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MUD jeans: circular denims (almost) never die

Circular jeans from MUD Jeans with printed waistband label.

Type of organisation or company:

Country: 
Netherlands

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Customers from the MUD brand can lease or buy their jeans, benefit from a free repair service, and return the worn out items to have them recycled into new denim products - so that the iconic piece of clothing remains in use for the longuest time. This brand philosophy saves 78% water and 61% CO2-eq per jeans compared to industry standards.

New Plastics Economy Global Commitment 2019 Progress Report

New Plastics Economy Global Commitment progress report launched

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Author: 
Ellen MacArthur Foundation , UN Environment Programme
Publication Date: 
10/2019
Country: 
Other (global)

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The Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the UN Environment Programme have published the first annual New Plastics Economy Global Commitment progress report. Presented at the Our Ocean Conference in Oslo, the report provides an unprecedented level of transparency on how almost 200 businesses and governments are reshaping the plastics system.

Highlights of the report include:

  • Companies set out actions to eliminate problematic plastic packaging, and increase the use of recycled plastic in packaging by more than five-fold by 2025, equivalent to keeping 25 million barrels of oil in the ground every year
  • Unilever, Mars, Incorporated, and PepsiCo announce significant reductions in virgin plastic use by 2025
  • Analysis carried out for the report shows that on average around 60% of business signatories’ plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable today. Through the Global Commitment, they have committed to making this 100% by 2025
  • Government signatories including France, Rwanda, the UK, and the cities of São Paulo (Brazil) and Austin (USA), are putting in place policy measures that include bans, public procurement, extended producer responsibility (EPR) schemes, fiscal measures, and incentives for research and development
  • The Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the UN Environment Programme call for more businesses and governments to sign the commitment and continue to raise the ambition level.

This announcement is an important step in the Foundation’s mission to accelerate the transition towards a circular economy. Launched in 2018, the Global Commitment now includes over 400 signatories, which are aligned on a path to build a new plastics economy. Business signatories, including companies representing 20% of all plastic packaging produced globally, are working to eliminate the plastic we don't need, to innovate so that all plastic we do need is 100% reusable, recyclable, or compostable, and to circulate all the plastic we use.

To find out more please visit: www.newplasticseconomy.org

Identifying the impact of the circular economy on the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods Industry: opportunities and challenges for businesses, workers and consumers – mobile phones as an example

Identifying the impact of the circular economy on the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods Industry: opportunities and challenges for businesses, workers and consumers – mobile phones as an example

mobile pone case study of circular economy impact CEPS EESC

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Author: 
Centre for European Policy Studies
Publication Date: 
10/2019
Country: 
EU

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Mobile phones, particularly smartphones, have undergone a period of rapid growth to become virtually indispensable to today's lifestyle. Yet their production, use and disposal can entail a significant environmental burden.

This study, commissioned by the European Economic and Social Committee and carried out by the Centre for European Policy Studies, looks at the opportunities and challenges arising from implementing circular economy approaches in the mobile phone value chain. A review of the value chain and different circular approaches is complemented by a scenario analysis that aims to quantify the potential impacts of circular approaches such as recycling, refurbishment and lifetime extension.

The study finds that there is a large untapped potential for recovering materials from both the annual flow of new mobile phones sold in Europe once they reach the end of their life and the accumulated stock of unused, so-called "hibernating" devices in EU households. Achieving high recycling rates for these devices can offer opportunities to reduce EU dependence on imported materials and make secondary raw materials available on the EU market, as shown in the picture below.

Drawing on the empirical findings and the analysis conducted, this study recommends policy action in the following areas:

  • Collection rates of old unused mobile phone devices are low, which means there is largely unexploited potential in the EU for recovering valuable materials from these devices.
  • Although consumers generally show willingness to engage in circular economy practices for mobile phones, in reality only a few do so.
  • Various challenges for reuse and refurbishment businesses stem from EU legislation, including regulatory complexity and "preparation for use" in the WEE directive

As such, policy-makers should close the collection gap for mobile phone devices, which could in turn create jobs in the refurbishment sector. Extending the lifetime of mobile phones can also provide CO2 mitigation benefits, particularly from displacing the production of new devices.

ZERO BRINE recovers valuable resources from saline wastewater in the Polish mining industry

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Country: 
Poland

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ZERO BRINE is running a pilot project to recover valuable resources from wastewater in the Polish mining industry so that they can be reused in other sectors.

Reverse Resources promotes upcycling of textile leftovers and creates supply chain transparency with online platform

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Estonia, Other (Bangladesh)

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Reverse Resources is an Estonian company that offers an online “circular” solution that tracks and traces waste flows by connecting manufacturers, waste handlers, recyclers/spinners and brands on one platform by offering 360 degree transparency, data accuracy and real-time transactions on waste flows.

SWEETS hotel upcycles Amsterdam's bridge houses into unique guest rooms

sweets hotel room example

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Country: 
Netherlands

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Since 2012, SWEETS hotel has been adapting Amsterdam's abandoned bridge houses into unique flats, thus preventing their demolition.

Policy enablers to accelerate the circular economy: Scaling up actions across regions and stakeholders

wbsd report infographic

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Author: 
World Business Council for Sustainable Development
Publication Date: 
09/2019
Country: 
EU
International

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Over the past couple of years, as companies start to understand the opportunities that lie under the concept of circular economy, the circularity conversation has gained significant momentum. At the same time, national and regional governments are developing frameworks and regulations to promote the circular economy.

Effective policymaking is crucial to accelerate and scale up circular actions in the economy. It supports businesses in overcoming hurdles by stimulating innovative projects and long-term investments in circularity, facilitating collaboration and partnerships, and producing tangible results.

Learning from successful policies can help inform future policies to promote wider actions in other sectors and regions over time.

By highlighting some representative pioneers in circular economy policy, exploring key enablers from these policies, describing how other regions could replicate these enablers and providing recommendations, this publication aims to provide insights from the policy perspective and to feed into the ongoing development of other initiatives and policies related to the circular economy globally.

Destination climate neutrality: a five year policy blueprint for Europe

destination climate neutrality
Author: 
EEB, IDDRI, CLIMACT
Publication Date: 
09/2019
Country: 
EU

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Destination Climate Neutrality brings together leading recommendations of think tanks, scientists, thought leaders and NGOs to offer a policy blueprint for how best to propel Europe towards net zero carbon emissions in the coming five years of the Von der Leyen term. It offers sector-by-sector analysis, targets and initiatives in the fields of governance, finance, industry, energy, transport, the circular economy, agriculture and employment.

On circular economy, the report identifies challenges in:

  • a lack of EU targets for waste prevention, reuse, repair and refurbishment
  • no monitoring framework for material flows
  • contamination of materials by hazardous ingredients
  • high demand for biomass

The authors identify opportunities in job creation, cleaner supply chains and product policies.

Starlinger develops a closed loop model for polypropylene 'big bags'

starlinger recycled big bag

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Country: 
Austria

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To create a circular economy for Flexible Intermediate Bulk Containers, Starlinger, a plastic packaging machinery and process technology engineering company from Austria, has simulated a closed loop for polypropylene - the main component of big bags - in cooperation with renowned big bag manufacturers Louis Blockx and LC Packaging.

Circular jobs in Belgium - A baseline analysis of employment in the circular economy in Belgium

Circular jobs in Belgium - A baseline analysis of employment in the circular economy in Belgium

KBF infogrpahic on circular jobs in Belgium

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Author: 
Circle Economy, King Baudoin Foundation, Inoopa
Publication Date: 
09/2019
Country: 
Belgium

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Contact: 
Anneke Ernon

From shoemaker to wind energy park engineer: 7.5% of all jobs in Belgium are circular. This report presents a baseline measurement of employment in the Belgian circular economy and provides insights into the nature and number of jobs in the country’s circular economy. This includes all jobs contributing to the circular economy through activities in renewable energy, repair and maintenance, recycling, digital technology, design, new business models and collaboration.

Monitoring the employment effects of the circular economy will discern what specific employment opportunities the circular economy has to offer, how these are distributed across society and how we can equip the workforce with the right skills to meet changing demand.

This report, conducted by the King Baudouin Foundation and the Dutch social enterprise Circle Economy, aims to inform governments, employers, social partners and other representatives with a view to pursuing effective and inclusive circular labour policy.

An online monitor, which the partners will update regularly, complements the report.

Thanks to smart design, Stella Soomlais' leather bags can be re-cut and re-made as smaller items

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Country: 
Estonia

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Estonian leather goods maker Stella Soomlais has come up with an innovative bag design that enables old or damaged leather bags to be turned into new leather goods, with little leftover material.

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