The transformation into a circular economy entails factoring resource flows into production, sales and consumption processes and thus massively reducing the use of materials (raw or otherwise), as well as the volume of waste and the strain on the environment.
Austria's circular economy strategy therefore aims to:
Eco Repair Score NV and VITO have developed the Eco Repair Score® to assess the environmental impact of a specific car repair job. It does this using a single score, with categories from A to E and associated colour coding.
Energy Saxony e.V. and Circular MTC e.V. have received funding from the Free State of Saxony to set up the innovation cluster Circular Saxony which will lay the groundwork for a ready-for-circularity economy in Saxony.
The cluster aims to re-design products and processes in line with circularity and sustainability, while lowering the costs of society's transformation towards climate neutrality. Circular Saxony brings together industry, research and policy representatives in thematic working groups which will work on practical solutions within the region of Saxony.
Blue Plastics technology, called CleanBlueTech, is a pioneering, solvent-based, closed-loop washing technology that removes smell, glue, print-ink and organic residues from any plastic flexible film waste.
CleanBlueTech is a game changer as it uses 70% less energy and 100% less water than existing technologies.
The Ocean Package UG is a young and sustainable company from Munich with the goal to make e-commerce more environmentally friendly and sustainable. For this purpose, they have designed reusable packaging made of recycled polypropylene, which contains a proportion of collected plastic from the North Sea. Their product can be used 20 times more often than conventional cardboard packaging.
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.
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).