Unverpackt in Kiel opened in February of 2014, becoming Germany’s first packaging-free store. Their goal is to reduce packaging and food waste and at the same time motivate customers to reflect on their own consumer behaviour.
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Food, water and nutrients
Lowlander is a beer brewery from the Netherlands that is passionate about brewing botanical beer. For the Tree to Table initiative, Lowlander has created a tasty, white IPA beer out of hand-picked needles from Christmas trees.
The EU’s Circular Economy Action Plan: setting the world’s largest single market on a transition towards a circular economy
This case study on the EU's Circular Economy Plan (CEAP) by the Ellen McArthur Foundation reflects back on the steps which the European Commission took to take a lead in circular economy policies globally. From initially aiming at improving resource efficiency, to redefining growth with positive social, environmental, and economic benefits, this case study analyses this policy-making process.
The CEAP was a comprehensive body of legislative and non-legislative actions adopted in 2015, which aimed to transition the European economy from a linear to a circular model. It mapped out 54 actions, as well as four legislative proposals on waste.
By rethinking resource efficiency and material flows, the European Commission has developed a framework to promote systemic change.
Red Alimenta is an organisation of volunteers that collects surplus food and delivers it to people in need. The network of volunteers in different neighbourhoods of the city collects and distributes surplus prepared food from restaurants, schools or hospitals.
The Coordination Group decided, in autumn 2019, to create leadeship groups to hold in-depth discuss and deliver orientations on priority topics.
Food waste generates around 8% of the global greenhouse emissions. In their reflection document, the ECESP leadership group led by Copa-Cogeca discussed ways to reduce food waste and to maximise the circularity of food production.
The travel & tourism industry has touchpoints with most, if not all, key value chains and material flows in society and is therefore very relevant to consider for the circular economy transition.
To guide a sustainable recovery and development of the industry post COVID-19, this publication introduces key circular economy principles and concepts in the context of travel & tourism. This report provides private tourism operators with a robust introduction to circular economy concepts and how these apply to their operations and business transformation.
It also offers guidance to policymakers, regulators, and trade bodies on possible circular economy-inspired policy and business development directions.
The CirQuality OWL project is funded by the EU (ERDF) and the Federal State North-Rhine Westfalia (NRW) with the aim of fostering the circular economy in the area.
Seven regional partners from the different fields (from energy to technologies to food to universities and associations) teamed up to use the circular economy to get the region off the ground in an innovative, crisis-proof, resilient and sustainable way. Together they are jointly striving for the following goals:
- Discover Circular Economy (CE)
- Regional capacity building
- Qualifying stakeholders
- Providing strategic support to stakeholders
- Developing regional identity
- Transfer results
Innovative plastic materials, natural additives and novel irrigation technologies will improve the performance of Mediterranean greenhouses
The AZMUD Project proposes innovations which will help reduce the consumption of water, energy, nutrients and pesticides, and promote the use of waste water in greenhouse cultivations.
In Joure (NL) the Jacobs Douwe Egberts plant uses spent coffee grounds as a bio-fuel to produce the steam needed for its production process.
FoodDrinkEurope - an organisation representing Europe's food and drinks industry - has designed a website explaining what the industry is currently doing to enhance a resource-efficient circular economy.
Entitled Ingredients for a Circular Economy, the website specifically looks at the areas of farming, manufacturing, sustainable packaging and consumers, providing numerous examples of how the European food and drinks industry is helping to promote circular economy. The website also sets out policy recommendations for how to unlock further sustainable growth and innovation for a resource-efficient circular economy in the food and drinks industry.
The Valumics webinar "Putting solutions on the table", to be held on 16 July, at 15.00-16.30 (CEST), aims at discussing challenges and opportunities to support Europeans to transition towards more sustainable food consumption behaviours.
The European Policy Centre’s (EPC) Task Force called Digital Roadmap to Circular Economy has explored the linkages between digitalisation and circular economy, the opportunities created by data and digitally-enabled solutions, and the challenges associated with harnessing their full potential for the transition to a circular economy.
The project represents a pioneering endeavour in exploring the interconnections between the digital and green transformations and considers the implications for EU policymaking.
The final publication The circular economy: Going digital and its executive summary show that digitalisation can offer enormous possibilities for the transition to a more sustainable, circular economy but it is essential to steer it in the right direction.
Resource Effectiveness and the Circular Economy: how to strengthen Sweden's competitiveness in a future with finite resources
The Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA) has always been a meeting place for Sweden’s future. It builds bridges between the business community, the public sector, academia and the political sphere.
Its two-year project "Resource Effectiveness and the Circular Economy" was aimed at making Sweden more competitive in a future with finite resources, in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, by economising on resources and developing new technologies, services and business models in five areas:
Read the synthesis report, marking the completion of the project, which presents the most important conclusions, recommendations and action plans from the five subprojects.
The Dutch economy is 24.5% circular. Measures in four key sectors can triple the national circularity rate and help the government achieve its ambitions for a fully circular economy by 2050.
On 3 June, Circle Economy launched the Circularity Gap Report for the Netherlands. The report shows that the Netherlands is a circular frontrunner: the country's circularity rate is three times higher than the global rate of 8.6%. Consuming 221 million tonnes of materials each year, the Netherlands retrieves one quarter from non-virgin, secondary sources. However, if the government is to achieve its ambitions of full circularity by 2050, a major overhaul of the national economy, including jobs, will still be necessary.
Holland Circular Hotspot is a private-public platform in which companies, knowledge institutes and local authorities collaborate to promote and support international collaboration and knowledge exchange on Dutch circular economy, and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, a government agency for sustainable, agricultural, innovative and international business development and growth, have come together to share insights, networks and resources to help kickstart circular developments that will boost the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Circular examples from various market segments closely linked to SDGs such as agri-food, manufacturing and the built environment are included in the brochure next to cross-sectoral topics such as consumer goods or plastics.
The CYCLE 2013-2017 interdisciplinary project, supported by the Research Council of Norway, focused on the food supply chain from both agriculture and marine sectors, with the aim to improve utilisation of raw materials in a bio-economical perspective.
Launched in November 2019, Sporos aims to become the first platform for impact investment and collaboration that adds value to SMEs in Greece and Southeastern Europe, on the basis of the Circular Economy.
Sporos utilises mezzanine sustainable financing tools, combined with consultancy services and environmental, social and governance (ESG) and sustainable development goal (SDG) metrics.
At the beginning of June 2020 the Spanish Government published España Circular 2030, the new Strategy for Circular Economy in Spain until 2030. It contains circular economy objectives and a series of strategic orientations for the period 2020-2030.
- sets up a series of objectives for 2020-2030 which will, inter alia, allow a 30% reduction in the national consumption of resources and a 15% reduction in waste generation (as compared to 2010);
- contributes to Spain's efforts to transition to a sustainable, decarbonized, resource-efficient and competitive economy;
- takes the form of successive three-year action plans providing for concrete measures to deliver on circular economy.
Copa-Cogeca is sharing the initiatives of its members that demonstrate the many actions taken by EU farmers and cooperatives to deal with the Covid-19 crisis.
Jerónimo Martins, a food retailer operating in Colombia, Portugal and Poland is committed to reducing 50% of the food waste produced in its operations by 2025, compared to 2016.
GLOPACK Position paper: Benefits of home compostable biodegradable materials for a sustainable food chain
GLOPACK investigates the benefits of home compostable biodegradable materials for a sustainable food chain
The GLOPACK (Granting society with LOw environmental impact innovative PACKaging) project, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research programme, investigates food packaging with no environmental footprint and the ability to extend the shelf-life of food products.
The GLOPACK position paper aims at clarifying many debatable points related to bioplastics and biodegradability, especially terminology, and focuses on the benefits of biodegradable (in natural conditions) packaging material that can help the food sector enter the virtuous loop of the circular economy.
The paper also proposes some recommendations (basic, strategic and tactical interventions) to help all stakeholders in the food packaging sector to align with the common goal of ending plastic pollution.
PermaFungi is a Brussels-based social cooperative that recycles waste coffee grounds into different upcycled products.
This French act of law contains about 50 measures providing for:
- new obligations with the creation of new producer responsibility sectors to include new product families in the circular economy (toys, sports and do-it-yourself equipment, building materials, cigarette butts, sanitary textiles);
- new prohibitions on single-use plastics and to fight waste of food and non-food unsold products;
- new tools to better control and sanction offences against the environment (greater power for mayors to combat littering and illegal dumping), to support companies in their eco-design initiatives (bonus/malus-type incentives) and to assist citizens in new consumption practices (repairability index, information on environment and health impacts of products, harmonisation of info on sorting, etc.).
Up to 90 million tonnes of food are wasted every year in the EU, half of which is generated at production and/or processing stage.
Being highly versatile and efficient, insects can bio-transform many of these materials (before they become "waste") into a wide range of higher-value products and ingredients that can further be included into the food and feed chains. Their added value goes beyond that of an alternative feed ingredient.
The lower Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR) of insects confirms their efficacy, but also their ability to concentrate lower value materials into ingredients of superior quality, such as proteins and lipids, in line with the natural nutritional needs of aquaculture, poultry or swine.
Drawing on the results of CIRC4Life, the event aims to present examples of circular business models, discuss barriers and enablers, as well as how to incentivise consumers to engage with circular practices. It will also discuss the new Circular Economy Action Plan by the European Commission.
The GLOPACK project is investigating food packaging with no environmental footprint and the ability to extend the shelf life of food products.
The project is focusing on three food packaging areas:
- biodegredable and home compostable food packaging made from agro-food residues,
- bio-packaging with advanced active functionalities to improve food preservation and shelf life without additives,
- battery-free RIFD bio-sensor to track food freshness.
The GLOPACk project operates a multistakeholder platform to gather the experts of the whole food and packaging supply chain. The members of the Stakeholders' Platform are involved in the actitivies of the project via webinars, stakeholder events and joint development of documents.