Waste and pollution from the production of textiles and clothing have become critical global issues. With only one percent of fibres being recycled, the current ‘linear’ model is outdated and unsustainable. There is an urgent need for a strategy to transform industry into a circular model. A new report launched by Ecopreneur.eu, the European Sustainable Business Federation, calls for decisive policy measures to create an enabling framework.
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On March 27, the European Parliament voted to adopt the Single-Use Plastics Directive, thus banning single-use plastic cutlery, cotton buds, straws and stirrers to be banned by 2021, setting a 90% collection target for plastic bottles by 2029 and introducing more stringent application of the “polluter pays” principle.
On March 19, GLOBE EU and the Center for European Policy Studies (CEPS) organised a conference to look back on what the 2014 - 2019 EU mandate has achieved for the circular economy and present GLOBE EU’s recommendations with priorities for the next European Commission.
The European Resource Efficiency Knowledge Centre (EREK) offers SMEs operating in the field of waste management, information and examples of good practices regarding logistics, technology and organisation solutions that allow companies to reduce the operating costs by savings in energy, water and materials consumption while improving their efficiency, performance and cost-effectiveness. The workshop will provide a forum for exchange of ideas, learnings and opportunities to problem-solve issues related to improving the overall resource efficiency performance of the packaging waste recycling entities.
The World Circular Economy Forum is a ground-breaking event that presents the best innovations for circular economy and gathers the most recognised experts and decision-makers in the field. Be at the epicentre of the circular economy in Helsinki, Finland, on 3 - 5 June 2019.
Within the discussion on possible instruments that policy-makers can use to achieve waste collection targets and implement the 2015 Circular Economy Action Plan, deposit-refund systems (DRS) are often cited as a promising & useful policy tool. Such DRS ask consumers to pay an additional visible amount of money – a “deposit” – on top of the product price and then refund this money back if the consumer brings back the product (or its empty packaging) to an approved collection point.
In this report, ACR+ explored DRS experiences across ten European countries: Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. Relying on available facts and data, the report presents an informative overview of existing examples and approaches in Europe for one-way beverage packaging. This analysis concludes that the launch timing in relation to other waste management systems and the positive participation of producers are both decisive in determining the success of the system.
To learn more about the hands-on implementation of DRS in Europe, read the full report here.
The Polyolefin Circular Economy Platform (PCEP) is a European joint industry value chain initiative, founded by two plastics industry associations (EuPC and PlasticsEurope) in order to advance the circular economy by increasing the reuse and recycling of polyolefin-based products and the use of recyclates as raw material.
Polyofelins are the most widely used family of plastics. They are present in every day life and are fully recyclable. Their main products are high, low and linear low density polyethylene (HDPE, LDPE, LLDPE) and polypropylene (PP). Polyethylene (PE) and PP represent close to 50% of the total European plastic production and are largely utilized in various plastic applications.
PCEP recognises that a business-as-usual approach will not enable the proposed challenging target of 55% plastic packaging "preparing for re-use and recycling” by 2025, as outlined in the European Commission’s Circular Economy Package, so the platform will be working for a 5-10 year horizon based on effective, science-based solutions. It will initially focus on polyolefin-based packaging as it represents the application segment where highest quantities of valuable recycled raw materials can be generated.
PCEP is developing activities in the following areas of work:
- Development of packaging design guidelines and assessment.
- Innovation to increase the recyclability of flexible and rigid packaging.
- EU-wide quality standards for sorted plastics, harmonisation of test methods for recycled plastic materials and certification of plastic recycling operations.
- Innovation & development of end-use markets to encourage demand for recycled plastics.
- Stimulating innovation to improve mechanical recycling, conversion technologies and reuse.
- Driving the R&D of new technologies to convert non-mechanically recyclable plastics into feedstock for the production of new materials.
The Centro de Documentación Europea de la Universidad Francisco de Vitoria (European Documentation Centre, UFV) has completed a project titled Economía Circular y Empleabilidad de los Jóvenes en la Comunidad de Madrid (Circular Economy and Employability of Young People in the Autonomous Region of Madrid).
The outcomes include a report on communicating the circular economy through the lens of employment opportunities circular business models provide for young people. The project has also created a guide on communicating the circular economy to students, which introduces the subject, presents the 7R model and shows how innovative companies provide opportunities for employment in circular business.
#gocircularnow (GCN) is a consumer-focused campaign to advance the transition to a circular economy. It encourages a more sustainable way of living and consuming that’s realistic, affordable and simple to incorporate.
As part of this movement, GCN provides consumers with the information and means needed to ask their favourite brands to #gocircularnow, while providing clarity on the many different ways in which circularity can be of benefit to their daily lives.
GCN also promotes makers currently operating within the structures of circular production, bringing them to the attention of consumers so they can be seen as viable alternatives to non-circular brands.
Its mix of engaging content and opinion communicates in ways that take the conversation around sustainability out of its current ‘eco-bubble’, connecting with everyday realities to make conscious consumption the new normal.
With an average of 79.5% recycled across Europe in 2016, steel for packaging is already the most recycled packaging material in Europe.
This report compiles examples of good practices from countries across the EU showcasing the varied projects, systems and processes by which steel for packaging is recycled, bringing significant reduction in emissions, resource and energy use.
Steel, a permanent material that can be infinitely recycled to make high quality products, can be easily sorted from the waste stream owing to its magnetic properties which make it the most economical packaging material to collect, sort and recycle over and over again.
Good practices in separate collection, sorting and recycling of steel for packaging contribute to improving its recycling rate, but can also serve as a guide for any stakeholder interested in improving these essential steps in a circular perspective.
The conference Fast-tracking a Circular Economy in the EU will take stock of actions aimed at advancing towards a circular economy.
On 19 February 2019 the European Parliament and ACR+ hosted experts and practitioners from local and regional authorities, training providers, NGOs and academia across Europe.
C-SERVEES is a network aiming at activating Circular Services in the Electric and Electronic Sector through the development, testing, validation and transfer of new circular economic business models based on systemic eco-innovative services that include:
- eco-leasing of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE),
- product customization,
- improved management of waste of electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE),
- and ICT services to support the other eco-services.
ICT tools (relying on QR codes) will be developed as the driver of the proposed eco-innovative services to take full advantage of the potential and synergies of two major revolutions of our time: the circular economy and the Industry 4.0.
C-SERVEES will contribute to transform the E&E sector into circular and 4.0, raising new opportunities for end-users (such as their involvement in design or the access to a product as a service) and for social and solidarity economy (conducted by NGOs employing people at risk of social exclusion to repair and prepare WEEE for re-use). The techno-economic, environmental and social viability of the new circular economy business models will be validated through demonstrations dealing with four target products: washing machines, toner cartridges, telecom equipment and TVs.
C-SERVEES is a European project that aims to boost a resource-efficient circular economy in the electrical and electronic (E&E) sector through the development, testing, validation and transfer of new circular economic business models based on systemic eco-innovative services.
Join five inspiring speakers to hear the latest thinking on circular economy at TedXParcduCinquantenaire, to be hosted hosted by the European Commission on the 5th of March in Brussels.
On 7 March the European Commission will host a workshop to inform stakeholders about the product environmental footprint, its development and possible contribution to a Single Market for Green Products.
The LIFE EPS SURE project aims to offer a technically, environmentally and economically viable solution that allows EPS fish boxes to be collected, washed and converted into new PS food contact packaging, thus closing the loop.
The European Commission is conducting a stakeholder consultation on the EU Ecolabel to gather views and identify opportunities to increase uptake of this voluntary ecolabelling scheme.
The Plastics Recyclers Europe Annual Meeting, a key yearly event for the plastics recycling industry will be taking place in Brussels on 21 and 22 November 2019 and focus on the issue of recyclability.
How recyclable is this packaging, once in consumers' hands? PREP Design makes a thorough assessment.
PREP is a tool used by brand owners and packaging designers. By entering all the packaging characteristics in the platform software, a detailed report lists what happens to it when recycled by consumers and to which extent it is recyclable in real-life conditions.
The EU Circular Economy Package pushes forward the concepts of ‘recycle, repair and re-use’, as well as waste avoidance. To comply with the Package many EU countries will need a completely new waste treatment system, and many companies will need to re-think some established business models.
Two years after adopting the Circular Economy Package, the EU institutions have finally agreed on a new EU waste regulation. The paper entitled Two years later: the EU Circular Economy Package evaluates recent EU policy moves and decisions. It also analyses the status quo of Germany's circular economy efforts and compares them to those of other EU member states. Finally, some of the risks and opportunities for companies are outlined.
This paper is an update of a previously published policy paper by Dr. Adriana Neligan (2016), which discussed the Package after it was presented in late 2016.
Two years after adopting the Circular Economy Package, the EU institutions have finally agreed on new EU waste rules. Despite lower recycling targets as originally envisaged, most countries still have to push recycling to meet the goals. A single method of determining recycling rates was also decided, but an exemption will continue to allow for disparate recycling rates.
Recycling has become increasingly important in Europe: EU recycling rates increased from 32 to 46 per cent between 2005 and 2016. Yet, more progress is needed to reach the targets.
This event organised by the Aldersgate Group will debate the progress made over the last five years on the circular economy and plastics agenda, how to ensure that momentum continues, and what should be key priorities for European policy makers after the European elections and change of Commission.
The ReWeee Project aims to prevent the creation of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) and to demonstrate that WEEE can be efficiently sorted and re-used.