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.
What are your plans for May? ACR+ will kick off an entire month dedicated to innovation and circular economy in waste management. Through several events, ACR+ will showcase some of its activities and projects fostering innovative approaches and practices to reach a circular economy.
In the context of a three-year project on “Innovative Business Practices and Economic Models in the Textile Value Chain” (InTEX), UNEP is seeking an Implementing Partner to support its impact assessment work on sustainable economic pathways for sustainable and circular textiles. The deadline for submitting proposals is 16 May 2022.
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.
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.
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.
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:
reducing food and feed waste in wholesale, food retail, catering and households and
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.
Circular Cities offers grants for start-ups combined with a tailor-made accelerator programme with circular focus and climate impact. They connect start-ups with the largest climate-focused community in the world powered by EIT Climate-KIC ClimAccelerator as well as investors, partner cities, corporates and ecosystem partners. The programme will be run virtually, free of charge and in English.
Today the Commission presented a package of European Green Deal proposals to make sustainable products the norm in the EU, boost circular business models and empower consumers for the green transition. The proposed rules are to make almost all physical goods on the EU market more friendly to the environment, circular, and energy efficient throughout their lifecycle.