VertECO consists of a vertical ecosystem (vertical constructed wetland) treating greywater from handwash basins, showers, and laundries.
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ENEA Platform for Industrial Symbiosis
Enea has designed the first Italian industrial symbiosis platform, as a tool to facilitate the process.
The ENEA methodology is based on a "horizontal" network approach, with the aim of creating synergies and closing the loop between supply and demand for various resources.
The Platform is based on:
- an expert structure that identifies possible solutions of industrial symbiosis
- a complex information structure, also georeferenced, which describes the territory, its structures, the interlocutors and available resources
- a network that connects different interlocutors
- a web interface.
Among other activities and services, Symbiosis is able to send to to each company individual reports containing information on potential matches of interest. It is also developing operating manuals for industrial symbiosis.
By initiating collection and composting practices into a 1500 inhabitants city district, the El Ouidane project aims to combat the desertification and to protect a fragile environment such as oases.
AquaponieBxl is introducing aquaponics across Brussels by building urban farms where vegetables grow on water using fish waste as fertiliser.
Livre blanc 'Systèmes agricoles et agroalimentaires circulaires' INEC
L'Institut national de l'Economie circulaire (France) a lancé en 2017 un Groupe de travail sur les systèmes agricoles et agroalimentaires, dont ce Livre Blanc présente les conclusions. Il explore les solutions que les orinicpes d'économie circulaire peuvent apporter pour des systèmes agricoles et agro-alimentaires durables.
Trois thématiques prioritaires ont été sélectionnées (par le Livre blanc):
- Systèmes agricoles et agroalimentaires circulaires: définitions, état des lieux et bonnes pratiques, sensibilisation des parties prenantes (consommateurs, professionnels, décideurs, distributeurs);
- L'écologie territoriale appliquée aux systèmes agricoles et agroalimentaires: les synergies entre les entreprises, le niveau d’application (exploitation agricole, région, etc.), les circuits courts, l’agriculture urbaine et périurbaine;
- Le retour au sol de la matière organique: identification des freins et leviers (acceptation sociétale, réglementation, etc.), compostage, méthanations et autres processus de transformation;
- Valorisation des services rendus (qualité des sols, puit de carbone, approvisionnement durable…).
The BioRegions Forum 2018 will take place in Barcelona on 13 November 2018.
World Food Day is a day of action dedicated to tackling global hunger.
NoAW (NoAgriculturalWaste) Knowledge Exchange Stakeholder Platform
The NoAW project is dealing with innovative approaches to turn agricultural waste into ecological and economic assets. The NoAW Knowledge Exchange Stakeholder Platform aims to:
- provide a forum for knowledge, information exchange and discussion with agro-food businesses, farmers, biogas processors, food companies, scientific community, authorities relating to agro-waste management and valorisation issues in the light of their needs and expectations.
- foster an understanding of what is new in agriculture waste management from technical, environmental and business concepts / cross-chain valorisation aspects, including development opportunities and potential applications of innovative bio-processes and bio-products.
- provide guidance to NoAW based on the key activities of the members of the KESP, their needs and problems to ensure that the project activities and outcomes are focused on priority areas and the proposed processes and technologies will meet the expectations of the stakeholders.
The NoAW project is coordinated by INRA (France) and the consortium involves 32 partners from universities, public research organizations and other institutions from a dozen countries.
EU guidelines facilitate the feed use of certain food no longer intended for human consumption
The EU Guidelines for the feed use of food no longer intended for human consumption are an integral part of the communication Closing the loop - An EU action plan for the Circular Economy.
They were developed by the Commission in close cooperation with the food, feed, animal health and environmental authorities of the Member States and the members of the EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste, as well as other stakeholders.
The valorisation of the nutrients of food which, for commercial reasons or owing to problems of manufacturing, is no longer intended for human consumption, but can be safely used in animal nutrition, prevents these materials from being composted, transformed in biogas or disposed of by incineration or landfilling.
Available in all EU languages by following the Official Journal link, these guidelines should assist the national and local competent authorities, as well as the operators in the food chain, in applying the relevant EU legislation. Legal clarity is therefore enhanced and examples of best practices that are in compliance with the current EU regulatory framework are presented while preventing unnecessary administrative burden.
EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste
The Communication on Circular Economy, adopted in 2015, calls on the Commission to establish a Platform dedicated to food waste prevention. Thus the EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste (FLW) was established in 2016, as an informal European Commission expert group bringing together EU institutions, international organisations, experts from Member States and actors in the food value chain including consumer and other non-governmental organisations.
The Platform aids the Commission in identifying and prioritising actions to be taken at EU level in order to prevent food losses and food waste and supports all actors in identifying and implementing appropriate actions to take at national, regional and local levels. Its work is of a horizontal nature, aiming to identify opportunities for food waste prevention across the food production and consumption chain and facilitate inter-sector cooperation.
The most recent estimates of European food waste levels (FUSIONS, 2016) reveal that 70% of EU food waste arises in the household, food service and retail sectors, with production and processing sectors contributing the remaining 30%. The EU and Member States are committed to meeting Sustainable Development Goal 12.3, adopted in September 2015, which targets to halve per capita food waste at the retail and consumer level by 2030 and reduce food losses along the food production and supply chains.
All relevant documents related to the work of the Platform (such as agendas, minutes and participants' submissions) can be found on the Commission's dedicated food waste website
The circular economy and the bioeconomy — Partners in sustainability
'The circular economy and the bioeconomy — Partners in sustainability' is the third EEA report on the circular economy. It aims to support the framing, implementation and evaluation of European circular economy policy from an environmental perspective. It shows that the two policy agendas have similar objectives and areas of intervention, including food waste, biomass and bio-based products, and that they would benefit from stronger links, particularly in product and infrastructure design, and collaboration throughout the value chain.
The increasing demand for food, feed, biomaterials and bioenergy resources could worsen the over-exploitation of natural resources. By extending the lifetime of products and recycling materials, a circular, bio-economy approach can help retain material value and functionality for longer time as well as avoid unrecycled biowaste.
Promising innovations and strategies for circular biomass use include biorefinery, 3D printing with bioplastics, multi-purpose crops, better use of residues and food waste, and biowaste treatment. Consumers can also contribute by eating less animal-based protein, preventing food waste and separating biowaste from other waste streams.
Implementing the circular and bio-economy in tandem, by applying specific design principles within a systemic approach, would improve resource efficiency and reduce environmental pressures.
Following the success of the Raw Materials Week 2017, the 3rd edition of the EU 'Raw Materials Week' will take place from Monday 12 to Friday 16 November 2018 in Brussels. This year's main topic of the conference is “Raw materials for low carbon and circular economy”, covering relevant issues including battery value chain, cascading of woody biomass, secondary raw materials for energy-intensive industries.
The emerging bioeconomy is moving from a research niche to market norm and Europe needs to maintain its current global leadership. The update of the EU Bioeconomy Strategy is a major European Commission wide policy initiative which will be presented and discussed during the Bioeconomy Conference on October 22, in Brussels.
RREUSE, the European network of social enterprises in re-use, repair and recycling will hold its second annual conference in the city of Nijmegen, Europe’s Green Capital for 2018. High profile speakers and thinkers ranging from European institutions, public authorities, private industry and social enterprises will present their views in order to stimulate this timely debate on how to reach out to citizens in order to support the circular economy and explore the role that social enterprises have in this transition.