The Amorim Group is among the cork industry’s world leaders. It has a business unit focused on recycling, reusing, and reinventing the use of cork - alone or mixed with other raw materials - in the generation of new products and applications (construction, footwear, aerospace, railways, etc.).
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.
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?
The report takes an economic value perspective on
material flows and assesses Europe’s use of steel, plastics
and aluminium in terms of Euros instead of tonnes. The
‘exam questions’ we ask ourselves are: If 100 Euros of raw
materials is entered into the European economy, how much
economic value is retained after one use cycle? What are
the main reasons that material value is lost? 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.
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.
The report analyses the relationship between resilience and the circular economy.
It presents socio-ecological resilience mechanisms, with particular reference to the impacts of COVID-19.
It explores various relevant topics such as resource efficiency, shared resources, regenerative resources, decentralisation, skills transferability, lifelong learning, flexible labour contracts and the strengthening of the sociological foundation.
It also presents three case studies from the Netherlands, Ecuador and India, showing how local companies enhance resilience and reduce vulnerability in various sectors.
Lastly, it gives recommendations for educating stakeholders in how to improve and implement stronger circular economy strategies.
This report, drawn up by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, 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 International Seminar on Plastics Recycling organised by Aimplas will focus on the current challenges and opportunities related to managing and recycling plastic waste. It will also raise awareness about ongoing initiatives designed to scale up efforts to achieve the objectives set.
The event "Circular Economy - Governance and Scale: Europe & Latin America and the Caribbean in conversation about circular transition", co-organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia, the EU-LAC Foundation, Exchange 4 Brasil, Circular Change and the Brazilian Center for International Relations takes place on 22 and 23 November 2021. It offers a platform for business leaders from selected sectors to share their experience and expertise as well as engage in the dialogue about openings for new circular partnerships.
While the circular economy is widely discussed, there are still numerous challenges to ensure that the current innovations and models can be upscaled and mainstreamed. Closing the loops will require substantial investments, a total shift in how we do business and consume, and many policy enablers.
Where should we set the priorities to close these loops? How can standardisation support circular design without hampering innovation? What are the essential criteria to be developed for improving the design of our products without other environmental trade-offs?
EuroCommerce, EIT Community Circular Economy and the ECESP invite you to actively engage with stakeholders in discussing the fundamental principles and circular design as drivers for the uptake of the circular economy on 29 November, at 11:30 CET.
The MeetingPack conference is held every two years by AIMPLAS and AINIA. This year's event will bring packaging value chain stakeholders to the Valencia Conference Centre on 20-21 April 2022 to discuss Barrier Packaging Solutions: A Challenge for the Circular Economy.
The workshop on "Our Phosphorus Raw Materials. Our Food. Our Future - V4's resilience in the face of pandemic" is the first event organised by the PhosV4 partners. It will include a session setting out the partners' competences and the project's scope, which will pave the way towards building a Phosphorus Friends Club in the Visegrad Group.
Climate KiC has launched two training programmes focusing on the use of Circularity Thinking tools in the manufacturing and food sectors within EIT Regional Innovation Scheme (RIS) countries. Registration are open!
The 11th meeting of the EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste will be held virtually on 18 November. This is the last meeting of the current Platform before its re-establishment with a new membership, starting 2022.
This virtual conference focuses on Level(s), an EU assessment and reporting framework that provides built-environment professionals with a common language for assessing buildings' sustainability performance. It features objectives and indicators to measure performance at every lifecycle stage.
Level(s) is free to download and use and has been tested extensively across the EU. It's designed for projects of all sizes.
LOOPS is an opportunity to show what cutting-edge research has been produced, and which changes it can bring to our communities. It is a series of live webinars committed to spotlighting innovation in the field of circular economy. Next event, taking place on 18 November, is about improving the life cycle of textiles.
The Coordination Group of the ECESP notes with interest the Call for mobilisation for a Green Recovery to reboot and reboost our economies for a sustainable future. With most of us already having signed on, there is no question that the recovery needs to be combined with the European Green Deal. The question is how to do so.
Launched in memory of social innovation pioneer Diogo Vasconcelos, the European Social Innovation Competition is run by the European Commission across all EU Member States and Horizon 2020 Associated Countries. The theme this year is Reimagine Fashion.
The major circular economy event, the World Circular Economy Forum, will be postponed until 2021 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. A virtual WCEFonline event in September 2020 will address how the circular economy can help reboot the economy. (Image: Topias Dean, Sitra)
PackAlliance aims to modernise Higher Education curricula to better serve the plastic packaging sector's labour market needs. It has therefor prepared a questionnaire to gather information on the skills needed in the circular economy applied to this sector. Which skills are vital in the plastic packaging transition to circular economy?
Taking the momentum of the European Commission launching the new EU growth strategy, the European Green Deal, over 120 project representatives and policymakers gathered at the Workshop “Innovative services and products for the circular economy” organised by EASME in Brussels.