In France, the designer Lucile Viaud found her way to contribute to organic recycling. More precisely, to recycling of seafood waste. Her work is focused on transforming oyster shells into glass.
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SirPlus, based in Germany, is an example of a business which avoids food waste to its utmost. It consists of a supermarket that sells food rejected by other stores for being considered out of the regular aesthetics for a supermarket – for instance, ugly fruit and vegetables, jars labelled incorrectly, or goods near or past expiry date.
RAU has been working in the architectural sector focusing on the design of sustainable buildings. Their projects include buildings for public/private sectors, with an integrated design methodology.
CIAK is a waste management company from Croatia that focuses on recovering hazardous and non-hazardous waste. Focusing on recovering and recycling accumulators and batteries, CIAK helps closing the loop for these products.
RecycLivre.com is a website selling second-hand books which aims to establish a relationship based on solidarity between its customers and underprivileged groups. It is built around the idea of promoting the recirculation of books instead of them being thrown away by their owners.
Tropa Verde was set up in Santiago de Compostela, Spain in 2015, and seeks to encourage environmentally responsible behaviour. Its goal is to promote recycling by rewarding environmentally-friendly practices.
Filippa K is a Swedish fashion brand which has taken significant steps to support sustainable consumption and design. The brand follows the "four Rs" of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repair in order to encourage more mindful consumption and diminish fashion's impact on the environment.
Bedzzzy is a great example of a 'product as a service'. Based in the Netherlands, it targets old mattresses which are a major source of waste, producing its own recyclable mattresses – the world’s very first 100% circular mattresses.
Reet Aus is a PhD-qualified fashion designer who founded her own brand that focuses on sustainable fashion. She has studied the issue of waste in the fashion industry.
Remondis is one of the world's largest recycling, service and water companies with over 30 000 employees and 900 business locations. The Lippe plant in Lünen is one of their largest sustainable projects: it has a surface area of 230 ha and is the largest industrial recycling plant in Europe.
Destination Climate Neutrality brings together leading recommendations of think tanks, scientists, thought leaders and NGOs to offer a policy blueprint for how best to propel Europe towards net zero carbon emissions in the coming 5 years of the Von der Leyen term. It offers sector-by-sector analysis, targets and initiatives in governance, finance, industry, energy, transport, the circular economy, agriculture and employment.
On circular economy, the report sees challenges in:
- a lack of EU targets for waste prevention, reuse, repair and refurbishment
- no monitoring framework for material flows
- contamination of materials by hazardous ingredients
- high demand for biomass.
The authors identify opportunities in job creation, cleaner supply chains and product policies.
This report presents a baseline measurement of employment in the Belgian circular economy and provides insights into the nature and number of jobs in the country’s circular economy. This includes all jobs contributing to the circular economy through activities in renewable energy, repair and maintenance, recycling, digital technology, design, new business models and collaboration.
This report, conducted by the King Baudouin Foundation and the Dutch social enterprise Circle Economy, aims to inform governments, employers, social partners and other representatives with a view to pursuing effective and inclusive circular labour policy.
An online monitor, which the partners will update regularly, complements the report.
Renewable energy is not enough. There needs to be a fundamental shift in the global approach to tackling climate change and the circular economy can play an essential role.
Completing the Picture: How the Circular Economy Tackles Climate Change, a paper published by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, tells us:
- Greenhouse gas emissions are not dropping quickly enough to achieve climate targets and switching to renewable energy can only cut them by 55%
- The remaining 45% of emissions come from how we make and use products, and how we produce food
The paper concentrates on five key areas (cement, plastics, steel, aluminium, and food) to illustrate how designing out waste, keeping materials in use, and regenerating farmland can reduce these emissions.
Over the last few years the concept of chemical recycling has been promoted by industry as a potential solution to help curb plastic pollution and waste management as a whole. This Zero Waste Europe report looks into the knowledge available as well as the state of implementation of such technologies in the European context.
Mechanical recycling is a mature industrial process, well established and expanding in Europe. Plastics cannot however be endlessly recycled mechanically without reducing their properties and quality. Besides, not all plastic types can be mechanically recycled. These limits set challenges for plastics recycling and show the need for significant improvements in the end-of-life management of plastics.
Since decades, innovators test gasification and pyrolysis for alternatives to waste to energy incineration with very limited results due to the energy balance and the environmental impact. In general, more information is needed about the environmental performance of chemical recycling technologies, as this industry is in its infancy and most plants are mere pilots. The roll-out of such technologies at industrial scale can only be expected from 2025-2030, an important factor when planning the transition to a Circular Economy and wider decarbonisation.
The right policy framework must accommodate chemical recycling as complementary to mechanical recycling while ensuring that carbon stays in the plastic, thus not being released into the environment. Therefore, allowing plastic to fuels to be considered chemical recycling risks creating a loophole in EU Climate and Circular Economy legislation.
The Elephant in the Boardroom: Why Unchecked Consumption is Not an Option in Tomorrow’s Markets is a working paper from the World Resources Institute that can guide discussion within companies about an uncomfortable truth: many of today’s business models are not fit for tomorrow’s resource-strained world.
Normalizing the conversation will set the groundwork for the pursuit of new business models that allow growth within the planet’s limits and generate stakeholder value in new and exciting ways.
This research, part of the CEC4Europe factbook on the circular economy published in September 2018, evaluates 131 projects from the Circular Economy Industry Platform (CEIP) regarding their contribution to circular economy from both a scientific and political perspective.
Content analysis was applied to derive qualitative and quantitative information from company statements on the platform. This was supplemented by qualitative, semi-structured interviews with company representatives on selected projects. Results showed a diverse approach to circularity across the sample projects, thereby partly expanding the sectoral focus of the circular economy package.
The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment unites businesses, governments, and other organisations behind a common vision and targets to address plastic waste and pollution at its source. It is led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in collaboration with the UN Environment Program. Launched in October 2018, the Global Commitment already unites more than 400 organisations in its common vision of a circular economy for plastics, keeping plastics in the economy and out of the ocean. Signatories include:
- close to 200 businesses that are part of the plastic packaging value chain, jointly representing over 20 % of all plastic packaging used globally, including many of the world’s leading consumer packaged goods companies, retailers, and plastic packaging producers
- 16 governments across five continents and across national, regional, and city level
- 26 financial institutions with a combined USD 4.2 trillion worth of assets under management and 6 investors in total committing to invest about USD 275 million
- leading institutions such as WWF, the World Economic Forum, the Consumer Goods Forum, and IUCN
- more than 50 academics, universities, and other educational or research organisations including MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative, Michigan State University, and University College London.
All 400+ organisations have endorsed one common vision of a circular economy for plastics, in which plastics never become waste. As this June 2019 report shows, the number of business signatories has grown from over 100 to nearly 200 in the seven months since the launch.
The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has released a report on tackling plastic waste using circular solutions, with a focus on the opportunities chemical recycling provides. After highlighting the scale of the issue, the report presents different ways of solving the plastic waste issue by comparing the impacts of different waste treatment options and technologies, such as pyrolysis. The report concludes that:
“To tackle the colossal societal and environmental issue of plastic waste, we need proportionally meaningful efforts from the private and public sectors as well as society at large that encompass behaviors and habits. The ultimate solutions will involve a combination of judicious consumption and disposal measures as well as the development of cost-competitive and environmentally friendly alternatives. Most observers would agree, however, that these changes are years away. In the meantime—over the next decade or two—we can implement circular solutions to reuse or repurpose plastic waste in the most efficient way.” (Boston Consulting Group, 2018, p. 24).
ECESP Coordination Group members contributed to this report, including Circular Change and Circle Economy.
In March 2019, the Italian Circular Economy Network hosted a national conference on the circular economy, where it presented this Report on the Italian circular economy in 2019. Based on the methodology used, comparing the 5 most important European economies, Italy is the top performer in terms of circular economy implementation, ahead of the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Spain (in this order). While Italy’s position has remained unchanged compared to the previous year, there are some small signs of a slowdown which must be taken into account.
The report makes the following 10 proposals for a circular economy in Italy:
- Spread and enrich circular vision, knowledge, research and good practices
- Implement a national strategy and action plan
- Improve the use of economic instruments
- Promote a regenerative bio-economy
- Integrate circular principles in public procurement
- Promote city initiatives
- Ensure rapid and effective implementation of the 2018 EU waste framework legislation
- Rapidly activate an effective end of waste (EoW) regulation
- Ensure the necessary business support infrastructure
- Extend circular principles to e-commerce
The Ecopreneur.eu landscape review of circular economy policy in the EU Member States aims to inspire these countries to accelerate their circular transition. Combining the EU's Monitoring Framework with other rankings, databases and reports, Ecopreneur presents 28 country profiles using a mix of quantitative data and qualitative information to highlight specific indicators. These range from waste generated per capita to voting behaviour on EU proposals on the circular economy.
The report also describes the current performance, initiatives, most relevant organisations, policies, challenges and examples of good practice for each Member State. The country profiles show 28 unique different trajectories towards the circular economy.
These are unusual times for everyone but this is also a time when innovation is more important than ever! The ISPIM Connects Global Conference will be a celebration of innovation and feature success stories and insights from 21 global regions as we move around the world in 24 hours.
Smart Circular Economy is an international workshop focusing on the role of ICT as an enabler for the circular economy. Accepted and presented papers will appear in the IEEE Xplore library and all major publication indexes (DBLP, Scopus, etc.).
As you already know, because of uncertainties around travelling and attending public events over the following months due to COVID-19, Circular Economy Hotspot Catalonia has been postponed until 2021. However, in Catalonia they are fully committed to maintaining the hotspot momentum and keeping the circular economy community engaged with an online conference on 19 November 2020.
Organised by EIT Climate-KIC and the European Commission’s Executive Agency for Small and Medium Enterprises (EASME), this event will explore how the efficient design and funding of circular economy research & innovation can support nations all over the world with their economic recovery plans.
Join a series of livestream events to understand better how the private sector can help accelerate the world’s transition toward a regenerative and circular economy. The webinar on 16 November 2020 will be on Circular Economy & Emerging Technologies.
This online Policy dialogue on Innovative solutions for a circular economy will explore the role of innovative approaches, notably digital solutions and new technologies, in the transition to a circular economy, including the barriers to their development and scale-up.
European Week for Waste Reduction (EWWR) encourages people in Europe and elsewhere to raise awareness about sustainable resources and waste management during a single week in November.
The CL-HUB project organises a series of training webinars (in Italian) on the circular economy for Italian businesses. In these five seminars, participants will learn how to use worthwhile circular economy approaches for the success of business activities.
An online study tour on re-use & repair for municipalities and public waste companies which aims to create an inclusive circular economy at local level.
Pantheon Performance Foundation is organising a series of webinars to take place on 15, 16 and 17 December 2020 from 3 to 4.30 p.m. (CET), focusing on policy, technology and practice in the field of reducing CO2 emissions from concrete manufacturing and use. It aims to draw up a manual of sustainable materials for CO2 neutral constructions.
On 19 February 2019 the European Parliament and ACR+ hosted experts and practitioners from local and regional authorities, training providers, NGOs and academia across Europe.
The European Commission is conducting a stakeholder consultation on the EU Ecolabel to gather views and identify opportunities to increase uptake of this voluntary ecolabelling scheme.
Registration is now open for the 2019 Circular Economy Stakeholder Conference: Success Stories and New Challenges, to be held March 6 and 7 in Brussels. Apply until January 31st to attend this conference, grow your network of circular partners and participate in taking stock of the Circular Economy Action Plan’s achievements while setting the ground for new horizons in the circular economy.
On 22 January 2019, Circle Economy launched the second annual Circularity Gap Report in Davos during the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting.
Encourage individuals and organizations to contribute to a more sustainable use of electronics by sharing tips and inspiring others to re-use products with the hashtag #CircularElectronicsDay!
Scientific journal Nature addresses setting up an international platform to share data and experiences, and coordinating industrial policies and trade to conserve resources and energy.
The European Commission’s Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance is inviting stakeholders to give their feedback, and is hosting a series of expert workshops. Register before 4 January 2019!
On December 6, European Commissioner for the Environment Karmenu Vella and other EU representatives met Romanian government ministers and civil society leaders including ECESP Coordination Group member Dr Elena-Simina Lakatos.
Polish Circular Hotspot builds on COP24 to sign cooperation agreement with circular networks across Europe, including ECESP Coordination Group member Circular Change.