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Romanian Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform

ROCESP

The Romanian Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform (ROCESP) was launched at national level by the Ernest Lupan Institute for Research in Circular Economy and Environment (IRCEM).

ROCESP members include local and central government institutions, academic, research and innovation institutions, businesses and civil society representatives.

The platform aims to promote and reinforce circular economy measures at national level and to facilitate cross-sectoral dialogue in Romania. It acts through 11 working groups, such as: Social and collaborative economy, Urban and territorial development, Energy efficiency, Education and training for the circular economy, Mobility and transport, Materials, Goods and packaging.

Resourceful Cities, or developing next-generation urban resource centres to serve as catalysts of the local circular economy

Resourceful Cities

Resourceful Cities is an URBACT Action Planning Network of European cities that want to develop next-generation urban resource centres to accelerate the transition to the circular economy. The idea for this network arose from one of the actions identified by the Urban Agenda Partnership on Circular Economy under its ‘better knowledge’ pillar - namely to promote Urban Resource Centres for waste prevention, re-use and recycling.

Broadly these centres serve as connection points for citizens, new businesses, researchers, and the public sector to co-create new ways of closing local resource loops, while promoting waste prevention, re-use, repair, and recycling. Their precise manifestation will differ from city to city in response to the local context and needs identified.

OLEAF4VALUE: Olive leaf multi-product cascade based biorefinery

OLEAF4VALUE

Type of organisation or company:

Country: 
Spain

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Scope:

The EU-funded OLEAF4VALUE project has set up a consortium of highly experienced partners to develop a valorisation system for the olive leaves biomass. The consortium will address all levels of the value chain: raw material, biorefining, post-extraction technologies, market validation and sustainability assessment.

WaVa Waste Valorisation

WaVa logo

Platform Type:

Country: 
Switzerland

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WaVa / Waste Valorisation is a chemical exchange platform for all professionals which promotes the circular economy among manufacturers. Specifically, it is a co-product marketplace where sellers can sell their waste as a secondary raw material and buyers can buy cheaper, local materials.

Any industrial raw material, waste, by-product or manufacturing co-product can be traded on the WaVa platform. It aims to help people achieve their circular economy objectives and thus reap the economic and environmental benefits.

WaVa is not recognised as a waste disposal facility; it simply connects buyers and sellers. It never actually takes ownership of the product.

There are no fees for registration, selling or buying.

The Circular Economy in Ireland

Ireland

Type:

Author: 
OECD | Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities (CFE)
Publication Date: 
04/2022
Country: 
Ireland

Language for original content:

Ireland is at a turning point for the transition to a circular economy (CE). The 2022 Whole of Government Circular Economy Strategy provides the policy framework for the CE in this country, and the forthcoming Circular Economy Bill is expected to strengthen waste and CE legislation.

Nevertheless, with a circularity material use rate of 2% in 2020, Ireland shows significant scope for progress. This report analyses the state of play and challenges of the circular transition in Ireland and provides policy recommendations for CE policy across levels of government. It is the result of a two-year policy dialogue between the OECD, the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications, as well as a broad range of public, private and civil society stakeholders.

HOOP Network of Cities and Regions

HOOP logo
Country: 
EU

Language for original content:

Contact: 
Jean-Benoit Bel Contact details

The HOOP Network of Cities and Regions seeks to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and mutual learning among cities and regions willing to recover valuable resources from urban bio-waste and wastewater to make bio-based products. By joining the network, they gain information on innovative urban bioeconomy solutions and engage in activities relevant to their specific situation and interests. Participants have direct exchanges with the eight HOOP lighthouse cities and regions, sharing experiences and expertise, and can be invited to the project's events.

The HOOP network is only open to organisations that plan, organise or operate municipal waste management or wastewater treatment activities, for instance local or regional authorities and waste management companies.

BioSupPack: production and enzymatic recycling of environmentally safe packaging solutions

The BioSupPack project aims to deliver novel, cost-competitive and versatile bio-based packaging solutions - based on PHA - that demonstrate high-performance for the packaging of food, cosmetics, homecare and beverage products as well as no environmental damage during & after their use.

New strategies for Smart Integrated Decentralised Energy systems on the way to Circularity

Type:

Author: 
Eva Gladek
Publication Date: 
07/2019
Country: 
Netherlands

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Sector:

Scope:

The goal of this study was to investigate the feasibility for Smart Integrated Decentralised Energy (SIDE) systems to contribute to the resilience, flexibility and circularity of the Dutch national power system infrastructure. The energy sector plays a crucial role in tackling the challenge of transitioning into a circular, renewable energy-based economy. For this reason, the Dutch government has decided to quintuple renewable power generation by 2030.

Thanks to recent developments in renewable energy technologies such as batteries, heat pumps and solar panels, but also biodigesters in which organic waste and black water are collected providing an alternative heating source, it is now possible to produce, convert and store energy locally within so-called microgrids.

 

Low-carbon technologies and Russian imports: how far can recycling reduce the EU's raw materials dependency?

Low-carbon technologies and Russian imports: how far can recycling reduce the EU's raw materials dependency?

Type:

Author: 
Vasileios Rizos, Edoardo Righetti
Publication Date: 
04/2022
Country: 
Belgium

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Scope:

Russia is among the larger suppliers of raw materials to the EU. It is the biggest world supplier for palladium, platinum and nickel, and a prominent one for aluminium and copper. The country still holds large untapped reserves of rare-earth elements.

This paper provides an overview of EU import dependency on raw materials and Russia’s share among EU sources of key supplies for low-carbon technologies. It then looks at prospects for meeting future material demands through circularity for three technologies, namely lithium-ion batteries, wind turbines and fuel cell electric vehicles.

The analysis is based on two scenarios with different levels of ambition. They aim to give an indication of the scale of potential benefits that can be achieved through circular approaches.

Research: best criteria for the new EU strategy for sustainable textiles and the Ecodesign directive

Ecodesign criteria for consumer textiles

Type:

Author: 
Edwin Maes, Stijn Devaere & Philippe Colignon (Centexbel), Jasmien Wynants (Flanders DC), Bram Soenen & Nancy Dasilva (FOD), Tom Duhoux & Evelien Dils (VITO), Bruno Eggermont (Fedustria)
Publication Date: 
12/2021
Country: 
Belgium

Language for original content:

Evelyn Lafond Contact details

This research project lists ecodesign criteria for circular fashion and textiles.

It focused on giving consumer textiles a longer lifespan with optimal reuse potential, making disassembly and recovery possible, and exploring upcycling and high-quality recycling. Extending the life of textile products turned out to have the greatest impact in the short term. Quality seems to be the most impactful ecodesign criterion when it comes to improving the sustainability and circularity of consumer textiles as quickly as possible.

The project defined seven product categories, identifying a set of minimum criteria for each. The report looks at existing labels, standards and regulations and the authors hope it will help expand the Ecodesign Directive by adding a textile category.

Towards climate-neutral and circular procurement

Towards climate-neutral and circular procurement

Type:

Author: 
Chandar van der Zande
Publication Date: 
02/2019
Country: 
Netherlands

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Scope:

This report, prepared by the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, provides an analysis of the Dutch procurement system.

The Dutch Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP) approach embraces six themes, two of which are explored in this study: climate-neutral procurement and circular procurement. Included in these two themes are aspects such as CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions, as well as the reuse of raw materials at the highest possible level of value. SPP is a highly topical issue for a steadily growing number of organisations in the Netherlands: action plans are being written, requirements and criteria are being formulated, and tools are being produced. Together, these activities are creating growing demand for instruments that evidence the impact of SPP.

The circular economy as EU environmental policy – Changing or maintaining the status quo?

The circular economy as EU environmental policy – Changing or maintaining the status quo?

The circular economy as EU environmental policy – Changing or maintaining the status quo?

Many actors see the EU’s circular economy (CE) as a promising narrative which steps outside dominant end-of-pipe solutions towards an encompassing vision for strategies across the supply chain. However, this study finds that the EU CE Action Plan maintains the status quo narrative instead of suggesting radical changes.

By focusing on stakeholder narratives, this analysis shows that the inertia is primarily due to CE proponents’ self-perception of being in a legitimacy crisis and their strategic arguments that have:

  • concealed social conflict and potential trade-offs
  • strengthened the agency of ‘status quo’ agents
  • excluded alternative voices questioning the proposed CE narrative.

The paper discusses how to develop new environmental narratives outside the status quo.

Barriers and enablers of wood cascading – Lessons for a circular bioeconomy

Barriers and enablers of wood cascading – Lessons for a circular bioeconomy

Barriers and enablers of wood cascading – Lessons for a circular bioeconomy

Longstanding research on wood cascading has identified a variety of factors to enable more efficient, circular use of forest-based products in Europe.

This paper finds that two of the most critical barriers to wood cascading are:

  • Competition between energy and material uses of waste wood in policy, market and infrastructure
  • Inadequate information on and low quality of waste wood, including pollutant content.

It makes the following recommendations for policies and business:

  • Redesign production processes to deal with contamination and increase quality
  • Coordinate energy and waste policies
  • Advance reporting standards about material composition of bioproducts
  • Explore the best forms of involvement, awareness raising, communication and policies.

Three narratives about food waste and their social impact

France's Law Against Food Waste: do new narratives serve social justice?

Three narratives about food waste and their social impact
Author: 
Sina Leipold, Kaja Weldner, Marius Hohl
Publication Date: 
12/2021
Country: 
Germany

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Scope:

France's Law Against Food Waste has become an international model for sustainable food policy. The law is often described as combining economic efficiency with environmental protection and social equity. However, stakeholder narratives cast doubt on whether this French CE law really contributes to social justice in the long run. This discourse analysis shows that:

  • the ban on food waste institutionalised a narrative about food waste that prioritises profit over social equity
  • the traditionally dominant solidarity narrative about food waste has been pushed back by the emerging CE discourse
  • As a consequence of this shift, activities enacted in the name of the CE may counteract social equity goals (for instance by establishing competition with charities).

Full research article

Effective circular strategies for eco-friendly urban agriculture

Effective circular strategies for eco-friendly urban agriculture

Effective circular strategies for eco-friendly urban agriculture

Urban agriculture comes with its own share of environmental impacts. Circular strategies promise to reduce these impacts, but not all strategies are resource efficient and environmentally effective.

This paper finds that the most eco-friendly and circular strategies for urban agriculture, taking a Mediterranean tomato crop as a case study, include:

  • Struvite (phosphate mineral recovered from wastewater treatment) instead of non-renewable phosphate fertiliser to conserve freshwater
  • Recycled steel and materials for urban agricultural infrastructure to reduce carbon emissions, toxicity and freshwater pollution
  • Closed-loop irrigation to minimise ocean and freshwater pollution. However, if new infrastructure is required, it could lead to an increase in carbon emissions.

Healthy diets save more resources than food waste reduction

Healthy diets save more resources than food waste reduction

Healthy diets save more resources than food waste reduction

Policies are focusing on halving food waste to help conserve increasingly strained food resources. However, expanding their scope of action to include dietary changes and complement targets with resource footprints has greater potential to save resources while avoiding trade-offs.

This paper shows that in Germany:

  • Healthy, plant-based diets are more effective at reducing land and biomass use than halving food waste
  • A combination of more plant-based food consumption and food waste reduction in distribution and consumption is most effective at saving resources
  • Focusing exclusively on food waste reduction as a policy target can be detrimental to the overarching goal of saving resources because it deflects attention away from more effective alternatives.

Environmental assessments should focus on the needs of circular cities

Environmental assessments should focus on the needs of circular cities to support the transition to a sustainable circular economy

Environmental assessments should focus on the needs of circular cities

The circular economy (CE) is gaining momentum in cities. To ensure a sustainable CE, it is crucial to measure the environmental performance of CE strategies. However, environmental assessments overlook several strategies that are a key feature of urban CE practice. These include reuse and repair, sustainable built infrastructure and urban land use, green public procurement, smart information and access technology.

To provide insights into the environmental performance and potential of these strategies, industrial ecologists and municipalities should:

  • collaborate with urban systems experts
  • quantify the environmental impacts of entire urban systems
  • combine environmental assessments with social and economic feasibility ones.

Why the Packaging Act contributes little to the Circular Economy

Why the German Packaging Act contributes little to the Circular Economy

Why the German Packaging Act contributes little to the Circular Economy
Author: 
Machteld Simoens, Sina Leipold
Publication Date: 
06/2020
Country: 
Germany

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Scope:

Many political, business and civil society stakeholders are disappointed with the German Packaging Act. They feel it makes a comparatively small contribution to the circular economy. This study explains why they are disappointed:

  • Policy-making became entangled in disputes between proponents of a private and a public system for waste collection. Stakeholder fears of potential radical changes led to a stalemate
  • Fears allowed only incremental changes in the Packaging Act
  • The incremental changes could not resolve existing conflicts.

Based on its findings, the paper proposes possible courses of action. To create a shift to a circular economy, dialogue is needed using methods which explicitly address fears and overcome the current stalemate.

Food and feed safety vulnerabilities in the circular economy

EFSA logo

Type:

Author: 
Katy James, Anthony Millington, Nicola Randall
Publication Date: 
03/2022
Country: 
EU

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Scope:

This literature review identified and categorised circular economy (CE) practices within all stages of the food and feed production chain in Europe to provide an overview of current and envisaged practices. There are four macro areas:

  1. primary production of food and feed
  2. reducing industrial/manufacturing/processing waste
  3. reducing food and feed waste in wholesale, food retail, catering and households and
  4. reducing food and feed packaging waste.

It is recommended that future primary research in novel food and feed in the CE focuses on areas other than insect farming, and that there are further investigations into the potential risks associated with importation into the EU of livestock/goods that may have been subject to different restrictions/legislation.

A Blueprint on Industrial Symbiosis to achieve a circular and regenerative economy

INSIGHT logo

Under the framework of the INSIGHT project, a Blueprint has been developed to provide specific recommendations on how to promote the application of Industrial Symbiosis and its facilitation to various stakeholders, as well as a roadmap of how the organisations are expected to apply the IS principles, by making use of educational specific inputs and resources.

CISUFLO: minimising the environmental impact of the EU flooring sector

CISUFLO

Type of organisation or company:

Country: 
Belgium

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Scope:

The project, funded under Horizon 2020, aims to develop a systemic circular approach to floor coverings.

TCO Certified stands for environmentally and socially responsible IT purchases

TCO Certified

TCO Certified has 30 years' experience of driving sustainable development in the IT industry. By continuously developing criteria and verification methods, TCO Certified tackles new challenges such as circularity, hazardous substances, and socially and environmentally responsible manufacturing. 

All criteria are mandatory, which means that all products must meet all the criteria for their product category to be certified according to TCO Certified.
 
The need to go circular has become especially pressing as digitalisation continues to grow and with it the consumption of electronic devices. TCO Certified’s circular criteria help purchasers lower greenhouse gas emissions, reduce e-waste and extend the life of IT products.

Building a Circular Future; Ten Takeaways for Global Changemakers

Building a circular future: Ten takeaways for global changemakers

Building a circular future; Ten takeaways for global changemakers

This book provides answers on how to govern the transition to a circular economy in different socio-cultural and political contexts.

It is intended to help the global changemakers who are building our circular future. Author Jacqueline Cramer spoke with 20 representatives of circular hotspots worldwide, thoroughly analysed their different contexts and extracted 10 key takeaways. Everyone working on circular initiatives can use these and adapt them to their own socio-cultural and political contexts.

How Network Governance Powers the Circular Economy Ten Guiding Principles for Building a Circular Economy, Based on Dutch Experiences

How network governance powers the circular economy: Ten guiding principles for building a circular economy, based on Dutch experiences

How network governance powers the circular economy

Type:

Author: 
Jacqueline Cramer
Publication Date: 
12/2020
Country: 
Netherlands

Language for original content:

Key Area:

In this book, Jacqueline Cramer shows how network governance can power the circular economy. Network governance is about building a coalition of partners, which all fulfill a specific function in the network and are aligned by so-called transition brokers. By complementing conventional, public governance with this new form of governance, the best of both worlds is created.

Prof. Cramer shares her huge experience of implementing numerous circular initiatives in the Netherlands. As a practitioner and scholar, she has identified ten guiding principles for building circular initiatives, based on network governance. These guidelines can support everyone who wants to start or expedite a circular initiative.

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