Oltrecafé is the first company to produce Italian pellets from coffee grounds. This kind of pellet generates more heat than wood and helps meet the strong demand in Italy for pellets meeting the criteria for sustainable heating. The company's method reduces waste production and increases recycling, while also producing clean and sustainable energy through a renewable resource.
You are here
Wallenius Water Innovation’s contribution to a circular economy: Using UV light to resist bacterial growth in metalworking fluids
Wallenius Water Innovation is a Swedish clean-tech company that works with UV light to prevent bacterial growth in metalworking fluids. The non-toxic solution secures long-lasting process fluids without using hazardous biocides. In this way, fluids can more easily be reused in the installation rather than be disposed.
Post consumer High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) products are bought back, disassembled after cleaning and sanitation process, and then shredded by Jcoplastic. The secondary raw material obtained is analysed and characterised, then extruded for reusing in a new production cycle.
The Life Is.ECO project was aimed to create and implement an integrated system for the treatment of production waste and obsolescences of bitumen-polymer membranes and insulating mineral based on glass fiber, for their recycling and reintroduction in their respective production processes.
Legno Urbano is an innovative project developed in Italy to promote wood recovery from trees which are felled in urban areas because of their age, their instability or spatial planning needs.
Rigiocattolo collects used toys, regenerates and puts them back into circulation. Its ambition is to become a bigger and renowed re-use centre that can also offer people a decent job.
The Life-REPOLYUSE project is about REcovery of POLYurethane for reUSE in eco-efficient materials. It tries to solve the environmental challenge of the scarcity of resources and waste management in order to mitigate the effects of climate change. It addresses the problem of polyurethane plastic waste using innovative techniques.
The Lister Sartoria Sociale cooperative interprets the textile product in relation to the urban habitat, retracing its socio-economic transformations, memories, reworking its codes, styles and materials. Discarded objects, fabrics and garments are collected and reworked, crossing experimentation and traditional techniques.
This Life DOP project operated in partnership with the Italian dairy company Consorzio Latterie Virgilio uses livestock waste in anaerobic digestion plants to produce renewable energy and renewable fertilisers (solid digestate) which are then exported to non-livestock areas.
Revì aims to have a social impact by raising awareness about recycling furniture and encouraging local crafts. It also has an environmental impact by recovering material which would otherwise be classed as rubbish.
This study delivers the first empirical findings on the relevance of digitisation to improving material efficiency based on the German company survey ‘IW-Zukunftspanel’.
German manufacturing firms have up to now only rarely digitised material efficiency measures to a great extent. If they are - particularly in large companies - they tend to be used for process optimisation. Around two fifths of the companies are at least moderately digitised in relation to the most important industrial efficiency measures, namely process optimisation and the use of new techniques, but there is still more than a third that is not at all. Companies have most frequently digitised cross-company materials cycles, but this instrument is only applied by two fifths of industrial companies. There is still potential for more digitisation of measures relating to product design, materials cycle management and new business models.
At least every other manufacturing company reuses residue and waste materials via internal circulation systems. Nevertheless, for two fifths of these companies digital networks do not play any part and in the case of a further two fifths, the part they play is minor. Only one in ten companies is heavily digitised. More than half of industrial companies use resource-saving measures that begin at the product design stage. To date, almost half of these companies are not digitally networked, or if they are, it is only to a small extent. One third of the industrial companies up to now have considered new business models as an efficiency-raising way. Of these, three out of ten have not been digitised yet with a further two fifths having only a minor level of digitisation.
Companies that have already embedded digitisation in their strategy are frontrunners for greater material efficiency, since they more frequently use material efficiency measures intensively, are more likely to recognise further potential savings and their efficiency-saving approaches are also clearly more often highly digitised.
From the same author, check also
Eines von zwei Unternehmen macht Ökodesign digital
Mountain areas face specific natural conditions, such as slope, climate, and soil types, that make the exploitation of mountain resources difficult.
Other challenges associated with connectivity and transport make economic activity all the more challenging.
The adoption of the circular economy will be particularly important in mountain areas which contain exceptional primary resources such as forests, water, and minerals, and provide ecosystems services such as carbon sequestration, clean water, landscapes, and recreation. Maximizing the value of extracted resources and managing them sustainably is particularly important for maintaining a high quality of life in mountain territories.The circular economy can create new economic opportunities that will provide much needed employment and economic growth in mountain areas.
The development of the circular economy in mountain areas will allow inhabitants to benefit from resources and services available in the mountains. It will also drive the development of new approaches, for example in governance, technology, or in the building of novel tools, in so doing providing new opportunities for jobs and growth in mountain regions.
This study focuses on the forest sector as the sector is particularly adapted to a circular approach in mountainous areas in Europe.
Since 2000, the “Slovenian Entrepreneurship Observatory” publishes a report annually providing analysis of the situation of Slovenian companies and insight into Slovenian entrepreneurship. In 2018 this report had a thematic focus on the circular economy (CE), with the authors centring in on the drivers and barriers to SMEs integrating CE into business practice.
This report first provides a theoretical framework for the CE, which aims to raise awareness and facilitate information exchange between companies and individuals looking to spread circular innovation. Simultaneously this report also provides an overview of the barriers companies face in transitioning towards circularity, which include a lack of comparable indicators to benchmark and track progress; cost of eco-design; administrative burden; access to finance and a lack of awareness about the concept itself: in 2017, a survey of businesses indicated only 32% had some understanding of what a circular economy is. This survey also revealed businesses perceive economic, environmental and regulatory opportunities as the main drivers towards circularity.
The report concludes with practical aspects of CE implementation at the level of enterprises, presenting a case study which highlights the situation and the possible use of eco-design in Slovenian SMEs operating in the construction sector and conclusions with recommended steps to overcome the barriers identified.
The built environment, consuming almost half of the world's resources extracted every year and responsible for a massive environmental footprint, is a fundamental sector in the circular transition. The circular economy has great potential to help meet global sustainability targets and the Paris Agreement's goals in particular. Moving towards a circular built environment involves a shift in roles and business models for stakeholders active in this sector. However, barriers related to culture, regulations, market, technology and education are slowing down the transition. The private and public sector need to create a level playing field in order for circular materials, products and services to become the new normal in the built environment.
Within the discussion on possible instruments that policy-makers can use to achieve waste collection targets and implement the 2015 Circular Economy Action Plan, deposit-refund systems (DRS) are often cited as a promising & useful policy tool.
In this report, ACR+ explored DRS experiences across ten European countries: Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. This analysis concludes that the launch timing in relation to other waste management systems and the positive participation of producers are both decisive in determining the success of the system.
To learn more about the hands-on implementation of DRS in Europe, read the full report here.
The Centro de Documentación Europea de la Universidad Francisco de Vitoria (European Documentation Centre, UFV) has completed a project titled Economía Circular y Empleabilidad de los Jóvenes en la Comunidad de Madrid (Circular Economy and Employability of Young People in the Autonomous Region of Madrid).
The outcomes include a report on communicating the circular economy through the lens of employment opportunities circular business models provide for young people. The project has also created a guide on communicating the circular economy to students, which introduces the subject, presents the 7R model and shows how innovative companies provide opportunities for employment in circular business.
Start-up of a microalgae-based treatment system within the biorefinery concept: from wastewater to bioproducts
Within the European project INCOVER, an experimental plant uses low-energy photobioreactors to cultivate micro-algae and transform wastewater into bioproducts.
This article describes this new experimental plant and the start-up stage, starting from the new design of three semi-closed horizontal photobioreactors with low energy requirements, for microalgae cultivation (30 m3 total), using agricultural runoff and urban wastewater as feedstock.
The inflow nutrients concentration is adjusted to select cyanobacteria, microalgae able to accumulate polyhydroxybutyrates, which can be used for bioplastics production. Part of the harvested biomass is used as substrate for anaerobic co-digestion (AcoD) with secondary sludge to obtain biogas. This biogas is then cleaned in an absorption column to reach methane concentration up to 99%. The digestate from the AcoD is further processed in sludge wetlands for stabilization and biofertilizer production.
On the other hand, treated water undergoes ultrafiltration and disinfection through a solar-driven process, then it is pumped through absorption materials to recover nutrients, and eventually applied in an agricultural field to grow energy crops by means of a smart irrigation system. This plant presents a sustainable approach for wastewater management, which can be seen as a resource recovery process, more than a waste treatment.
The publication presents a state-of-play for Slovakia's circular economy transition and introduces its circular economy policies. It also contains interviews with representatives of the Slovak State administration, NGO representatives and scientists, as well as examples of good practices from municipalities, businesses, and NGOs.
With an average of 79.5% recycled across Europe in 2016, steel for packaging is already the most recycled packaging material in Europe.
This report compiles examples of good practices from countries across the EU showcasing the varied projects, systems and processes by which steel for packaging is recycled, bringing significant reduction in emissions, resource and energy use.
Steel, a permanent material that can be infinitely recycled to make high quality products, can be easily sorted from the waste stream owing to its magnetic properties which make it the most economical packaging material to collect, sort and recycle over and over again.
Good practices in separate collection, sorting and recycling of steel for packaging contribute to improving its recycling rate, but can also serve as a guide for any stakeholder interested in improving these essential steps in a circular perspective.
The report provides a simple, yet rich overview of the barriers and enablers of circular economy business models as identifed by stakeholders, drawing upon a range of interviews, workshops and events, and a survey conducted with representatives of the European business sector.
Within businesses, stakeholders have identified high-level commitment accompanied by long-term perspectives, the personal drive and attitudes of staff, as well as the promise of enhanced competitiveness as key in supporting the transition towards circularity. Yet, from an internal company perspective, a number of factors were highlighted as getting in the way of the transition. Difficulties in financing new business models, taxation systems, resistance to change and the perceived lack of consumer demand are key examples of obstacles that hamper the circular transformation.
Importantly, stakeholders have provided interesting insights into possible solutions and recommendations able to overcome the challenges posed by circular economy barriers: tax incentives, the development of wealth-measurement systems other than GDP, material passports and quality standards, to name a few. Future solutions should also focus on ensuring safe areas for innovation out of tendering calls, green public procurement and increased financial support.
In the framework of Furn 360, a European project aimed at developing a training curriculum to facilitate the implementation of circularity in the furniture sector, a webinar will be held to share insights on the current state of circular economy in the sector, with representatives from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the European Furniture Industries Confederation.
The annual European Week for Waste Reduction Awards Ceremony is organised online on 25 June at 14:00 CEST to reward the most outstanding waste prevention initiatives carried out during the last edition.
This leading circular economy event will take place on 15-18 November 2021 in Barcelona.
The International Society for Circular Economy (IS4CE) - a new academic society for the circular economy - is organising the inaugural International Online Conference on Circular Economy, to be held in cooperation with the Exeter Centre for Circular Economy (ECCE), University of Exeter, Exeter, UK, on 6-7 July 2020.
This Policy Dialogue will explore the interlinkages between the transition to a more circular economy and quality jobs, drawing on Circle Economy’s recent report on Jobs & Skills in the Circular Economy: State of Play and future Pathways.
In response to increasing demand for online training, AIMPLAS has prepared 4 free webinars on themes related to plastics: solutions in the medical sector, new recycling technologies, quality control in the automotive industry and reduction of CO2 emissions.
Do you want to take the next step towards the circular and sustainable management of the IT products you purchase and use? Join this webinar on 9 June and find out some inspiring and practical tips to help get you started.
The third edition of the World Bioeconomy Forum (WCBEF) will be broadcast live from Ruka, Finland, on 10 September 2020. The event will provide delegates with a high-quality, interactive platform, and will engage prominent Circular Bioeconomy stakeholders in active discussions on an agenda for coordinated action to build a sustainable future.
Le 5 juin 2020 à l’occasion de la journée mondiale de l’environnement sera lancée la campagne Relance Verte. Pour porter la voix des solutions et des entrepreneurs, un collectif d’associations et d’acteurs économiques lance une initiative pour la relance verte, intitulée « comprendre et agir tous ensemble ». Le webinaire de ce vendredi 5 juin marque le lancement de cette initiative.
The webinar series organised by Tondo represents an opportunity for companies, start-ups and experts from all over the world to have a clearer overview of the status of the circular economy and how it can enhance innovative business models and concepts with lower environmental impacts.This third session will continue to focus on circular cities around the world, in this specific case Rotterdam.
The European Commission proposed new EU-wide rules to target the 10 single-use plastic products most often found on Europe's beaches and seas, as well as lost and abandoned fishing gear.
Les lauréats des Trophées de l’économie circulaire 2018
CEC is offering the opportunity for a promising talent to receive 1-on-1 mentoring from Prof. Walter R. Stahel.
Presentazione e lancio ICESP Italian Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform
Video highlights of the 3rd Circular Change Conference
Today EU Member States approved a set of ambitious measures to make EU waste legislation fit for the future, as part of the EU's wider circular economy policy.
Deutschland entkoppelt - Rethinking Circular Economy in Germany
El modelo de Economía Circular, ese que está tan de moda, asegura que todo, o casi todo, puede tener más de una vida, que todo puede volver a la cadena de producción... ¿Y cómo puede ser eso?
Tetra Pak aims to launch a paper straw that is suitable for its portion-sized carton packages before the end of the year, as part of a broader programme to help address the issue of plastic straw waste.
The purpose of the business unit is to develop the Group’s business in the circular economy, in the aftermarket. Created to answer a major societal challenge, it offers a solution for responsible consumption.