You are here

Digital technology

18 Sep 2019 to 20 Sep 2019

The 3rd international PLATE conference (Product Lifetimes and the Environment) will  address product lifetimes in the context of sustainability, and is hosted by TU Berlin and Fraunhofer IZM from 18 to 20 September 2019

30 Sep 2019

The conference Sustainable Consumption for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Worldwide will take place on 30 September in Berlin.

04 Oct 2019

Join Kyiv's European Circular Economy Forum on 4 October 2019, organised with support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Designing plastics circulation

Designing plastics circulation - electrical and electronic products

Type:

Author: 
Nordic Council of Ministers
Publication Date: 
08/2019
Country: 
Denmark, Finland, Sweden

Language for original content:

Today, most electrical/electronic equipment (EEE) is not designed for recycling, let alone for circulation. Plastics in these products account for 20% of material use, and through better design, significant environmental and financial savings could be made. Technological solutions and circular design opportunities already exist, but they have not yet been implemented. Some challenges, such as ease of disassembly, could be resolved through better communication and by sharing learnings across the value chain. Instead of WEEE, we should focus on developing CEEE: Circular Electrical and Electronic Equipment. The case examples of this report show how different stages of the lifecycle can be designed so that circular plastic becomes possible and makes business sense. It is time to take a leap in material flow management and scale up these circular solutions across the industry.

09 Dec 2019 to 13 Dec 2019

The SSCPR platform will be hosting 'Turning visionary approaches into planning policies and tools' , a research and policy conference, from 9-13 December 2019 in Bolzano (Italy), with a focus on circular economy in the track on New value propositions in times of urban innovation ecosystems and sharing economies.

Creating a Digital Roadmap for a Circular Economy

Creating a Digital Roadmap for a Circular Economy

EPC publication

The EU faces multiple challenges (climate crisis, environmental disasters, a lack of competitiveness, falling behind in the digital race, etc.) that it will need to address if it is to ensure long-term sustainable prosperity for European citizens. At the same time, there are two ongoing transitions – the creation of a circular economy and the digital transformation – that could provide the means to address these challenges, if they are managed well.

As the EU and national policymakers are making significant efforts to promote a circular economy on the one hand and a digital economy on the other, Annika Hedberg and Stefan Šipka, together with Johan Bjerkem, argue that it is time to align the agendas as a means to achieve greater sustainability and competitiveness.

This publication:

  • demonstrates what digitalisation means in the context of a circular economy;
  • considers what a greater focus on sustainability would mean for the digital transition;
  • examines the role of the EU policy framework, tools and initiatives in steering a (digital) transition towards a (digital) circular economy and makes recommendations for EU institutions for the next five year.

It suggests that the EU must:

  • think systemically, define a vision and act;
  • provide an adequate governance framework and economic incentives for a (digital) transition to a (digital) circular economy;
  • encourage collaboration across European society and economy as well as globally, and empower its citizens to contribute to the transition.

This Discussion Paper builds on the findings of the EPC’s "Digital Roadmap for a Circular Economy" project of 2017-19 and paves the way for a more extensive final study, scheduled to be published in the late autumn of 2019.

The project has been supported by Aalto University and the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) (members of Helsinki EU Office), Central Denmark region, Climate-KIC, the Estonian Ministry of the Environment, Estonian Environment Investment Centre, HP, Orgalim, the province of Limburg, UL, Fondazione Cariplo and Cariplo Factory.

Circular Economy in Cities - Factsheets - Urban Products System Summary

Circular economy in cities - Products factsheets

Circular Economy In Cities_Factsheets_Products

These factsheets outline circular economy opportunities to design out urban waste and pollution, ensure products and materials maintain their value, and regenerate the natural systems in our cities.

Easy-to-reference, the factsheets are a collation of research and case examples that answer some of the most prevalent questions around what circular economy can bring to cities:

  • Why is change in cities needed?
  • What circular economy opportunities address key urban system issues?
  • What can urban policymakers do to harness circular economy opportunities?
  • What are the potential economic, social, and environmental benefits of these opportunities?

The whole collection of factsheets, by system and phase, is available on the Ellen Mac Arthur Foundation website.
 

Plastics recyclates: Plastship offer services for better quality and marketability

plastship logo

Type of organisation or company:

Country: 
Germany

Language for original content:

Scope:

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.

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

Plastic recyclates

Type of organisation or company:

Country: 
EU

Language for original content:

Scope:

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.

By experimenting with recycled water bottles as material for internal components, Océ discovered the drivers and barriers to using recycled plastic in manufacturing

varioprint 135 circular economy

Type of organisation or company:

Country: 
Netherlands

Language for original content:

Scope:

In designing the varioPrint 135, Océ partnered with the Netherlands Enterprise Agency and Philips to experiment with the use of recycled plastic in the production of industrial printers. Building on Océ's adoption of longevity and reuse principles in design, the company has made a further step towards circular economy and succeeded in developing an internal component that contains at least 30% post-consumer recycled polycarbonate from used 5 gallon water bottles.

The contribution of the Digital Industry to repair, remanufacturing and refurbishment in a Circular Economy

The contribution of the Digital Industry to repair, remanufacturing and refurbishment in a Circular Economy

DigitalEurope
Author: 
Digital Europe
Publication Date: 
11/2018
Country: 
EU

Language for original content:

Scope:

In "The contribution of the Digital Industry to repair, remanufacturing and refurbishment in a Circular Economy”, DIGITALEUROPE describes longstanding business practices in the ICT sector which represent, next to waste collection and treatment facilities, the circular economy backbone of the ICT industry in Europe.

With roughly 28,000 tons of IT equipment and spare parts being shipped cross-border annually in Europe, the ICT sector is adopting circular business practices such as designing for longevity, durability and reliability, stimulating reuse, and facilitating refurbishment. There is significant market opportunity for circular economy in the ICT sector: in 2015, the business of refurbishing IT equipment already accounted for €3.1 billion in annual turnover across 2,500+ European firms.

Alongside a series of case studies on best practice such as Nokia's Global Asset Recovery & Remarketing Services, DIGITALEUROPE outlines the following position on legislating circular economy for ICT:

  • reuse, repair and refurbishment should not be addressed under waste legislation
  • recognise authorised repair networks and protect IP rights
  • consult stakeholders when legislating ecodesign to ensure feasibility
  • ensure requirements for spare parts continue to exist
  • keep the two-year guarantee and revise consumer protection without increasing refunds / replacements
  • remove administrative burden for and regulatory barriers to shipping products for repair, reuse and refurbishment
13 Oct 2018
Electronic waste in a basket
City: 
Worldwide
Country: 
Other (Worldwide)

The first International E-Waste Day is being held on the 13th October to promote the correct disposal of electrical and electronic equipment throughout the world.

International E-Waste Day (IEWD) has been developed by the WEEE Forum and currently involves around 40 different organisations in 20 different countries worldwide. It is being used to raise the public profile of e-waste and encourage consumers to correctly dispose of their e-waste with the resulting increase in re-use and recycling rates on the day itself and into the future.

Luxembourg at the forefront of WEEE processing in Europe

Management of WEEE

Type of organisation or company:

Country: 
Luxembourg

Language for original content:

Ecotrel is the waste electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) recycling association for all of Luxembourg which has recently launched a "circularity and solidarity cluster" of business and social enterprises. These take back WEEE in order to re-use, disassemble or recycle it, and also to delete the personal data still stored in electronic waste.

28 Nov 2018 to 30 Nov 2018

G-STIC 2018 builds onto the key findings of G-STIC 2017, which demonstrate that a transition to a new industry framework requires a circular economy approach that is enabled by smart technologies.

Fairphone created the world's first ethical, modular smartphone

fairphone modular design

Type of organisation or company:

Country: 
Netherlands

Language for original content:

The Fairphone 2, launched in 2015, is one of the first modular smartphones, with components designed for longer use first and refurbishment when they finally break down. 

Pages