gathering your “on the ground” practical experiences, BusinessEurope will be in a stronger position to advocate the business voice towards European institutions.
  • To develop your network. The platform is a unique way for you to connect to other companies on circular economy, either by being contacted by others because of your expertise or by being able to see what is happening elsewhere.
  • To access the EU / Brussels debate on circular economy. Based on what we receive from you and others, BusinessEurope intends as much as possible to organise events, consultations and promotion of the platform and its participating community.

 

Circular Economy Finance Guidelines

CE Finance

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Author: 
ABN AMRO, ING, RABOBANK
Publication Date: 
07/2018
Country: 
Netherlands

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ABN AMRO, ING and Rabobank, all members of the FinanCE working group alongside FGGM and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, have published the first publicly available finance guidelines for the circular economy in July 2018 as input to the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.

These guidelines aim to promote and develop the role finance can play in the transition, beginning with a definition of the circular economy and circular economy finance. These banks perceive the latter as being "any type of instrument where the investments will be exclusively applied to finance or re-finance, in part or in full, new and/or existing eligible companies or projects in the circular economy". The guidelines themselves have four core components:

  1. Use of investments
  2. Process for Project Evaluation and Selection
  3. Management of Investments
  4. Reporting

By making these guidelines publicly available, these three Dutch banks are encouraging other financial institutions to follow suit and stimulating the development of a common understanding of the circular economy in the European financial sector.

100 Italian Circular Economy Stories

100 Italian Circular Economy Stories

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

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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"

Favini's upcycled ecological papers: Shiro Alga Carta, tackles harmful algae

Shiro Alga Carta Favini

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Italy

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Shiro Alga Carta paper, patented by Favini in the ’90s, is the pioneer in their upcycling ecological paper range. It uses algae from the Venice lagoon, whose proliferation would put at risk the lagoon’s fragile ecosystem.

Favini's upcycled ecological papers: Remake, the soft touch of leather

Remake paper Favini

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Italy

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Remake is the most recent addition to Favini's upcycling ecological paper range, using as much as 25% of pulp material from discarded residue of the leather manufacturing process. This revolutionary process has won the European Paper Recycling Awards 

Favini's upcycled ecological papers: Crush, uses by-products from the food industry

Crush Favini paper

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Italy

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Crush, launched in 2012, is the second product in Favini's upcycling ecological paper range. Its production uses the equivalent of 15% of virgin pulp paper in by-products from food industry.

Automotive industry: plastic recyclates offering prime-like performances in new parts

Automotive plastic parts: recycled material performs at over 80% of prime

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Country: 
Germany

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WIPAG recycles post-industrial and post-consumer plastic waste from several industries with its main focus on automotive parts. Both composite separation and de-coating process allow for end products with excellent performances.

The EIB Circular Economy Guide

EIB Guide to Circular Economy

The EIB Circular Economy Guide
Author: 
European Investment Bank
Publication Date: 
10/2018
Country: 
Luxembourg

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The EIB Circular Economy Guide guide explains why and how the circular transition can be achieved.
Contact: 
CircularEconomy@EIB

The EIB has already supported the transition to a circular economy with over €2.1 bn in project financing, including the first of a kind Aanekoski bio-pulp mill in Finland, the largest circular investment to date in Europe. An overview of such projects, alongside the bank's perception of the drivers to a circular economy (resource opportunities, technological development and the emerging socio-economic paradigm of sustainable development), corresponding opportunities and potential business models (circular design, value recovery, optimal use & circular support) is provided in this guide. 

As the circular economy can actively contirbute to reducing carbon emissions and reaching wider environmental protection goals, the EIB is keen to finance projects contributing to this transition through a range of financing products, including EFSI and InnovFin for higher risk innovations. When doing so, it makes use of specific criteria to assess whether project are truly circular and attempts to categorise them within one of the aforementioned business models. During project assessment, further eligibility criteria are applied depending on the type of business model. These criteria, and more information about the bank's perception of circular economy strategies and project types, is provided in the guide's annexes.

Behavioural Study on Consumers’ Engagement in the Circular Economy

Behavioural Study on Consumers’ Engagement in the Circular Economy

Infographic explaining aims of behavourial study

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

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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.

Ballymun's boiler house is now a 3D textbook on reuse

Rediscovery Centre

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Ireland

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When Dublin's Ballymun suburb was scheduled for regeneration, a local environmental project redeveloped the neighbourhood's heating plant into a 3D textbook on repair, reuse and refurbish. The Rediscovery Centre, housed in the old boiler house, is now a cutting-edge creative space connecting people, resources and ideas that includes four social enterprises.

NoAW (NoAgriculturalWaste) Knowledge Exchange Stakeholder Platform

NoAW project logo

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EU

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Contact: 
Prof. Nathalie Gontard (INRA)
Tünde KUTI (Campden BRI Hungary)
dr. András Sebők (Campden BRI Hungary)

The NoAW project is dealing with innovative approaches to turn agricultural waste into ecological and economic assets. The NoAW Knowledge Exchange Stakeholder Platform aims to:

  • provide a forum for knowledge, information exchange and discussion with agro-food businesses, farmers, biogas processors, food companies, scientific community, authorities relating to agro-waste management and valorisation issues in the light of their needs and expectations.
  • foster an understanding of what is new in agriculture waste management from technical, environmental and business concepts / cross-chain valorisation aspects, including development opportunities and potential applications of innovative bio-processes and bio-products.
  • provide guidance to NoAW based on the key activities of the members of the KESP, their needs and problems to ensure that the project activities and outcomes are focused on priority areas and the proposed processes and technologies will meet the expectations of the stakeholders.

The NoAW project is coordinated by INRA (France) and the consortium involves 32 partners from universities, public research organizations and other institutions from a dozen countries.

EU Guidelines for the feed use of food no longer intended for human consumption

EU guidelines facilitate the feed use of certain food no longer intended for human consumption

Animal feed
Author: 
European Commission
Publication Date: 
04/2018
Country: 
EU

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Contact: 
Sante Food Waste

The EU Guidelines for the feed use of food no longer intended for human consumption are an integral part of the communication Closing the loop - An EU action plan for the Circular Economy.

They were developed by the Commission in close cooperation with the food, feed, animal health and environmental authorities of the Member States and the members of the EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste, as well as other stakeholders.

The valorisation of the nutrients of food which, for commercial reasons or owing to problems of manufacturing,  is no longer intended for human consumption, but can be safely used in animal nutrition, prevents these materials from being composted, transformed in biogas or disposed of by incineration or landfilling.

Available in all EU languages by following the Official Journal link, these guidelines should assist the national and local competent authorities, as well as the operators in the food chain, in applying the relevant EU legislation. Legal clarity is therefore enhanced and examples of best practices that are in compliance with the current EU regulatory framework are presented while preventing unnecessary administrative burden.

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

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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

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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.

Market study on date marking and other information provided on food labels and food waste prevention

Market study on date marking and other information provided on food labels and food waste prevention

Best before - illustration

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Author: 
European Commission
Publication Date: 
01/2018
Country: 
EU

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Contact: 
Sante Food Waste

As part of the Circular Economy Action Plan, the Commission is examining ways to improve the use of date marking by actors in the food chain and its understanding by consumers, in particular "best before" labelling. Better understanding and use of date marking on food, i.e. "use by" and "best before" dates, by all actors concerned, can prevent and reduce food waste in the EU.

In order to help inform its work on date marking, the Commission launched a study to map how date marking is used in the market by food business operators and control authorities.

The market study found wide variation in date marking practices within product categories surveyed in the EU. The legibility of date marks was judged to be poor for 11% of products sampled. The study highlights the role that strengthened cooperation and innovation in the food supply chain can play in preventing food waste and finds that additional guidance may be needed to facilitate food redistribution past the "best before" date.

Based on the study's findings, the authors conclude that avoidable food waste linked to date marking is likely to be reduced where:

  • a date mark is present, its meaning is clear and it is legible;
  • consumers have a good understanding of the meaning of date marking (and the difference between "use by" as an indicator of safety and "best before" as an indicator of quality); 
  • "use by" dates are used only where there is a safety-based rationale for doing so, consistent with the Regulation on Food Information to Consumers
  • the product life stated on the packaging is consistent with the findings of safety and quality tests, and is not shortened unnecessarily by other considerations, such as product marketing;
  • storage and open life guidance are consistent with the findings of safety and quality tests;
  • there is a level of consistency in storage of food at retail and guidance for consumers regarding the temperatures at which products should be stored in the home.

EU guidelines on food donation

Food donation
Author: 
European Commission
Publication Date: 
10/2017
Country: 
EU

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Contact: 
Sante Food Waste

As part of the Circular Economy Action Plan, the Commission has adopted EU food donation guidelines in order to facilitate the recovery and redistribution of safe, edible food to those in need.

Developed in consultation with the EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste, the EU food donation guidelines seek to:

  • facilitate compliance of providers and recipients of surplus food with relevant requirements laid down in the EU regulatory framework (e.g. food safety, food hygiene, traceability, liability, VAT, etc.);
  • promote common interpretation by regulatory authorities in the EU Member States of EU rules applying to the redistribution of surplus food.

EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste

Country: 
EU

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Contact: 
Sante Food Waste

The Communication on Circular Economy, adopted in 2015, calls on the Commission to establish a Platform dedicated to food waste prevention. Thus the EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste (FLW) was established in 2016, as an informal European Commission expert group bringing together EU institutions, international organisations, experts from Member States and actors in the food value chain including consumer and other non-governmental organisations.

The Platform aids the Commission in identifying and prioritising actions to be taken at EU level in order to prevent food losses and food waste and supports all actors in identifying and implementing appropriate actions to take at national, regional and local levels. Its work is of a horizontal nature, aiming to identify opportunities for food waste prevention across the food production and consumption chain and facilitate inter-sector cooperation.

The most recent estimates of European food waste levels (FUSIONS, 2016) reveal that 70% of EU food waste arises in the household, food service and retail sectors, with production and processing sectors contributing the remaining 30%. The EU and Member States are committed to meeting Sustainable Development Goal 12.3, adopted in September 2015, which targets to halve per capita food waste at the retail and consumer level by 2030 and reduce food losses along the food production and supply chains.

 

All relevant documents related to the work of the Platform (such as agendas, minutes and participants' submissions) can be found on the Commission's dedicated food waste website

The Luxembourg EcoInnovation Cluster - Promoting circular economy

Luxembourg Ecoinnovation webpage
Country: 
Luxembourg

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The Luxembourg EcoInnovation Cluster, managed by Luxinnovation, the National Agency for Innovation and Research, is an active network that brings together and supports various players of the clean technologies sector with the ultimate goal of turning the concept of circular economy into a reality in Luxembourg. The cluster's objectives are the following:

  • diversify the activities of the Luxembourg companies thus allowing them to gain and to develop new capabilities in the clean technologies field;
  • contribute to the development of new environmental solutions in the field of eco-technologies and sustainable construction;
  • raise public awareness to the uptake of “green technologies”;
  • build public-private partnerships in order to develop new collaborative projects of common interest;
  • encourage networking between public and private actors at the national and international level.

The cluster provides the following services:

  • access to practical and technical information related to specific questions on eco-innovation;
  • advice on national and European funding opportunities for clean technologies;
  • value-added information on emerging technologies and markets.

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