ReCreate pushes towards circular construction by investigating the system changes needed in the whole ecosystems of construction and demolition.
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The Italian Cartiera is an ethical fashion workshop founded in Lama di Reno, Marzabotto in 2017 which makes leather and fabric items.
Believing strongly that work is an extraordinary tool for social inclusion, Cartiera offers paths for employment and integration of disadvantaged people, mainly refugees and asylum seekers.
AIMPLAS, the Plastics Technology Centre, has now completed the fourth and final year of the RepescaPlas project. The project has developed a complete management system for plastic waste recovered from the sea and subsequent recycling into products of commercial value.
Clear Fashion, independant expert of garment evaluation, is a solution that informs consumers on brands' practices and clothes' impact, and enables fashion brands to communicate their scores, in order to bring more transparency in the fashion industry.
Industrial CO2 emissions transformed into paints, varnishes and adhesives for footwear and furniture
The PUCO2 project, led by AIDIMME, AIMPLAS and INESCOP, uses research and development to combat global warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions. Seventeen companies have taken part in the project, which will also be relevant to producers of adhesives for related sectors, as well as the textile, automotive and toy industries.
To solve some challenges in the port environment, Blue Room Innovation is developing a solution based on blockchain technology: PortNet. It is a blockchain-powered waste management solution for greener, more efficient ports. A WastePassport has also been developed that connects waste disposed in port reception facilities to treatment plants.
RECICLOS provides incentives for recycling cans and plastic beverage bottles. Its main objective is to increase and improve recycling of these objects by introducing rewards that motivate people to do so. When people recycle using the RECICLOS app, they receive points that can be exchanged for sustainable prizes or used for local projects.
The zero waste consultancy wegozero has mapped more than 1000 businesses with zero waste potential in four European cities. Its maps are available for a monthly subscription and aim to tell people which businesses in their city are sustainable and geared to circular thinking.
The project of LC Paper consists in the migration of all the plastic packaging of paper products (toilet paper, hand towels...) to cardboard packaging and folding.
Yuman Village is a temple of the circular economy located in Brussels. It offers a unique 'one stop shopping' experience that encourages the emergence of new circular economy models, creates local jobs and reduces the number of trips needed to buy sustainable and local products.
The Großes Walsertal region has developed a Circular Economy Strategy: it has set itself the objective of introducing circularity at every stage of the value chain, from production to consumption, repair and waste management. Smart product design and increased recycling and reuse activities will contribute to gradually close the loop of each product life-cycle in the region.
The Großes Walsertal communities act as role models by sharing tools, offering vouchers for local food stores (as part of the leisure activities funding) and implementing binding green criteria for events organised on their territory.
PlasticFreER is the Plan approved by the Emilia Romagna region (IT) Executive in 2019 for a shared strategy with public bodies, businesses, trade unions, associations and the scientific community to free offices, canteens, festivals and parties from disposable plastic and clean up public spaces, rivers, sea and beaches.
- A common path in 15 actions for an increasingly circular and sustainable economy.
- Reconvert, reduce and clean up: three pillars of the rule approved by the regional government which translate into support, with funds and incentives, for the conversion of companies producing plastic - particularly single-use.
- Aid to public bodies and private individuals who decide to reduce their use and a special cleaning project to remove waste from the beds of waterways/sea.
Saccharides are a valuable and readily available source of renewable carbon. There are unique opportunities to produce renewable intermediate chemicals and polymers from regionally available agricultural products and imported feedstock in the period up to 2050.
Industry in the Chemport region (Northern Netherlands) has several options to further reduce CO2 emissions, including recycling or circular chemistry and shifting towards bio-based feedstock, acting as a catalyzer for other industries.
Important focus areas of the saccharide roadmap are:
- developing technologies/markets
- strengthening/expanding feedstock production
- developing incentives/regulations
- further developing an integrated approach, cooperating and improving the knowledge base.
The Ministry of Environmental Protection of the Republic of Serbia has developed a Roadmap for the circular economy in Serbia, a document that aims to bring together, connect and promote all those actors whose knowledge, innovativeness and creativity can contribute to a faster transition to the circular economy.
The roadmap seeks to encourage the private sector to use circular business models and to motivate industry to create new jobs, as well as to inspire a shift in business operations through the introduction of innovative and sustainable solutions. The roadmap has been developed by the Circular Economy Platform for Sustainable Development in Serbia project, which was initiated and implemented by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
The Waste Action Plan for a Circular Economy fulfils the commitment in the Programme for Irish Government to publish and start implementing a new National Waste Action Plan. This new national waste policy will inform and give direction to waste planning and management in Ireland over the coming years. It will be followed later this year by an All of Government Circular Economy Strategy. The need to embed climate action in all strands of public policy aligns with the goals of the European Green Deal.
The policy document contains over 200 measures across various waste areas including Circular Economy, Municipal Waste, Consumer Protection and Citizen Engagement, Plastics and Packaging, Construction and Demolition, Textiles, Green Public Procurement and Waste Enforcement.
The City of Helsinki’s Roadmap for Circular and Sharing Economy is one of the 147 actions in the Carbon-neutral Helsinki 2035 Action Plan.
The roadmap includes the following four focuses:
- green waste and
- sharing economy and new business opportunities in the circular economy.
The goals for each focus are set until 2035, with interim goals and supporting practical actions for each one.
Reducing plastic consumption and increasing the use of recycled plastic are among the main topics of the roadmap.
This roadmap is the result of debates in workshops with experts from both inside and outside the City. A team of representatives of the City’s Environmental Services coordinated the work.
The aim of Poland's Roadmap towards the Transition to the Circular Economy (CE), which was adopted in 2019, is twofold: first, to identify cross-cutting measures capable of having the broadest possible impact in Poland, both socially and economically; and second, to prioritise areas that will enable Poland to take advantage of its current opportunities, and to deal with existing or future challenges.
The Roadmap focusses on 5 areas in particular:
- Sustainable industrial production
- Sustainable consumption
- New business models
- implementation, monitoring and financing of CE.
The Roadmap includes a set of tools, which are not purely legislative, to create the conditions for a new economic model in Poland.
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.
Many actors see the EU’s circular economy (CE) as a promising narrative which steps outside dominant end-of-pipe solutions towards an encompassing vision for strategies across the supply chain. However, this study finds that the EU CE Action Plan maintains the status quo narrative instead of suggesting radical changes.
By focusing on stakeholder narratives, this analysis shows that the inertia is primarily due to CE proponents’ self-perception of being in a legitimacy crisis and their strategic arguments that have:
- concealed social conflict and potential trade-offs
- strengthened the agency of ‘status quo’ agents
- excluded alternative voices questioning the proposed CE narrative.
The paper discusses how to develop new environmental narratives outside the status quo.
Longstanding research on wood cascading has identified a variety of factors to enable more efficient, circular use of forest-based products in Europe.
This paper finds that two of the most critical barriers to wood cascading are:
- Competition between energy and material uses of waste wood in policy, market and infrastructure
- Inadequate information on and low quality of waste wood, including pollutant content.
It makes the following recommendations for policies and business:
- Redesign production processes to deal with contamination and increase quality
- Coordinate energy and waste policies
- Advance reporting standards about material composition of bioproducts
- Explore the best forms of involvement, awareness raising, communication and policies.
France's Law Against Food Waste has become an international model for sustainable food policy. The law is often described as combining economic efficiency with environmental protection and social equity. However, stakeholder narratives cast doubt on whether this French CE law really contributes to social justice in the long run. This discourse analysis shows that:
- the ban on food waste institutionalised a narrative about food waste that prioritises profit over social equity
- the traditionally dominant solidarity narrative about food waste has been pushed back by the emerging CE discourse
- As a consequence of this shift, activities enacted in the name of the CE may counteract social equity goals (for instance by establishing competition with charities).
Urban agriculture comes with its own share of environmental impacts. Circular strategies promise to reduce these impacts, but not all strategies are resource efficient and environmentally effective.
This paper finds that the most eco-friendly and circular strategies for urban agriculture, taking a Mediterranean tomato crop as a case study, include:
- Struvite (phosphate mineral recovered from wastewater treatment) instead of non-renewable phosphate fertiliser to conserve freshwater
- Recycled steel and materials for urban agricultural infrastructure to reduce carbon emissions, toxicity and freshwater pollution
- Closed-loop irrigation to minimise ocean and freshwater pollution. However, if new infrastructure is required, it could lead to an increase in carbon emissions.
Policies are focusing on halving food waste to help conserve increasingly strained food resources. However, expanding their scope of action to include dietary changes and complement targets with resource footprints has greater potential to save resources while avoiding trade-offs.
This paper shows that in Germany:
- Healthy, plant-based diets are more effective at reducing land and biomass use than halving food waste
- A combination of more plant-based food consumption and food waste reduction in distribution and consumption is most effective at saving resources
- Focusing exclusively on food waste reduction as a policy target can be detrimental to the overarching goal of saving resources because it deflects attention away from more effective alternatives.
Environmental assessments should focus on the needs of circular cities to support the transition to a sustainable circular economy
The circular economy (CE) is gaining momentum in cities. To ensure a sustainable CE, it is crucial to measure the environmental performance of CE strategies. However, environmental assessments overlook several strategies that are a key feature of urban CE practice. These include reuse and repair, sustainable built infrastructure and urban land use, green public procurement, smart information and access technology.
To provide insights into the environmental performance and potential of these strategies, industrial ecologists and municipalities should:
- collaborate with urban systems experts
- quantify the environmental impacts of entire urban systems
- combine environmental assessments with social and economic feasibility ones.
Many political, business and civil society stakeholders are disappointed with the German Packaging Act. They feel it makes a comparatively small contribution to the circular economy. This study explains why they are disappointed:
- Policy-making became entangled in disputes between proponents of a private and a public system for waste collection. Stakeholder fears of potential radical changes led to a stalemate
- Fears allowed only incremental changes in the Packaging Act
- The incremental changes could not resolve existing conflicts.
Based on its findings, the paper proposes possible courses of action. To create a shift to a circular economy, dialogue is needed using methods which explicitly address fears and overcome the current stalemate.
This literature review identified and categorised circular economy (CE) practices within all stages of the food and feed production chain in Europe to provide an overview of current and envisaged practices. There are four macro areas:
- primary production of food and feed
- reducing industrial/manufacturing/processing waste
- reducing food and feed waste in wholesale, food retail, catering and households and
- reducing food and feed packaging waste.
It is recommended that future primary research in novel food and feed in the CE focuses on areas other than insect farming, and that there are further investigations into the potential risks associated with importation into the EU of livestock/goods that may have been subject to different restrictions/legislation.
This book provides answers on how to govern the transition to a circular economy in different socio-cultural and political contexts.
It is intended to help the global changemakers who are building our circular future. Author Jacqueline Cramer spoke with 20 representatives of circular hotspots worldwide, thoroughly analysed their different contexts and extracted 10 key takeaways. Everyone working on circular initiatives can use these and adapt them to their own socio-cultural and political contexts.
How Network Governance Powers the Circular Economy Ten Guiding Principles for Building a Circular Economy, Based on Dutch Experiences
How network governance powers the circular economy: Ten guiding principles for building a circular economy, based on Dutch experiences
In this book, Jacqueline Cramer shows how network governance can power the circular economy. Network governance is about building a coalition of partners, which all fulfill a specific function in the network and are aligned by so-called transition brokers. By complementing conventional, public governance with this new form of governance, the best of both worlds is created.
Prof. Cramer shares her huge experience of implementing numerous circular initiatives in the Netherlands. As a practitioner and scholar, she has identified ten guiding principles for building circular initiatives, based on network governance. These guidelines can support everyone who wants to start or expedite a circular initiative.
Why do we need a Circular Valley? Emissions resulting from “linear economy” pose a major threat to the environment and to us. We need a place to cooperate on solutions to reduce emissions and “closed cycles”.
Why is the Rhine-Ruhr region ideal? The Rhine-Ruhr region in Germany combines industries in need of solutions with already existing solution providers and a broad scientific landscape. It is also a cosmopolitan region with a rich industrial tradition.
How to start? The development of the region towards a “Circular Valley” has started with an Accelerator for Circular Economy topics to attract talent to work with companies from the region and beyond.
Application phase for Batch #2 starts in September 2021. It is for start-ups supporting the EU Green Deal and CEAP.
ReNewTex is an innovation network aiming to help use synergies and gradually transform the carpet & rug industry from a linear to a circular business sector.
At present it is working as a moderated matchmaking platform where people can connect to further common ideas and needs through technological projects. After finding the topics, it supports companies in finding the right investment strategy and all the way unto the project start.
To kindle creativity ReNewTex hosts discussions about sustainability or on single topics to shape the discussion into projects.
ZENIT, the agency for innovation and European affairs of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia, moderates the talks, looking for new members and support in project planning and funding.
Based in Barcelona, Rezero is a non-profit organisation that, in collaboration with social and economic actors in Spain, aims to push the model of production and consumption towards zero waste, including the Jo Soc Coco (#IamCoco) conscious consumption campaign.
Rezero creates knowledge and promotes innovative ideas, regulations and projects so that companies, public administrations and people can live without toxic materials or products left unused.
Its activities target:
- Reduction of waste management costs for organic and food waste with social and environmental benefits
- Engagement of private stakeholders (i.e. individuals, grocery retail sector, restaurants) in food prevention and recovery activities
- Donation of uneaten and/or unsold food to charities or for animal feed.
RECYCLO is a multi-stakeholder cooperative society (SCRL). It provides consultancy, training and business development, with the objective of raising awareness about urban waste.
It offers a collection service tailored to urban constraints and catering for professionals. It helps them to reduce the quantity of waste produced and to sort it more effectively. Its projects are conducted by means of partnerships with private and public initiatives, and tackle issues such as recycling smartphones, biomaterials, putting orange peels to use and creating a compost site in Brussels.