The Norwegian company NCP delivers sustainable furniture from recycled plastic materials through innovation and design. The S-1500 chair, designed by Snøhetta, is produced by NCP showing how plastic waste from Norway’s fish farming can be transformed into a sustainable design object with an expected lifetime of at least 50 years.
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The ReSeaclons project, led by the Marine Institute of the Seaquarium in Grau-du-Roi, France, is committed to bringing together fishermen, seafarers, public authorities, associations, companies, civil society and holiday-makers to help reduce marine pollution.
Tedre Farm in Estonia explores new extraction process for a precious waste output: raspberry seed oil
Tedre Farm, located in Southern Estonia, grows raspberries and produces raspberry juice and other derivatives.
In 2017, in a collaboration with the Estonian University of Life Sciences, it started a project to study technologies for the extraction of oil from raspberry seeds, particularly known for its medicinal properties.
In France, SUEZ has invested EUR 10 million on the construction of a hub to recover waste from local businesses and authorities. Once sorted and recycled, the waste is then sold for reuse.
The Dutch company KarTent has come up with a sustainable solution for the many tents left behind by music festival goers: a cardboard tent, designed to be purchased and transported in bulk to festival sites. After the festival, the company arranges for the tents to be removed and recycled.
Mamukko is an Irish company, founded in 2011, that uses waste nautical materials as a secondary raw material. They promote upcycling by using end-of-life sails, decommissioned life rafts and recycled leather to make bags.
The Circularity Dataset is an initiative by Luxembourg’s Ministry of the Economy and some international industry leaders. It has now developed the “Product Circularity Data Sheet” (PCDS): a data template for standardising data about the circular aspects of products.
Portuguese startup Benefício devels limited edition products, with particular attention to the use of materials local knowledge. By adopting artisanal production methods and respecting fair trade and the environment, the company mostly applies the principles of circular economy, in particular upcycling.
Stop Food Waste is an Irish initiative which aims to prevent food waste through better buying, storage and cooking, as well as through home composting.
Sopköket is a Swedish restaurant and catering company founded in 20215. It prepares meals which partly incorporate rescued and surplus food from supermarkets and other companies. Their goal is to reduce food waste.
The briefing highlights the key findings of the background report "The Decarbonisation Benefits of Sectoral Circular Economy Actions", produced for the European Environment Agency by Ramboll, Ecologic Institute and Fraunhofer ISI.
The key messages are the following:
- Greater circularity and more efficient use of materials present new opportunities for further reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
- A new methodology can help to identify which circular economy actions in each sector can make the most promising contributions to meeting targets to reduce emissions and to achieving climate neutrality in Europe.
- In the buildings sector, selected circular economy actions can lead to reductions of up to 61 % in the materials-related greenhouse gases emitted across buildings’ life cycles.
The European Association of Chemical Distributors (Fecc) acknowledges the Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP) and supports the initiative for a more sustainable approach by ensuring that used resources are kept in the EU economy for as long as possible.
However, on behalf of the European chemical distribution sector, particularly the numerous SMEs it represents, Fecc would like to raise the following points:
- increasing recycled content in products while ensuring their performance and safety is paramount
- stakeholders from across the board – private companies, academia, and public bodies – can all benefit from circularity in the distribution sector
- promoting circular public procurement to empower consumers and public buyers is necessary and must be supported post-COVID-19.
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.
Zero Waste Scotland has commissioned a study on Measuring Scotland's progress towards a circular economy, in order to assess the value of existing metrics and identify the most effective ways to drive and track progress on reducing our carbon emissions.
The study has concluded that no single metric could be used to monitor Scotland’s progress on adopting a circular economy. However, a range of metrics could be developed and used collectively.
Two datasets in particular (a Scottish material flows accounts and Scotland’s carbon footprint) will be key to this as the country progresses towards a circular economy
The Alliance for Flame Retardant Free Furniture position paper - Unwanted toxic flame retardants preventing circularity and increasing fire toxicity
The Alliance for Flame Retardant Free Furniture states its position: Unwanted toxic flame retardants prevent circularity and increase fire toxicity
The Alliance for Flame Retardant Free Furniture welcomes the new Circular Economy Action Plan and calls on EU institutions to address the unnecessary use of chemicals preventing circularity and the achievement of climate goals, such as toxic flame retardants in furniture, which endanger people’s and firefighters’ health as they migrate out of products and can lead to increased fire toxicity.
The use of such retardants is a historical, hazardous and ineffective practice which is not proven to reduce the number of fires. It is at odds with circularity objectives and their presence in furniture runs counter to the ambition to introduce and increase circularity.
Ensuring fire safety is a must, but it needs to be done in ways that are not hazardous.
Best practices on industrial symbiosis in Italy and the contribution of regional policies as a strategic lever
In 2016, the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA) set up a Symbiosis Users Network (SUN) to boost industrial symbiosis in Italy. The network promotes circular economy models through industrial symbiosis by focusing on operational issues.
SUN's 2019 conference was devoted to Good practices of industrial symbiosis in Italy and the contribution of regional policies as a strategic lever. The event, co-organised by SUN, Ecomondo and ENEA was held in Rimini (IT) on 7 November 2019 at Ecomondo - a leading event in Europe for new circular economy models.
Reports on ENEA-promoted conferences on industrial symbiosis are available here.
The furniture sector and Circular Economy 2.0: the European Furniture Industries Confederation shares its views
From a “circular” point of view, the wide range of products considered to be "furniture" and the diverse use of materials in production (e.g. wood, plastics, textile, steel, glass, composites, foam) makes it a complex area to address.
The European Furniture Industries Confederation (EFIC) has drawn up a position paper that identifies challenges and opportunities linked to the circular economy transition, covering the different phases of manufacturing from supply of materials to the end-of-life phase, and that provides sector-specific expertise on EU Circular Economy policies.
The European furniture industries are ready to work together with EU institutions to create suitable tools for the sector, enabling it to move in the right direction.
In March 2020, the European Commission published the new Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP). Following of this publication, the French Institut National de l'Economie Circulaire (INEC) has published an analysis of the new action plan, followed by some recommendations:
- promote the inter-sectoral dimension of circular economy (CE);
- speed up the integration of the CE dimension into public procurement;
- introduce a coherent circular-oriented tax system;
- transition towards a non-financial accounting system;
- teach people to be circular;
- start a discussion on "equitable" needs;
- blockchain, territories and behavioural change.
To read the full report (in FR) click here.
The report from TCO Development, the organization behind the global sustainability certification for IT products TCO Certified, explains how everyone who buys/uses IT products can implement circular practices. It sets out how circular economy (CE) helps solve many pressing sustainability challenges linked to IT products and contains 33 expert tips on circular IT management.
- Use IT products longer.
- Circularity helps maximize the value of IT investment.
- Market demand is key to accelerating the pace of change.
- Circularity includes IT management throughout the life cycle.
- Improved supply chain responsibility can speed up transition to CE.
- Circularity is a team effort.
- Many circular solutions are already in place - just use them.
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.
The circular economy is all about imagining together a sustainable future and engaging on a transformative path towards affordable, sustainable and beautiful lifestyles, be it buildings or textiles. To know more about the Bauhaus initiative, register for the first online high-level Conference on the New European Bauhaus that will take place on 22-23 April 2021.
PlastiCircle Final Forum on 13 April will display technologies for the circularity of packaging waste.
The 2nd International Conference on Circular Packaging on 9-10 September aims to connect industry, academia, design studios, brand owners and anyone involved in the packaging life cycle. It will focus on sharing knowledge, good practices and ideas, and forging new links in the shift from linear to circular packaging supply chains and business models.
The Environmental Coalition on Standards (ECOS) is organising a webinar on Durable, repairable and mainstream - how ecodesign can make our textiles circular. The webinar will take place online, on 20 April at 10.30 a.m. CEST. It will last around an hour, including a Q&A session.
During the event on 8 April the Innowo Institute will launch the report "Circular Business Opportunities in Poland" commissioned by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. After a presentation of the main findings of the report, a panel will discuss the possibilities of business development of circular solutions in Poland.
On 11 May at 3 p.m. CEST, join Rijkswaterstaat, Madaster, Restado/Concular and Institut National de l’Economie Circulaire for online interactive workshops showcasing success stories and identifying challenges and opportunities in fields such as public procurement, digital logbooks and circular design for infrastructure work. Registrations are open!
On 15-16 April, the Netherlands and Sitra will be organising a high-level digital conference, the World Circular Economy Forum + Climate, to meet up and discuss the crucial role of a circular economy in achieving climate neutrality.
In the run-up to the WCEF+Climate event in April 2021, the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management is organising a WCEF+Climate pre-event: the Circular Climate Booster, hosted by Holland Circular Hotspot and Springtide International.
RREUSE is organising its second online study tour designed to help public authorities implement re-use activities. The tour is tailored for representatives of local, regional and national authorities, municipalities and public waste companies wishing to develop re-use activities in their area using a social enterprise model.
As the Horizon 2020 research programme becomes Horizon Europe, what better time to witness how great ideas turned into real projects? LOOPS will be the opportunity to show what cutting-edge research has been produced, and which changes it can bring to our communities. The topic of the episode on 12 April will orbit around the concept of circularity in the textile industry.
The BeCircular call for projects is open to all circular innovators in the Brussels Region. Due to exceptional circumstances, the deadline of the 2020 edition has been extended to 19 June 2020.
According to the 7th edition of the International Seminar on Biopolymers and Sustainable Composites organized by AIMPLAS on 4 and 5 March, bioplastic production is expected to increase by 15% by 2024 and is carving out a niche in the construction and automotive sectors.
In March Ecopreneur.eu published the preliminary results of a study on the potential impacts of an EU circular fashion industry on non-EU textile producing countries.
Following the publication of the new Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP) by the European Commission in early March, the members of the Coordination Group of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform have issued a joint statement on the CEAP, while also reflecting on the coronavirus pandemic ravaging the world.
The French "Institut National de l'Economie Circulaire" (INEC) and Orée have published a co-authored study to better understand circular economy initiatives dynamics at work in different countries.
At times of Covid-19 quarantine, Belgian startup ASmartWorld who reconditions second-hand smartphones, took the initiative to distribute them free of charge in old people's homes to help guests reconnect with their families.
Check out the Circular Conversation - A Circular Bridge for Europe - with Ladeja Godina Košir, Chair of the Coordination Group of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform (ECESP).
The H&M Group proposes a B2B initiative to help its clients to accelerate sustainable production efficiently. Treadler offers external companies to access the Group’s global supply chain and its extensive circular strategy.
This competition for start-ups less than 5 years and located in Europe, aims at rewarding businesses that are facilitating Circular Economy innovations.
The European Commission today released the plan that sets the course of EU initiatives on the circular economy for the coming years.