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Plastics and rubber

04 Mar 2020 to 05 Mar 2020
Biopolymers International Seminar, Plastics Circular Economy

AIMPLAS, the Plastics Technology Centre, will host the seventh edition of its International Seminar on Biopolymers and Sustainable Composites on 4 and 5 March 2020 in Valencia.

Facts and Figures about plastic and plastic pollution: the Plastic Atlas 2019

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Author: 
Heinrich Böll Foundation, #breakfreefromplastic
Publication Date: 
11/2019
Country: 
EU, Germany

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Contact: 
Lisa Kuch
Lili Fuhr
Delphine Lévi Alvarès

The Plastic Atlas contains more than 49 detailed infographics covering a broad range of topics regarding the plastic pollution crisis looking along the entire value chain of plastic. The atlas highlights the scale of the crisis, and the global impacts of plastic production, consumption and disposal on other key global challenges such as human health and climate change. It also outlines the role of plastic for key industrial sectors such as agriculture and tourism and describes the corporate interests and drivers behind the plastic crisis. Finally, the Plastic Atlas presents an overview of key plastic-free regulations, zero waste solutions and a snapshot of the growing global movement working towards a future free from plastic pollution.

5 Nov 2019

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the UN Environment Programme have published the first annual New Plastics Economy Global Commitment progress report. Presented at the Our Ocean Conference in Oslo, the report provides an unprecedented level of transparency on how almost 200 businesses and governments are reshaping the plastics system.

New Plastics Economy Global Commitment 2019 Progress Report

New Plastics Economy Global Commitment progress report launched

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Author: 
Ellen MacArthur Foundation , UN Environment Programme
Publication Date: 
10/2019
Country: 
Other (global)

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The Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the UN Environment Programme have published the first annual New Plastics Economy Global Commitment progress report. Presented at the Our Ocean Conference in Oslo, the report provides an unprecedented level of transparency on how almost 200 businesses and governments are reshaping the plastics system.

Highlights of the report include:

  • Companies set out actions to eliminate problematic plastic packaging, and increase the use of recycled plastic in packaging by more than five-fold by 2025, equivalent to keeping 25 million barrels of oil in the ground every year
  • Unilever, Mars, Incorporated, and PepsiCo announce significant reductions in virgin plastic use by 2025
  • Analysis carried out for the report shows that on average around 60% of business signatories’ plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable today. Through the Global Commitment, they have committed to making this 100% by 2025
  • Government signatories including France, Rwanda, the UK, and the cities of São Paulo (Brazil) and Austin (USA), are putting in place policy measures that include bans, public procurement, extended producer responsibility (EPR) schemes, fiscal measures, and incentives for research and development
  • The Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the UN Environment Programme call for more businesses and governments to sign the commitment and continue to raise the ambition level.

This announcement is an important step in the Foundation’s mission to accelerate the transition towards a circular economy. Launched in 2018, the Global Commitment now includes over 400 signatories, which are aligned on a path to build a new plastics economy. Business signatories, including companies representing 20% of all plastic packaging produced globally, are working to eliminate the plastic we don't need, to innovate so that all plastic we do need is 100% reusable, recyclable, or compostable, and to circulate all the plastic we use.

To find out more visit www.newplasticseconomy.org

31 Jan 2020 to 01 Feb 2020
International Cradle to Cradle Congress 2020

The International Cradle to Cradle Congress - the world's largest platform for C2C - will take place in Berlin from 31 January to 1 February 2020.

24 Oct 2019

The r2pi project will hold its final conference in Brussels on 24 October 2019 to present its findings on drivers and barriers to circular business models.

La Tête dans les Nuages creates multicoloured bean bags out of exhausted hot air balloons

La Tête dans les Nuages gives a second chance to hot air balloons, advertising posters and polystyrene packaging, which would otherwise go to waste, by upcycling them into bean bags.

24 Oct 2019
European Social Innovation competition visual

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City: 
Brussels
Country: 
Belgium

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Find out about Europe’s top social innovations challenging plastic waste at the European Social Innovation Competition awards ceremony on 24 October 2019 in Brussels.

Starlinger develops a closed loop model for polypropylene 'big bags'

starlinger recycled big bag

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Country: 
Austria

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To create a circular economy for Flexible Intermediate Bulk Containers, Starlinger, a plastic packaging machinery and process technology engineering company from Austria, has simulated a closed loop for polypropylene - the main component of big bags- in cooperation with renowned big bag manufacturers Louis Blockx and LC Packaging.

01 Oct 2019
r2pi cologne october 2019 workshop

Join the R2pi consortium for a workshop in Circular Economy in Plastics/Packaging, Electronics and Textiles Workshop on 1 Oct 2019 in Cologne

20 Sep 2019
circular plastics alliance declaration

On 20 September 2019, more than 100 public and private partners covering the whole plastics value chain signed the declaration of the Circular Plastics Alliance, which promotes voluntary actions for a well-functioning EU market in recycled plastics.

El Dorado of Chemical Recycling, State of play and policy challenges

Zero Waste Europe

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Author: 
Zero Waste Europe
Publication Date: 
08/2019
Country: 
EU

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Over the last few years the concept of chemical recycling has been promoted by industry as a potential solution to help curb plastic pollution and waste management as a whole. This Zero Waste Europe report looks into the knowledge available as well as the state of implementation of such technologies in the European context.

Mechanical recycling is a mature industrial process, well established and expanding in Europe. Plastics cannot however be endlessly recycled mechanically without reducing their properties and quality. Besides, not all plastic types can be mechanically recycled. These limits set challenges for plastics recycling and show the need for significant improvements in the end-of-life management of plastics.

Since decades, innovators test gasification and pyrolysis for alternatives to waste to energy incineration with very limited results due to the energy balance and the environmental impact. In general, more information is needed about the environmental performance of chemical recycling technologies, as this industry is in its infancy and most plants are mere pilots. The roll-out of such technologies at industrial scale can only be expected from 2025-2030, an important factor when planning the transition to a Circular Economy and wider decarbonisation.

The right policy framework must accommodate chemical recycling as complementary to mechanical recycling while ensuring that carbon stays in the plastic, thus not being released into the environment. Therefore, allowing plastic to fuels to be considered chemical recycling risks creating a loophole in EU Climate and Circular Economy legislation.

New Plastics Economy 2019 Global Commitment Report

New Plastics Economy Global Commitment June 2019 Report logo

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Author: 
Ellen MacArthur Foundation
Publication Date: 
06/2019
Country: 
EU

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The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment unites businesses, governments, and other organisations behind a common vision and targets to address plastic waste and pollution at its source. It is led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in collaboration with the UN Environment Program. Launched in October 2018, the Global Commitment already unites more than 400 organisations in its common vision of a circular economy for plastics, keeping plastics in the economy and out of the ocean. Signatories include:

  • close to 200 businesses that are part of the plastic packaging value chain, jointly representing over 20 % of all plastic packaging used globally, including many of the world’s leading consumer packaged goods companies, retailers, and plastic packaging producers
  • 16 governments across five continents and across national, regional, and city level
  • 26 financial institutions with a combined USD 4.2 trillion worth of assets under management and 6 investors in total committing to invest about USD 275 million
  • leading institutions such as WWF, the World Economic Forum, the Consumer Goods Forum, and IUCN
  • more than 50 academics, universities, and other educational or research organisations including MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative, Michigan State University, and University College London.

All 400+ organisations have endorsed one common vision of a circular economy for plastics, in which plastics never become waste. As this June 2019 report shows, the number of business signatories has grown from over 100 to nearly 200 in the seven months since the launch.

A Circular Solution to Plastic Waste

a circular solution to plastic waste

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Author: 
Boston Consulting Group
Publication Date: 
07/2019
Country: 
EU

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The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has released a report on tackling plastic waste using circular solutions, with a focus on the opportunities chemical recycling provides. After highlighting the scale of the issue, the report presents different ways of solving the plastic waste issue by comparing the impacts of different waste treatment options and technologies, such as pyrolysis. The report concludes that:

“To tackle the colossal societal and environmental issue of plastic waste, we need proportionally meaningful efforts from the private and public sectors as well as society at large that encompass behaviors and habits. The ultimate solutions will involve a combination of judicious consumption and disposal measures as well as the development of cost-competitive and environmentally friendly alternatives. Most observers would agree, however, that these changes are years away. In the meantime—over the next decade or two—we can implement circular solutions to reuse or repurpose plastic waste in the most efficient way.” (Boston Consulting Group, 2018, p. 24).

ECESP Coordination Group members contributed to this report, including Circular Change and Circle Economy.

UK Circular Plastics Network

UK circular plastics network logo

The UK Circular Plastics Network (UKCPN) brings together diverse users of plastic products to reduce plastic waste entering the environment through a programme of networking and knowledge-sharing events, and related support activities.

UKCPN facilitates:

  • Eliminating the volume of plastic waste arising from within the UK.
  • Raising awareness and sharing best practice to improve the rate of UK plastic recycling.
  • Sharing best practices to reduce confusion among citizens and highlighting user-centred design.
  • Showcasing innovation focused on reducing the amount of plastic ending up in the environment.

With support from UK Research and Innovation, UKCPN forms part of the Plastics Research Innovation Fund (PRIF), which is engaging Britain’s best scientists and innovators to help move the country towards more circular economic and sustainable approaches to plastics.

The two-year programme brings together those with solutions to the problem and facilitates circular supply chain engagement with those solutions. The UKPCN will host more than 12 events during this period and launch a website for the community to interact directly, while also publishing a directory of companies active in this sector as a landscape map accessible to all members.

UKCPN also has signed up as an engagement partner of the UK Plastics Pact.

12 Feb 2020 to 13 Feb 2020
european biopolymer summit logo

ACI’s European Biopolymer Summit will bring together senior executives and experts from among biopolymer manufacturers, chemical companies, major associations, the raw materials sector, technology companies and consultants, in order to discuss the latest challenges and developments within the industry.

With Sika's adhesive, conveyor belts can be repaired on-site to save resources and increase longevity

Adhesives for rubber bonding support the circular economy

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Country: 
Other (Swtizerland)

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Key Area:

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Sika has developed a high-performance elastomer for the clean repair of the rubber substrate of conveyor belts and industrial rubber elements. This "liquid rubber" enables on-site repair and lengthens the product life of used belts.

26 Aug 2019

To address the gap on behaviour change for the circular economy, the CSCP, Sitra and DBU have set up the Consumer Insight Action Panel, a new European multi-stakeholder initiative designed to support the transition to the circular economy by generating, applying and testing consumer behavioural insights in circular strategies for textiles, plastics and electronics. How might we innovate to enable people to reuse, repair, share, recycle, lease or use differently? Find out with us!

Designing plastics circulation

Designing plastics circulation - electrical and electronic products

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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.

29 Oct 2019
Materials - value chains for circular economy: metal, wood, plastic and concrete
CEN and CENELEC members, together with their industry partners, invite you to a one-day stakeholder workshop in Brussels on 29 October 2019 to address the challenges linked to the circularity of material-use at every phase of the value chain, and to both discuss and identify specific standardization gaps for metal, wood, plastic and concrete circularity.
06 Nov 2019 to 07 Nov 2019
urbanrec logo

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City: 
Brussels
Country: 
Belgium

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Discover the final results of the three-year long URBANREC project by joining project partners on 6 November in Brussels for a morning session of policy dialogue in the European Parliament.

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.

02 Jul 2019 to 03 Jul 2019
Paris 2019 International Stewardship Forum Extended Producer Responsability Packaging products

The 2019 edition of the International Stewardship forum is co-organized in Paris by DASTRI and the GlobalPSC with the following objectives:

  • sharing the experience of different countries regarding the implementation and development of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and Product Stewardship (PS) schemes
  • thinking about how to create value beyond the end-of-life management of products
  • initiating a prospective reflection on the future of these EPR schemes.

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