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A typology of circular economy discourses: Navigating the diverse visions of a contested paradigm

A typology of circular economy discourses: Navigating the diverse visions of a contested paradigm

Author: 
Martin Calisto Friant, Walter J.V. Vermeulen, Roberta Salomone
Publication Date: 
05/2020
Country: 
Netherlands

Language for original content:

Contact: 
Martin Calisto Friant

This research reviews the long history and diversity of circularity thinking to develop a comprehensive timeline, which identifies and conceptually classifies 72 different CE-related concepts from the Global North and South alike (such as industrial ecology, Gandhian and steady-state economics, buen vivir, doughnut economics, degrowth).

This leads to the development of the first typology of circularity discourses, which classifies circularity visions according to their position on fundamental socio-ecological issues. This research thus seeks to provide a basis for a more inclusive and comprehensive discussion on the topic, opens the imagination about the many circular futures that can exist, and allows for a cross-pollination of ideas, policies, strategies, practices and solutions.

Circular Flooring – new products from waste PVC flooring

Circular Flooring - Pioneering Recycling Process for PVC Waste

Circular Flooring focuses on the recovery of the PVC compound from post-consumer PVC floor coverings and the separation of legacy plasticisers in order to create a recycled material for the manufacturing of new PVC floor coverings.

28 Aug 2020
Furniture

A new project addressing the systemic complexities of the Circular Economy is being submitted as a Marie Curie (MSCA) post doc proposal. As these aspects build upon multi-stakeholder knowledge and insights, you are kindly invited to join the project community and collaborate.

The Circularity Gap Report, Norway

The Circularity Gap Report, Norway

Cover of the Circularity Gap Report, Norway

The Circularity Gap Report Norway is an in-depth analysis of how Norway consumes raw materials to fuel its societal needs. Currently, 97.6% of materials consumed each year never make it back into the economy.

Norway also has one of the highest per capita consumption rates in the world (44.3 tonnes per person). At 2.4%, its circularity rate is below the global average (8.6%). Each year Norway consumes 235 million tonnes of materials - metals, fossil fuels, biomass and minerals - to meet its internal needs.

However, the report reveals how Norway could see a 20-fold increase in its circularity by restructuring its businesses and industry through 6 key actions in the following fields:

  • construction
  • food
  • energy
  • repair, reuse and recycle
  • transport
  • forestry and wood products.
14 Sep 2020 to 18 Sep 2020
Interreg North-West Europe CHARM European Regional Development Fund

Participate in a series of short online events aimed to inspire housing organisations, policy-makers and communities. They will focus on circular economy in housing and on how communities can develop new homes or retrofit existing homes with minimal impact on the planet.

CYCLE: Improving resource utilisation in the food chain

Type of organisation or company:

Country: 
Other (Norway)

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Fisheries and aquaculture

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. 

Circularise Plastics: an open standard making the plastics supply chain more transparent, fair and profitable

Type of organisation or company:

Country: 
Netherlands

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Two European companies, polyamide supplier Domo and polymer manufacturer Covestro, are collaborating with Dutch technology startup Circularise to create a system for tracking plastics.

CEDaCI for more sustainable data centre equipment

CEDaCI

Type of organisation or company:

Country: 
France, Germany, Netherlands, United Kingdom

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The Circular Economy for the Data Centre Industry (CEDaCI) is a European project focusing on circular data centres. The project is of increasing collaboration and communication to drive sustainability in the data industry.

Improved selection and pre-treatment of plastics from End-of-Life Vehicles reduce carbon footprint by 75%

AIMPLAS

Type of organisation or company:

Country: 
Spain

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AIMPLAS, the Spanish Plastics Technology Centre, is coordinating the LIFE CIRC-ELV project (other participants are Desguaces Cortés, Sigit and Sigrauto from Spain, Indra from France, and Isolago from Portugal) with the aim of creating a new, technically and economically viable network in Europe for reuse and recovery of at least 95% by weight of end-of-life vehicles.

AIMPLAS and OLIPE use olive stones to develop a new sustainable plastic material for oil product packaging

OLIVA

Type of organisation or company:

Country: 
Spain

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AIMPLAS, the Plastics Technology Centre, and OLIPE, Olivarera de los Pedroches, have carried out a project entitled GO-OLIVA, aimed at finding a high value-added application for olive stone waste by producing a new sustainable material for oil product packaging.

RepescaPlas 3rd phase: recycling marine litter into fuel for fishing boats

Type of organisation or company:

Country: 
Spain

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In the third year of the RepescaPlas project, chemical recycling will be used to turn marine litter into fuel for fishing boats. During the first two years of the RepescaPlas project, five tonnes of marine litter were recovered through mechanical recycling operations.

LIFE Green Sewer - Membrane Technologies for WasteWater Treatment

LIFE GREEN SEWER LOGO

Type of organisation or company:

Country: 
Spain

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LIFE Green Sewer is a LIFE Program funded project that aims to implement a new secondary wastewater treatment of industrial water.

Biorecover Project: biotechnology for selective extraction of critical raw materials

Type of organisation or company:

Country: 
Spain

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The overall objective of BIORECOVER is the research and development of a new sustainable and safe process, essentially based on biotechnology, for selective extraction of a wide range of critical raw materials (CRMs) such as Rare Earths, Magnesium or Platinum Group Metals.

PLATIRUS project - meeting the PGM (Platinum Group Metals) supply gap by recovering materials from secondary resources

Type of organisation or company:

Country: 
Spain

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The PLATIRUS project seeks to address the European shortage of Platinum Group Metals (PGMs) by recovering PGMs from alternative secondary resources. It has the potential to offer a substitute for a large proportion of these critical raw materials which are becoming ever more scarce.

REE4EU: exploring novel technologies to reclaim Rare Earth Elements from waste streams

Type of organisation or company:

Country: 
Other (Norway)

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Expertise in technology, medicine and the social sciences

Rare Earth Elements (REEs) are considered as "key enablers" of green technologies. However, they are also the elements with the highest supply risk.
The EU funded project REE4EU has developed processes that may help to regain REEs from RE-containing waste streams.

CABRISS: pioneering reusing and recovering Indium, Silicon and Silver materials for photovoltaic industry and other applications

Type of organisation or company:

Country: 
Other (Norway)

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Expertise in technology, medicine and the social sciences

Scope:

The EU-funded CABRISS project aims at pioneering a circular economy dedicated to handling the critical situation of recycling the considerable amount of photovoltaic waste for the photovoltaic, but also for the electronic and glass industry.

RE4 project: designing solutions for circular buildings, integrating recycled materials from construction and demolition waste

The EU-funded RE4 project has developed prefabricated energy-efficient building concepts containing up to 85 % of recycled materials and reused structures from construction and demolition waste (DMW).

Circular Governance in Maribor

Maribor, Slovenia

The WCYCLE Maribor project provides for an innovative urban circular economy system, offering a new business and economic model for the city in the field of efficient resource management.

VALOR - Valorisation Alternatives to Landfill for Organic Residues

The Dublin City University VALOR project is investigating potential recovery options for the Organic Fraction of the Municipal Solid Waste (OFMSW) and Bio-Stabilised residual waste (BSRW). The project fully diagnoses the recovery options for municipal solid waste and validates their use by determining their benefits and potential environmental risks.

ZERO BRINE recovers valuable resources from saline wastewater in the Polish mining industry

ZERO BRINE is running a pilot project to recover valuable resources from wastewater in the Polish mining industry so that they can be reused in other sectors.

uP_running unlocks the industrial potential of woody biomass residues

uP_running

By identifiying good practices in turning biomass to heat or power, the uP_running project is unlocking the strong potential of woody biomass residues produced by Agrarian Pruning and Plantation Removals.

ReWeee: Reducing Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment in Greece

Reweee project

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Country: 
Greece

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Scope:

The ReWeee Project aims to prevent the creation of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) and to demonstrate that WEEE can be efficiently sorted and re-used.

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

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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. 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.

CelluTex stimulates European research on sustainable cellulose-based textiles

cellutex image

Type of organisation or company:

Country: 
Sweden

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CelluTex is a Swedish advocacy platform that promotes needed actions to ensure production of cellulose-based textiles in Europe, utilizing forest resources and recycled cellulosic textiles, including cotton, as raw materials.

Amsterdam is going Circular smartly with 'learning by doing'

Type of organisation or company:

Country: 
Netherlands

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Scope:

In 2015, Amsterdam commissioned an in-depth study on the potential of a circular economy. The project was the first large-scale research study in the world that uses the ‘city circle scan’ methodology. The scan identifies the areas in which the most significant, tangible progress in realising a circular economy can be achieved.

FISSAC project - a new Industrial Symbiosis model for the Construction industry

Fostering Industrial Symbiosis for a Sustainable Resource Intensive Industry across the extended Construction Value Chain

Type of organisation or company:

Country: 
Spain

The FISSAC project involves stakeholders at all levels of the construction and demolition value chain to develop a methodology and software platform, to facilitate information exchange, that can support industrial symbiosis networks and replicate pilot schemes at local and regional levels.

SwitchMed - MED TEST II

Skaff Dairy Farm

Skaff Dairy Farm is a small-sized enterprise producing around 840 t of dairy products annually for the local market. Skaff Dairy Farm joined the MED TEST II project in order to improve quality and reduce defects, to drive out waste and continuously improve cost efficiency. The main problems the company faced was energy and finished products losses.

Product life extension through remanufacturing in Europe

Type of organisation or company:

Country: 
Belgium

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Key Area:

Scope:

Following the successful completion of the European Remanufacturing Network project funded through Horizon 2020, the Conseil Européen de Remanufacture was launched in January 2017. It has members such as IBM, Lexmark, SKF, Panalpina, syncreon, Autocraft and others who pay annual membership subscriptions to develop, promote and exchange good practise between the remanufacturing sectors.

LIFE RECYPACK: public-private waste management for commercial plastic packaging

Type of organisation or company:

Country: 
Spain

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The LIFE RECYPACK project will implement a new public-private waste management project for commercial plastic packages in line with the circular economy criteria.

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