On 17 and 18 March 2020 the Circular Materials Conference invites you to reimagine materials with the help of emerging technologies and novel collaborations to create a circular future together.
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Following a successful 1st edition with 10,000 visitors, the Zero Waste Exhibition returns to Brussels on 14 and 16 November 2019
ISWA will hold its 29th World Congress will be held in Bilbao, Spain from 7 to 9 October 2019
The 15th edition of the biannual French waste management conference will take place in Nantes on 2-3 October 2019.
El Dorado of Chemical Recycling, State of play and policy challenges
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.
Globe Hope, a Finnish textiles and cosmetics SME, has been creating bags and accessories from recycled and leftover materials since 2003.
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
ChangeNOW - the world's largest gathering of solutions for the planet - will return to Paris for its 3rd edition from 30 January to 1 February 2020, with more than 1,000 solutions and several inspiring circular economy keynotes.
ISATIÓ is a Brussels SME that recovers samples from the textiles industry to create unique designer clothing, with manufacturing all done locally and the supply chain covered entirely by bicycle couriers.
RWM, the UK's largest waste and recycling industry show, returns to Birmingham 11 to 12 October 2019
Wolkat is an international group of seven innovative textile recycling companies. It was founded as a family business in 1948.
Today Wolkat is offering a complete circular solution for textiles. Collected textile is transformed in-house to new products for fashion, car or furniture industry. Sorting, recycling, spinning and weaving is all done in-house. All collected textile is transformed into a final product with hardly any water or any dye, leaving only 4-5 % waste from all textiles. The rest is new raw material.
Votechnik has created a unique state-of-the-art recycling technology, the ALR 4000 machine, which safely removes hazardous waste materials from LCD flatscreen panels and monitors through a fully automated process.
The 5th International Conference on Final Sinks will be held in Vienna from 8 to 11 December 2019
During its Presidency of the Council of the European Union in late 2019, Finland will highlight the EU’s role in leading the transition to a climate neutral Europe with a versatile selection of Finnish artists’ work and a number of exhibitions that will give the public a new view on sustainable development and the circular economy.
M-LS by O.C.O Technology: a carbon-negative limestone aggregate created with residues from waste to energy residue
The company O.C.O Technology Limited recycles a hazardous by-product of waste incineration in order to produce a carbon-negative material for the construction industry.
With FarmacoAmico, CiboAmico and Cambia il Finale, the HERA has moved beyond its core business to actively prevent medicines, food and bulky goods from becoming waste.
Creating a Digital Roadmap for a Circular Economy
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.
- 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.