Ireland is at a turning point for the transition to a circular economy (CE). The 2022 Whole of Government Circular Economy Strategy provides the policy framework for the CE in this country, and the forthcoming Circular Economy Bill is expected to strengthen waste and CE legislation.
Nevertheless, with a circularity material use rate of 2% in 2020, Ireland shows significant scope for progress. This report analyses the state of play and challenges of the circular transition in Ireland and provides policy recommendations for CE policy across levels of government. It is the result of a two-year policy dialogue between the OECD, the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications, as well as a broad range of public, private and civil society stakeholders.
Almost all countries in the UNECE region, covering the US, Canada, Eastern and Western Europe, the Balkans, the Caucasus and Central Asia, have adopted national policies which are directly or indirectly related to the sustainable management of natural resources and the circular economy. On 6 April 2022, UNECE launched a new CIRCULAR STEP platform for policy dialogue on the circular economy.
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.
The circular economy (CE) is gaining momentum in cities. To ensure a sustainable CE, it is crucial to measure the environmental performance of CE strategies. However, environmental assessments overlook several strategies that are a key feature of urban CE practice. These include reuse and repair, sustainable built infrastructure and urban land use, green public procurement, smart information and access technology.
To provide insights into the environmental performance and potential of these strategies, industrial ecologists and municipalities should:
collaborate with urban systems experts
quantify the environmental impacts of entire urban systems
combine environmental assessments with social and economic feasibility ones.
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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.