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Resourceful Cities, or developing next-generation urban resource centres to serve as catalysts of the local circular economy

Resourceful Cities

Resourceful Cities is an URBACT Action Planning Network of European cities that want to develop next-generation urban resource centres to accelerate the transition to the circular economy. The idea for this network arose from one of the actions identified by the Urban Agenda Partnership on Circular Economy under its ‘better knowledge’ pillar - namely to promote Urban Resource Centres for waste prevention, re-use and recycling.

Broadly these centres serve as connection points for citizens, new businesses, researchers, and the public sector to co-create new ways of closing local resource loops, while promoting waste prevention, re-use, repair, and recycling. Their precise manifestation will differ from city to city in response to the local context and needs identified.

The Circular Economy in Ireland

Ireland

Type:

Author: 
OECD | Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities (CFE)
Publication Date: 
04/2022
Country: 
Ireland

Language for original content:

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.

27 Apr 2022
Innovation_and_circular_economy_in_waste_management

What are your plans for May? ACR+ will kick off an entire month dedicated to innovation and circular economy in waste management. Through several events, ACR+ will showcase some of its activities and projects fostering innovative approaches and practices to reach a circular economy.

29 Apr 2022
Sustainable products initiative, including Ecodesign Directive

Event type:

City: 
Brussels
Country: 
Belgium

Key Area:

Scope:

A public hearing on 29 April 2022 is organised to feed into an EESC opinion on the Sustainable products initiative, including Ecodesign Directive. It will bring together speakers and participants from the EU institutions, as well as the organised civil society to discuss the proposed legislative framework.

20 Apr 2022
CIRCULAR STEP

News type:

Country: 
Other (Almost all countries in the UNECE region, covering US, Canada, Eastern and Western Europe, the Balkans, the Caucasus, and Central Asia)

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.

Research: best criteria for the new EU strategy for sustainable textiles and the Ecodesign directive

Ecodesign criteria for consumer textiles

Type:

Author: 
Edwin Maes, Stijn Devaere & Philippe Colignon (Centexbel), Jasmien Wynants (Flanders DC), Bram Soenen & Nancy Dasilva (FOD), Tom Duhoux & Evelien Dils (VITO), Bruno Eggermont (Fedustria)
Publication Date: 
12/2021
Country: 
Belgium

Language for original content:

Evelyn Lafond Contact details

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.

The circular economy as EU environmental policy – Changing or maintaining the status quo?

The circular economy as EU environmental policy – Changing or maintaining the status quo?

The circular economy as EU environmental policy – Changing or maintaining the status quo?

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.

Three narratives about food waste and their social impact

France's Law Against Food Waste: do new narratives serve social justice?

Three narratives about food waste and their social impact
Author: 
Sina Leipold, Kaja Weldner, Marius Hohl
Publication Date: 
12/2021
Country: 
Germany

Language for original content:

Scope:

France's Law Against Food Waste has become an international model for sustainable food policy. The law is often described as combining economic efficiency with environmental protection and social equity. However, stakeholder narratives cast doubt on whether this French CE law really contributes to social justice in the long run. This discourse analysis shows that:

  • the ban on food waste institutionalised a narrative about food waste that prioritises profit over social equity
  • the traditionally dominant solidarity narrative about food waste has been pushed back by the emerging CE discourse
  • As a consequence of this shift, activities enacted in the name of the CE may counteract social equity goals (for instance by establishing competition with charities).

Full research article

Healthy diets save more resources than food waste reduction

Healthy diets save more resources than food waste reduction

Healthy diets save more resources than food waste reduction

Policies are focusing on halving food waste to help conserve increasingly strained food resources. However, expanding their scope of action to include dietary changes and complement targets with resource footprints has greater potential to save resources while avoiding trade-offs.

This paper shows that in Germany:

  • Healthy, plant-based diets are more effective at reducing land and biomass use than halving food waste
  • A combination of more plant-based food consumption and food waste reduction in distribution and consumption is most effective at saving resources
  • Focusing exclusively on food waste reduction as a policy target can be detrimental to the overarching goal of saving resources because it deflects attention away from more effective alternatives.

Environmental assessments should focus on the needs of circular cities

Environmental assessments should focus on the needs of circular cities to support the transition to a sustainable circular economy

Environmental assessments should focus on the needs of circular cities

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.

Why the Packaging Act contributes little to the Circular Economy

Why the German Packaging Act contributes little to the Circular Economy

Why the German Packaging Act contributes little to the Circular Economy
Author: 
Machteld Simoens, Sina Leipold
Publication Date: 
06/2020
Country: 
Germany

Language for original content:

Scope:

Many political, business and civil society stakeholders are disappointed with the German Packaging Act. They feel it makes a comparatively small contribution to the circular economy. This study explains why they are disappointed:

  • Policy-making became entangled in disputes between proponents of a private and a public system for waste collection. Stakeholder fears of potential radical changes led to a stalemate
  • Fears allowed only incremental changes in the Packaging Act
  • The incremental changes could not resolve existing conflicts.

Based on its findings, the paper proposes possible courses of action. To create a shift to a circular economy, dialogue is needed using methods which explicitly address fears and overcome the current stalemate.

12 Apr 2022
4th OECD Roundtable on the Circular Economy in Cities and Regions

The 4th OECD Roundtable on the Circular Economy in Cities and Regions will bring together key stakeholders from cities, regions, national governments, the private sector, civil society, academia, philanthropy and international organisations on 12 April 2022.

A Blueprint on Industrial Symbiosis to achieve a circular and regenerative economy

INSIGHT logo

Under the framework of the INSIGHT project, a Blueprint has been developed to provide specific recommendations on how to promote the application of Industrial Symbiosis and its facilitation to various stakeholders, as well as a roadmap of how the organisations are expected to apply the IS principles, by making use of educational specific inputs and resources.

The Power of Circular economy hubs 2021

Start/End date: 
29/03/2022
Country: 
EU
City: 
Brussels

Coordination Group activity type:

Abstract: 

This Reflection paper of the ECESP Leadership Group on Network governance and circular economy hubs draws on the lessons learned when a group of ECESP Coordination Group members focused on road-mapping processes in various countries. The key to success is making the networks work, making them actionable, with a focus on network governance and the role of individual circular economy hubs. 

06 Apr 2022
Institutional Arrangements for the Circular Economy and the Sustainable Use of Natural Resources

Event type:

City: 
Online
Country: 
Switzerland

Key Area:

At this side event of the UNECE Regional Forum on Sustainable Development, to take place on 6 April at 17:15 CEST, government officials and other stakeholders will discuss how to facilitate coordination between government institutions and share good practices on administrative requirements for policy making in the circular economy context. 

15 Jun 2022
EuRIC

After two years of cancellations due to COVID-19, EuRIC is delighted to announce that the European Recycling Conference is back and will take place on 14-15 June 2022 at IFEMA in Madrid.

The 4th conference will offer unique networking opportunities, brief participants on the latest regulatory and business developments and be part of the International Recycling and Recovery Trade Fair in Madrid which attracts over 10 000 visitors and 200 exhibition stands. The event will bring together top-level executives from companies, federation leaders and officials from EU institutions.

29 Apr 2022
CCRI

The CCRI aims to support Europe’s green transition by boosting circularity at local and regional level. The objective of this call is to select a group of cities, regions or territorial clusters to become the CCRI Pilot Group, which will bring together cities, regions or territorial clusters with a high potential for development in the field of the circular economy.

07 Apr 2022
Rreuse logo

Event type:

City: 
Online
Country: 
Belgium

Scope:

RREUSE is excited to invite you to its forthcoming webinar discussing a burning question: Who should finance re-use policies?

Taking place on 7 April, the event aims to provide an opportunity for the exchange of good practices between members of the RREUSE network, policymakers, local authority representatives, and waste management and prevention experts. After a showcase of good practices from the RREUSE network, the audience will be invited to brainstorm on the most efficient way for re-use policies to be financed.

 

27 Jun 2022 to 29 Jun 2022
3rd Symposium on Circular Economy and Sustainability

The 3rd Symposium on Circular Economy and Sustainability will take place in Chania, Greece on 27-29 June 2022. Researchers, practitioners and entrepreneurs are invited to submit both empirical and theoretical papers that are broadly consistent with any of the topics covered by the Symposium.

Building a Circular Future; Ten Takeaways for Global Changemakers

Building a circular future: Ten takeaways for global changemakers

Building a circular future; Ten takeaways for global changemakers

This book provides answers on how to govern the transition to a circular economy in different socio-cultural and political contexts.

It is intended to help the global changemakers who are building our circular future. Author Jacqueline Cramer spoke with 20 representatives of circular hotspots worldwide, thoroughly analysed their different contexts and extracted 10 key takeaways. Everyone working on circular initiatives can use these and adapt them to their own socio-cultural and political contexts.

How Network Governance Powers the Circular Economy Ten Guiding Principles for Building a Circular Economy, Based on Dutch Experiences

How network governance powers the circular economy: Ten guiding principles for building a circular economy, based on Dutch experiences

How network governance powers the circular economy

Type:

Author: 
Jacqueline Cramer
Publication Date: 
12/2020
Country: 
Netherlands

Language for original content:

Key Area:

In this book, Jacqueline Cramer shows how network governance can power the circular economy. Network governance is about building a coalition of partners, which all fulfill a specific function in the network and are aligned by so-called transition brokers. By complementing conventional, public governance with this new form of governance, the best of both worlds is created.

Prof. Cramer shares her huge experience of implementing numerous circular initiatives in the Netherlands. As a practitioner and scholar, she has identified ten guiding principles for building circular initiatives, based on network governance. These guidelines can support everyone who wants to start or expedite a circular initiative.

24 Mar 2022
Sitra

The circular economy has the potential to tackle the main drivers of biodiversity loss, including land-use change, climate change, overexploitation, and pollution, by transforming how we produce, consume and manage materials. During this official side-event on 24 March 2022 at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity negotiations, the role that a circular economy can play in the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework through supporting sustainable use of biodiversity will be explored.

Economic incentives: EPR Schemes and the European Green Deal: Challenges & Opportunities

Start/End date: 
02/03/2022
Country: 
EU
City: 
Brussels (online)

Discussed key areas:

Coordination Group activity type:

Abstract: 

Extended Producer Responsibility Schemes (EPR) are increasingly used across Member States to finance proper waste management. The workshop discussed the take-aways, benefits but also shortcomings of EPR Schemes, in order to focus on the various areas of improvements. Particular emphasis was placed on the role played by eco-modulation of fees.

Textiles: EU Textiles Strategy and Sustainable Product Initiative: What would an ambitious textiles strategy look like?

Start/End date: 
02/03/2022
Country: 
EU
City: 
Brussels (online)

Discussed key areas:

Coordination Group activity type:

Abstract: 

At a moment when the EU stakeholders hold their breath for the EU Textiles strategy to be published, this workshop aims to give a final signal to the policy makers that a high level of ambition needs to be maintained in the upcoming proposal in order to create a watershed moment for the textile production and consumption, and more importantly for its global impact on the society and environment.

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