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

starlinger recycled big bag

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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.

RePack's reusable and returnable packaging combines end-of-life guarantee with social economy

RePack products

RePack is the easiest way to implement circular economy in eCommerce. Using reusable and returnable RePack packaging service means sustainability in every package.

The reusable RePack bags are and made of durable and recycled materials and come in three adjustable sizes. They replace single-use packaging as the customer chooses RePack as the mean of package for delivery from the webstore. Once empty, the RePacks are designed to fold into letter size and can be returned to a postbox, free of charge, anywhere in the world. A voucher is sent to thank the customer for the return. This is the circular economy in action.

Circular Economy Initiative Deutschland

The Circular Economy Initiative Deutschlandfunded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and participating companies, brings together economic, scientific and societal stakeholders in developing a joint vision and concrete plan on how to support the German transformation towards a circular economy.
 

The network also stimulates practical implementation, for example in the form of collaborative projects, with support from acatech – National Academy of Science and Engineering in cooperation with SYSTEMIQ.
 

These projects will also serve to formulate policy recommendations and options that will be summarised in a 'Circular Economy Roadmap for Germany'. This roadmap will additionally be underpinned using the insights of the following working groups: 

  • Circular business models and regulatory framework conditions

  • ​New value networks for mobile energy storage systems

  • New value networks for packaging.

 

 

Deutschland auf dem Weg zur Circular Economy. Erkenntnisse aus europäischen Strategien

Deutschland auf dem Weg zur Circular Economy

DE on the way to circular economy

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Author: 
Thomas Weber, Martin Stuchtey
Publication Date: 
07/2019
Country: 
Germany

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Dr. Susanne Kadner

This preliminary study stimulates public debate on the circular economy in Germany and serves as a basis for discussion within the recently launched Circular Economy Initiative Deutschland. With a sizeable industry, there is substantial opportunity for Germany to adopt circular policies, but this paradigm shift would mean no less than a reinterpretation of the "Made in Germany" model.

In the past years, both the European Union and several Member States have adopted circular economy strategies to transition to a resource-efficient economy based on keeping resources in use for longer. While countries outside Europe also follow this guiding principle in their industrial and resource policies, e.g. China, Japan or Canada, such a plan is still missing in Germany.

This report discusses the preconditions for a successful implementation of a circular economy within the German context, before discussing the experiences of European countries, which have already initiated the transformation to a circular economy by developing roadmaps or comparable strategies. The learning experiences and best practices of these countries are examined with a view to transferring some of these to Germany.
 

Circular Economy Transition

circular economy transition

Circular Economy Transition aims to accelerate the transition of Switzerland to a Circular Economy. The programme operates in 5 Swiss cities: Basel, Bern, Geneva, Lausanne and Zurich.

In close collaboration with all Impact Hubs throughout Switzerland, sanu durabilitas and support of the MAVA foundation, this initiative will contribute to drive the new paradigm for the future of business, policy making and society through 4 main pillars:

  • project & startup incubator
  • community events
  • business lab for corporates & SMEs
  • research & policy recommendations

VertECO: a vertical ecosystem for indoor and outdoor greywater treatment

vertECO

VertECO consists of a vertical ecosystem (vertical constructed wetland) treating greywater from handwash basins, showers, and laundries.

Plastics recyclates: Plastship offer services for better quality and marketability

plastship logo

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Germany

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plastship, successfully launched in May 2019, is a German digital startup that has created a trading and service platform for buyers and sellers of regrinds, re-granulates and recyclates.

Digital strategies for greater material efficiency in German industry

Digital strategies for greater material efficiency in German industry

Author: 
Dr. Adriana Neligan / Edgar Schmitz
Publication Date: 
05/2017
Country: 
Germany

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Dr. Adriana Neligan

This study delivers the first empirical findings on the relevance of digitisation to improving material efficiency based on the German company survey ‘IW-Zukunftspanel’.

German manufacturing firms have up to now only rarely digitised material efficiency measures to a great extent. If they are - particularly in large companies - they tend to be used for process optimisation. Around two fifths of the companies are at least moderately digitised in relation to the most important industrial efficiency measures, namely process optimisation and the use of new techniques, but there is still more than a third that is not at all. Companies have most frequently digitised cross-company materials cycles, but this instrument is only applied by two fifths of industrial companies. There is still potential for more digitisation of measures relating to product design, materials cycle management and new business models.

At least every other manufacturing company reuses residue and waste materials via internal circulation systems. Nevertheless, for two fifths of these companies digital networks do not play any part and in the case of a further two fifths, the part they play is minor. Only one in ten companies is heavily digitised. More than half of industrial companies use resource-saving measures that begin at the product design stage. To date, almost half of these companies are not digitally networked, or if they are, it is only to a small extent. One third of the industrial companies up to now have considered new business models as an efficiency-raising way. Of these, three out of ten have not been digitised yet with a further two fifths having only a minor level of digitisation.

Companies that have already embedded digitisation in their strategy are frontrunners for greater material efficiency, since they more frequently use material efficiency measures intensively, are more likely to recognise further potential savings and their efficiency-saving approaches are also clearly more often highly digitised.

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Eines von zwei Unternehmen macht Ökodesign digital

Flustix - Labelling plastic goods to support responsible consumption

Flustix Plasticfree & Flustix Recycled

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Germany

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Flustix is a certification body for plastic-free and partially plastic-free products as well as goods made from recycled plastics. By making plastic reduction clearly visible for customers, the certification provides guidance and the opportunity to make a plastic-aware buying decision.

Di-Plast: developing digital quality control for recyclate PM material flow

Plastic recyclates

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EU

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Use of recycled plastic material (rPM) in North West Europe is homogeneously low. In packaging and building, the highest plastic-consuming sectors, only 8% of plastic employed is recyclate (Plastics Europe 2016). This is often due to the lack of information on purity and composition of recycled plastics. The Interreg NWE research project Di-Plast develops digital technology to enable complete documentation and quality assurance of recycled plastic material flows.

The 48er-Tandler Re-use Shop – A Waste Prevention and Re-use Initiative of the City of Vienna

48er-Tandler

Vienna's Municipal Department 48, responsible for the city's waste management, has been active in re-use since 1989, when the city’s first re-use shop was founded. In Summer 2015, the Department opened the 48-er Tandler: a mobile re-use shop where citizens can buy affordable, quality second-hand goods and whose proceeds go entirely to charity. 

Austria Glas Agenda 2030 - Future in Glass

Austria Glas Agenda 2030
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Austria Glas Recycling GmbH
Publication Date: 
10/2017
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Austria

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Contact: 
Marina Luggauer

Austria Glas Recycling Gmbh is setting the course for the future: the Austria Glas Agenda 2030, which it has developed together with stakeholders, experts and scholars, defines the orientation of the glass recycling system according to the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

The Austria Glass Agenda 2030 is pioneering work setting new impulses for the implementation of the SDGs. As one of the first companies in Austria, Austria Glas Recycling Gmbh is facing the challenge to implement the SDGs in all its business processes. The Austria Glas Agenda 2030 is the basis for future project developments of the glass recycling system.

In addition, the Austria Glas Agenda 2030 should serve as a role model for other sectors and inspire them to take action for the SDGs.

Wiltz - a Circular Economy Hotspot in the heart of Ardennes

Wiltz, capitale des Ardennes

In October 2015 the Luxembourg government named the municipality of Wiltz a Circular Economy Hotspot.  In February 2018 Wiltz renewed its political commitment with a Circular Economy Charter signed by its municipal council, by which it committed itself to mainstreaming circular economy in its future project and activities in order to improve its global footprint on the Ardennes region and to take on its responsibilities towards future generations of citizens.

Luxembourg's Climate Pact now also mainstreams circular economy in local policy

The Climate Pact, which was set up by Luxembourg's Ministry of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure in order to enable municipalities wishing to actively tackle climate change to request State support by signing an engagement charter, now includes measures on circular economy.

Circular Futures-Plattform Kreislaufwirtschaft Österreich

Plattform Kreislaufwirtschaft Austria

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Austria

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Julika Dittrich

"Circular Futures - Plattform Kreislaufwirtschaft Österreich" is a solution-oriented multistakeholder platform that brings together professionals across relevant industries, the administration, politics, science and civil society in Austria. Circular Futures acts as a think-tank, incubator, and catalyst for projects and initiatives necessary for a successful transition to a circular economy in Austria.

Circular Futures offers:

  • A website that serves as a central information and communication platform;
  • Knowledge events on the circular economy to inform and mobilise stakeholders;
  • Targeted capacity-building for relevant stakeholders through workshops, trainings, and the publication of project information;
  • The coordination of local activities and strengthening of regional networks; and
  • The involvement of relevant stakeholders in political processes (consultations, strategy/guideline developments, etc.) through information-sharing and mobilization.

Circular Futures AT is a collaboration between the Umweltdachverband and the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), the Reuse and Repair Network Austria (RepaNet), and the Verband Abfallberatung Österreich (VABÖ).

Klättermusen makes outdoor clothing and backpacks from recycled polyamide and polyester

klateermusen recycled polyamide backpack

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Sweden

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Klättermusen is a Swedish outdoor clothing company producing waterproof jackets, pants and backpacks made at least partly from recycled polyamide. The polyamide is created from post-industrial waste including packaging materials from factories, old carpets as well as discarded industrial fishing nets.

Renting of baby clothes: Räubersachen

raubersachen logo

Raubersachen (robbers' loot in German) applies the concept of product-as-a-service to baby clothes, providing parents with a ecological woollen alternatives by refurbishing disposed baby and toddler clothes and renting these out, thus reducing the amount of cheap, low-quality products being bought and keeping baby clothes in circulation far longer.

Cleanteach-Cluster Upper Austria

Logo Cleantech-Cluster

The Upper Autrian Cleantech-Cluster networks all actors from the resource supplier, to the manufacturer, industrial researcher, to mechanical engineers, recyclers, and disposers in order to find joint solutions and develop new technologies. We cooperate with our 10 cluster initiatives in the Upper Austrian business support agency and 2000 partner companies, whose activities range from plastics, to automotive, furniture and wood construction, food, medical technology, mechatronics, IT, logistics, and HR, In order to support projects for SMEs in particular, the cluster also supports EU funding applications, thus offering its partners an internationally mature circular economy toolbox.

THEMES and EXPERTISE in the network:

  • Material efficiency in production
  • Recycling
  • Recovery
  • Disposal
  • Circular design
  • Business Models
  • Initial and continuing education
  • Research

SERVICES:

  • Cross-sector networking with researchers, companies, associations (regional, national, international)
  • Project development
  • Project Management
  • Process support through conception, moderation of workshops, work meetings, events
  • Funding advice

Die Oekonomischen auswirkungen einer Verbesserung des Deutschen Gewaehrleistungsrechts

Study on the economic impact of extending warranty rights in Europe

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Author: 
Kilian Bizer, Martin Fuehr, Till Proeger
Publication Date: 
09/2016
Country: 
Germany

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Contact: 
Otmar Lell

The study analysed the economic effects of the transposition of Directive 1999/44/EC concerning warranty rights, which had to be transposed into national law by January 2002. A number of publications had suggested that strengthening warranty rights for consumer goods as foreseen in the directive could increase the price level of these goods, possibly resulting in a reduced purchases. The study addressed both questions by analysing data from several EU countries. The first question was addressed by analysing inflation rates of general prices and of prices for the consumer goods affected by the directive in the time period 1998 until 2002. The second question was analysed by looking at the share of consumers who used online consumer-to-consumer markets, which were not covered by the warranty rights foreseen in the directive.

The comparison of inflation rates for consumer goods showed that inflation rates for consumer goods were below the general inflation rate between 1998 and 2004. Therefore, between 1998 and 2004 prices for the different groups of consumer goods covered by the directive did not increase but actually appear to have decreased slightly. This effect has been found for all countries analysed with no significant differences between countries transposing the minimum standards and those that went beyond. The second part of the analysis addressed the question if a developed market for online consumer-to-consumer selling of goods exists, for which the new seller's warranties weren't valid. In case of price increases for business-to-consumer markets – which have not been found in the first part of the analysis – part of the transactions could be transferred to these markets. The analysis showed that the vast majority of consumers in Western European countries used the internet regularly to purchase goods, including the online-platform Ebay. In case of increasing prices for consumer goods because of strengthened warranty rights, part of the transactions would move to online consumer-to-consumer markets rather than resulting in an overall decline of consumer goods purchases. The general conclusion was that over the analysed time period no negative impact of strengthened warranty rights on the price level of consumer goods could be found.

PET to PET Reycling:The bottle-to-bottle loop

PET to PET automatic sorting system

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Austria

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In operation since 2007, PET to PET Recycling Österreich GmbH focuses on the production of food-grade recycled PET, which is used for “bottle-to-bottle recycling”, a globally unique and resource-efficient recycling loop in which old PET bottles are turned into new ones.

Re-use before recycling of laser printer cartridges

Generic refurbishing process of laser printer cartridges

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Germany

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Printer cartridges are seen as a single-use product by printer and cartridge Original Equipment Manufacturers. However, most of today’s printer cartridges fall within the scope of the WEEE-2 directive.

FISSAC project - a new Industrial Symbiosis model for the Construction industry

Fostering Industrial Symbiosis for a Sustainable Resource Intensive Industry across the extended Construction Value Chain

The FISSAC project involves stakeholders at all levels of the construction and demolition value chain to develop a methodology and software platform, to facilitate information exchange, that can support industrial symbiosis networks and replicate pilot schemes at local and regional levels.

Cement industry: protecting natural resources by reusing alternative materials

Substitution of natural resources in the Austrian cement industry

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Austria

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The use of alternative resources has a long standing tradition in the Austrian Cement Industry. The success-story originally started with the processing of alternative main constituents for cement production. The recent trend reaches out further for the substitution of natural raw materials for the clinker production. For every ton of cement that has been produced in Austria, almost 500 kg of alternative resources have been reused. 

The DGNB Navigator – a database fostering transparency on circular economy aspects

The DGNB Navigator – A database fostering transparency on circular economy aspects

By providing life cycle assessment data and information on the End of Life scenarios, the DGNB Navigator facilitates the application of the life cycle assessment method and fosters the use of circular economy suitable construction products.

The DGNB Academy - Disseminating knowledge on circular economy throughout the construction sector

The DGNB Academy - Disseminating knowledge on Circular Economy throughout the construction sector

The DGNB Academy provides professionals from the construction and real estate sectors with up-to-date knowledge on sustainable construction, including circular economy principles which have been made assessable in the DGNB Certification System.

DNGB certification provides bonuses for applying circular economy principles in sustainable construction

Circular economy principles made assessable and measurable in the DGNB certification of sustainable districts, buildings and interiors

DGNB: The German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB) is a central knowledge platform for sustainable building and provides the world’s most advanced sustainable building certification system which makes Circular Economy aspects measurable and assessable.

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