ISA - a sustainable enterprise of handicraftswomen - gives special attention to sustainability in its production chain, by employing production scraps and waste from diverse local companies, preferably choosing natural and ecofriendly products.
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The EU-financed LEVEL-UP project offers circularity protocols and strategies for extending the remaining useful life of large industrial equipment and assets that can no longer remain competitive in the Industry 4.0 paradigm.
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.
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.
In 2019 the European Commission set out a policy guideline to address global environmental challenges and circularity. EURATEX and its members welcome the ambition of the EU Institutions to change the old way and commit to engage with all relevant parties to deliver and implement a new Textile Strategy to boost the circular economy and be fit for the present and future generations.
This strategy by EURATEX is a starting point, with insights into solutions based on a 14-month consultation with members, involving over 100 companies and key stakeholders, focused on applied circular practices and future opportunities. It prioritises removing barriers to a large-scale uptake of circular economy in textiles, sets out 12 key points and puts forward 38 proposals.
Aragón Circular is an economic strategy that aims to boost the circular economy in the entire region of Aragon. Its objective is to create a political, economic, and social framework that will allow Aragon to move towards an innovative circular economy. Furthermore, this strategy will generate high-quality employment and provide the backbone for the territory.
At the beginning of June 2020 the Spanish Government published España Circular 2030, the new Strategy for Circular Economy in Spain until 2030. It contains circular economy objectives and a series of strategic orientations for the period 2020-2030.
- sets up a series of objectives for 2020-2030 which will, inter alia, allow a 30% reduction in the national consumption of resources and a 15% reduction in waste generation (as compared to 2010);
- contributes to Spain's efforts to transition to a sustainable, decarbonized, resource-efficient and competitive economy;
- takes the form of successive three-year action plans providing for concrete measures to deliver on circular economy.
In 2018, the Danish Ministry of Environment and Food and the Danish Ministry of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs launched a Strategy for Circular Economy, based on recommendations by an Advisory Board for Circular Economy. The strategy will be implemented in the period 2018-2022. The government launched initiatives within six thematic areas:
- Strengthening enterprises as a driving force for circular transition
- Supporting circular economy through data and digitalisation
- Promoting circular economy through design
- Changing consumption patterns through circular economy
- Creating a proper functioning market for waste and recycled raw materials
- Getting more value out of buildings and biomass.
The city of Leuven, in Flanders, aims to play a leading role in initiating systemic change in cities and society at large.
The Roadmap 2025 · 2035 · 2050, drawn up by Leuven 2030 and numerous experts, serves as a guide to achieving the goal of a climate-neutral city by 2050. In September 2019 a professional team of programme managers started on no less than 13 specific programmes, which will transform this unique plan into concrete actions and impact on the field.
Leuven Circulair finds its place in specific programme #09, outlining key actions for circularity in the city with a strong focus on social, repair, refurbishment, knowledge and expertise from the University of Leuven and local fablabs.
This retrospective report is a review of the plans set out by Circular Flanders in the Kick-off Statement.
The most important finding? A good deal more was accomplished than initially anticipated. For example, the opportunity to launch three Open Calls, permitting the funding of over 130 innovative circular economy projects. The Green Deal on Circular Construction was also an unprecedented opportunity, as was the complementary reinforcement of the OVAM team of experts in ecodesign and area-specific operations, allowing the scope to expand.
This retrospective report is an interactive PDF. External links to downloads or online resources have been embedded on each project page for easy accessibility.
This French act of law contains about 50 measures providing for:
- new obligations with the creation of new producer responsibility sectors to include new product families in the circular economy (toys, sports and do-it-yourself equipment, building materials, cigarette butts, sanitary textiles);
- new prohibitions on single-use plastics and to fight waste of food and non-food unsold products;
- new tools to better control and sanction offences against the environment (greater power for mayors to combat littering and illegal dumping), to support companies in their eco-design initiatives (bonus/malus-type incentives) and to assist citizens in new consumption practices (repairability index, information on environment and health impacts of products, harmonisation of info on sorting, etc.).
Luxembourg launches “Circularity Dataset Initiative” supported by major international industry leaders
The Circularity Dataset Initiative by the Ministry of the Economy of Luxembourg develops an industry standard providing a regulated framework for circular data on products throughout value chains, from raw materials to finished products, from the use phase to re-usage and recycling.
The project addresses the difficulty for stakeholders to access reliable data on the circular properties of a product. Trade secrets are hindering transparency and reporting standards are lacking, forcing manufacturers to send out different data sets in diverse formats to customers and product platforms.
The objective is to save costs, increase value and enable circularity by developing a process and an internationally accepted dataset template, and data is verified through an auditing process.
The town of Riihimäki is already a member of FISU (Finnish Sustainable Communities), a network of Finnish municipalities committed to becoming waste-free, and has now adopted a circular economy roadmap focusing on the participation of local actors.
In 2017, the local authorities asked the 29,000 inhabitants of this town what sustainable choices they would be ready to make and how the municipal council could best enable these. Inhabitants also contributed ideas to develop the resource efficiency of Riihimäki.
The circular economy and resource efficiency roadmap of Riihimäki covers five themes:
- Carbon neutral energy production and consumption
- Sustainable circulation and ecologically efficient town structure
- Sustainable consumption of natural resources and circular economy
- Diversity of nature and comfortable living environment
- Inhabitant responsibility in Riihimäki.
Every one of these themes is dealt with by taking into account the following points of view:
- Vision for 2050
- Methods of working: who realises the vision
- Actions, ideas, commitments and promises
- Measures and indicators for monitoring and follow-up.
In addition to municipal actions, the Riihimäki roadmap also includes commitments to circular economy by local companies and communities. The roadmap also accentuates the education of students and recent graduates with the aim of incorporating the circular economy into all professional fields.
As cooperation is central to circular economym, the Riihimäki roadmap’s guiding principle is to increase cooperation between different communities and companies. The aim is to share good practice by developing a cluster that will monitor how companies are progressing and promote circular economy cooperation.
In the framework of the CIRCWASTE project, coordinated by SYKE (Finnish Environment Institute), pioneering municipalities have developed local circular economy roadmaps in 2019. This roadmap, adopted by Finland's fourth biggest city, is based first and foremost on what stakeholders identify as local strengths, special characteristics and challenges.
Vantaa’s roadmap lists the priorities, objectives and actions to take in 2019-2030 that could a promote circular economy locally. Its priorities are the following:
- circular business models
- circular economy in construction
- circular public procurement
- sharing economy.
The objectives are to be reached by 2030 in four timeframes, with responsibility for implementation shared among several local stakeholders that vary from municipal utilities to private companies. Specific indicators have been developed to measure and report on progress.
To stimulate circular business models locally, the municipality will set up a local cluster in cooperation with Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority HSY.
Vantaa’s roadmap also puts a strong emphasis on construction and land use, committing to increase local (re)-use of soil and recycled materials in construction, which should reduce GHG emissions from transport. The use of demolished concrete has already increased and become fairly commonplace in infrastructure projects. It is used in street structures, repairs of building elevations and green landscaping.
In addition to this, Vantaa aims to develop a set of procurement criteria incorporating circular economy principles. As the circular economy benefits the natural environment, businesses and residents alike, cooperation among stakeholders is central to implementation of the roadmap.
This new UNEP report highlights the critical role of financial institutions in advancing the growth of circularity by investing in businesses that take a more sustainable approach to production and consumption. It argues that transitioning to circular economies that use resources more efficiently while minimising pollution, waste and carbon emissions could generate trillions of USD in business opportunities while protecting the health of our ecosystems.
The report also identifies opportunities for financial institutions to boost circularity and explores transitions already underway in several sectors.
European consumers lack the means to improve the durability of their products. In addition to harming the environment by emitting CO2, extracting non-renewable resources unnecessarily and creating waste, premature obsolescence in all its forms affects citizens’ purchasing power, their right to repair and their freedom to make their products last longer.
This white paper aims to give all stakeholders suggestions and ideas to move towards a world in which repair and responsible consumption are the norm. This will necessarily imply new constraints on manufacturers, that can no longer make products without taking durability and repair into account. It will also require new tools to inform citizens so that they are empowered in their consumption choices.
Guidelines on Pre- and Co-processing of Waste in Cement Production – Use of waste as alternative fuel and raw material
Different types of waste have been successfully co-processed as alternative fuels and raw materials (AFR) in cement kilns in Europe, Japan, USA, Canada and Australia since the beginning of the 1980s.
In 2006, the first edition of the GTZ-Holcim Guidelines on Co-processing Waste Materials in Cement Production was published (GIZ-Holcim, 2006), aiming to gather the lessons of these experiences and offer it particularly to low and middle income countries as an option to improve approaches to waste management. Since then, waste management has earned a much more prominent place on the political agenda.
This revised edition of the guidelines updates technical, institutional, legal and social aspects of the original document as well as incorporate new ideas and information.
Pollution caused by incorrect packaging of waste is a serious problem. It can be addressed by designing products that are easier to recycle and by investing in collection and recycling systems. Establishing these kinds of systems requires a strong coordination body, backed up by transparent and stable sources of funding.
Experience suggests that the principle of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) can have significant potential to achieve a range of policy objectives. The EPR Toolbox contains detailed information about EPR and provides an introduction to a number of distinct issues.
Preserving value in EU industrial materials - A value perspective on the use of steel, plastics and aluminium
So far, the debate on material use and recycling has primarily been held in terms of tonnes, cubic metres, and environmental impact. This is all highly relevant, but a focus on volumes and flows also leaves important questions unanswered.
The report takes a step towards painting a more complete picture, taking an economic value perspective on material flows, and it assesses Europe’s use of steel, plastics and aluminium in terms of Euros instead of tonnes. Its objective is to answer the following questions:
- When 100 Euros worth of raw materials enter the European economy, how much economic value is retained after one cycle of use?
- What are the main reasons for loss of material value?
- How could more value be retained?
- What business opportunities arise as a result?
The study sheds light on the background of the prevention of plastic waste from packaging and disposable products by explaining the need for action, the environmental impacts and risks to human health.
Experiences of the members of the PREVENT Waste Alliance and their partners in the prevention of plastic waste by multi-actor partnerships are presented by means of 17 best practice examples.
Finally, the study gives recommendations for the reduction of plastic waste and the further work of the PREVENT Waste Alliance. These include success factors for waste prevention, necessary next steps and conclusions regarding the necessary political framework conditions.
The academic paper "Analysing European Union circular economy policies: words versus actions" comprehensively reviews and analyses the EU’s circular economy (CE) policies. Results show a dichotomy between words and actions, with a discourse that is rather holistic, while policies focus on “end of pipe solutions”.
To address these limitations, the paper proposes a set of 32 science-based policy recommendations which can help strengthen circular economy policies both within and outside the EU. This research thus brings key insights for practitioners and academics seeking to better understand the EU’s CE policies and how to improve circular economy implementation at both national and international level.
See here for more results, insights and recommendations.
Circular Czechia 2 - A circular economy as an opportunity for successful innovations of Czech firms
This report follows on from the publication Circular Czechia from July 2018, exploring the circular economy in the Czech Republic.
The report explains how innovation has developed in this field since 2018, and aims to be an inspiration for firms, organisations and authorities on how to implement circular principles. It sets out a wide selection of good practices from the Czech Republic, and includes the retail, wastewater treatment, transport, construction and furniture sectors.
This report describes innovation competition as a method of tackling major environmental challenges, specifically how to provide food sustainably and resource-efficiently in the future.
Two teams with expertise in plastics, logistics and sustainability developed solutions focused on a more regional food supply enabling us to reduce the amount of plastic, packaging and transport used. The winning submission is a conversion tool describing the principles of sustainable production and consumption of food.
How can design help the circular economy? Design is born from the need to find or adapt solutions to everyday problems.
Design is present throughout the value chain: production, location, distribution, transformation, transport, sales and user experience. Design can minimise the impact on the environment and simultaneously empower people in their habits and environmental preservation. This is done through shapes, materials, production processes, colours, legibility, concept and narratives that value what is systemic.
A design project starts by thinking about what you intend to achieve. A design collaboration (a dynamic of cause and effect) helps identify weaknesses and opportunities when it comes to adopting a circular design to each stage of the process.
The Remanufacturing platform is designed to help with the development of remanufacturing activities. It provides resources and reflection on remanufacturing and the circular economy.
Set up in 2014, Remanufacturing aims to promote remanufacturing and associated RE-activities for product life extension. Within circular economy value recovery cycles, products can be REused, REpaired, REnovated, REmanufactured or REcycled. The aim is to reuse end-of-life products and components in new or upgraded products.
Remanufacturing has created a website describing the advantages of and barriers to starting up and developing remanufacturing activities, with examples and methodologies.
Circular Economy Coalition (CERC) promotes the key objectives of the EC Circular Economy Action Plan in Romania, stimulating the development of new markets, business models, and contributing to economic growth and jobs creation. It facilitates activities for its members, becoming a key player for the domestic business community interested in transitioning towards a circular economic ecosystem.
CERC monitors national and EU policies, and is actively communicating with Romanian authorities to improve the legislative framework on circular economy. It is open to establishing strategic partnerships with similar local and international organisations and academia. The scope is to develop studies and reports on circularity and to support the implementation of circular economy programmes.
ReSociety is a global collective initiative which aims to promote and accelerate the transformation to the circular economy. It is a gathering point for circular mindsets to align, share lessons, co-create solutions and spark new innovations. ReSociety is open to consumers, educators, NGOs, journalists, enterprises, policymakers and industries from all over the world. It is founded on the belief that by working together, it is possible to scale solutions for a more sustainable future.
ReSociety was initiated by TOMRA's Circular Economy Division in early 2020 to exchange research and knowledge, establish new partnerships and share ideas on holistic waste and resource systems, which are essential for developing circular value chains.
CIRCULÉIRE is Ireland’s first cross-sectoral circular economy innovation network, first designated EU circular economy hotspot, and is supported by several government departments. Its goal is to accelerate the transition towards a net-zero carbon circular economy in Ireland.
CIRCULÉIRE is co-creating innovative solutions with Irish industry from the agri-food, pharmaceutical, recycling, medical devices, ICT and built environment sectors. It has a dedicated innovation fund to invest in innovation demonstration projects.
CIRCULÉIRE also engages with a wide range of stakeholders from the Irish innovation ecosystem through our open-access circular economy knowledge library and capacity building activities including annual thematic working groups and workshops.
Initiated under the patronage of the German Development Minister Gerd Müller, the PREVENT Waste Alliance was launched in May 2019. It serves as a platform for exchange and international cooperation. Organisations from the private sector, academia, civil society and public institutions jointly engage for a circular economy.
The PREVENT Waste Alliance wants to contribute to minimising waste, eliminating pollutants and maximising the reuse of resources in the economy worldwide. Members of the platform work together for waste prevention, collection, and recycling as well as the increased uptake of secondary resources in low- and middle-income countries.
The platform focuses on waste from plastic packaging and single use products as well as waste electrical and electronic equipment.