UK-based Chip[s] Board have developed a range of innovative, circular materials from potato waste.
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The Italian company Mapei has come up with a product which brings leftover cement in mixer trucks back into the production cycle.
The Municipality of Milan, with the Cariplo Foundation, has decided to commit to making its food system more equitable and sustainable by adopting its own Food Policy.
Opravárna operates a web portal putting repair and service businesses in touch with people who need their services. It has also founded the Association Opravme Česko (Let's fix Czechia) in order to to bring together all relevant partners pursuing the same objectives - waste prevention and transition to a circular economy.
In 2019, Carrefour Belgium introduced a range of reusable and recyclable carrier bags made from marine waste. The retailer collaborated with Seaqual, an organisation that cleans up the oceans and seabed, to source the plastics needed.
Estonian start-up 3cular has designed a pioneering way of reusing this sawdust to produce new objects with 3D printing. The desired object is designed using 3D modelling software and then a 3D printer is used to produce the object in layers. The printing ink is a combination of sawdust and a non-toxic binder making it possible to print wooden objects faster and easier preserving the environment.
Based in the Danish capital Copenhagen, Veras operates several initiatives to reduce waste in the fashion sector by making it easy for everyone to swap and sell clothes. Veras is primarily an online webshop shipping to all Europe, where users can send in their own clothes. It also hosts weekly clothing markets for everyone to buy and sell clothing and has a flagship store in Copenhagen.
Vanden’s plastic recycling plant transforms plastic waste into commodities, ready to be manufactured into something useful again.
Italian startup Vaia has developed a passive loudspeaker for smartphones by using - as raw material - exclusively wood brought down by storm Vaia that badly hit the Dolomite mountains in Northern Italy in 2018.
Trifilon Revo uses an existing, consistent source of plastic from a European stream and reinforces it with hemp fibers, thus improving the impact properties of the recycled plastics, which can be used to produce a range of colours and surface finishes, matte or polished.
The Circular Economy and Society Hub of Utrecht University has prepared a white paper analysing the key strengths and weaknesses of the way in which Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is organised in the Netherlands. Based on this analysis, it then sets out three pathways for improving EPR with a view to enabling it to contribute to the circular economy goals:
- Optimising EPR as an instrument for post-user circularity
- Re-designing EPR as an instrument for circular economy transformations
- Beyond EPR: other means of support.
Across the world, cluster organisations have taken a leading role in the green transition. Cluster Excellence Denmark recently released a new e-book titled Towards a New Greener Normal – How Clusters are Dealing with Circular Transition in Times of COVID-19, exploring how this work has continued despite the current pandemic.
The e-book contains informative insights into how clusters are integrating the green transition and digitalisation, leading to brand new and innovative solutions with market potential.
Relevance of Biodegradable and Compostable Consumer Plastic Products and Packaging in a Circular Economy
Relevance of biodegradable and compostable consumer plastic products and packaging in a circular economy
In 2015, the European Commission adopted the Circular Economy Action Plan to help stimulate the transition towards circular economy. The growing number of plastic products and packaging marketed as ‘biodegradable’ or ‘(home) compostable’ raises the question of the extent to which biodegradability and compostability of plastic is beneficial in the context of the transition towards a circular economy.
The study assesses this question, identifying conditions in which (home) compostability of products could be of added value, compared to reuse and other forms of recovery. The results indicate weak evidence in favour of beneficial agronomics associated with compostable plastic material. Choices of materials for products and packaging should prioritise recyclability over compostability.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA) has issued a report on how to make the textile sector more sustainable. It provides proposals for a more resource-efficient and smart textile sector, covering topics such as challenges and definitions of solutions towards a smarter sector. It suggests, for instance, to introduce tax relief programmes and industrial parks for resource-efficient textile production.
This report is one of several sector reports from IVA project Resource Effectiveness and Circular Economy (ReCE). The purpose is to make Sweden more competitive in a future with finite resources in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
The project has established platforms for dialogue between actors in the public and private sectors.
Between 2017 and 2020, Aalborg (Denmark), Malmö (Sweden) and Smiltene and Pļaviņas (Latvia) piloted innovative new approaches to buying circular goods and services as part of the Circular PP project. Their experiences have been collated in this report, which is a very useful guide for public buyers interested in trying out circular procurement. A summary of the report is also available.
The main results and lessons from six public procurement pilot schemes are outlined in the report:
- Buying back ICT equipment (City of Aalborg)
- Outdoor learning environment tender (City of Aalborg)
- Non-new furniture tender (City of Malmö)
- Waste management tender (City of Malmö)
- Catering services for schools (Latvia)
- Furniture for school dormitories (Latvia)
Knowledge Hub is an open access collaborative library of circular economy case studies from Europe and around the world. It contains over 2000 case studies.
Knowledge Hub is based on the following three principles:
- Everyone contributes: the knowledge base grows quicker if everybody adds case studies.
- Everyone edits: It's not meddling, it's co-authoring! Version history ensures nothing is lost.
- Everyone curates: See any irrelevant, duplicate or promotional content? Report it to the Knowledge Hub admins!
European environment policy for the circular economy: Implications for business and industry stakeholders
EU institutions and agencies are increasingly raising awareness about the circular economy agenda. They are encouraging marketplace stakeholders to engage in sustainable production and consumption by reducing, reusing, restoring, refurbishing and recycling resources throughout their value chain.
This research evaluates the latest European environmental policies including the new circular economy plans for a cleaner and more competitive Europe. It then goes on to present a systematic literature review focused on the circular economy in the EU context. The findings suggest that there are a number of opportunities and challenges for the successful planning, organisation, implementation and measurement of circular economy practices.
This publication is the first outcome of the Policy Lab 2.0. It sets itself as the result of the fruitful collaboration between cross-regional officers and stakeholders in their attempt to co-build new standards for circularity. They are also willing to provide effective solutions for the main challenges European regions need to face in the transition towards a circular economy (CE).
This report provides valuable insights into the creation of a common set of circularity criteria for the overall assessment of CE projects, with the aim of providing European regions with the right tool to foster a smooth transition towards a CE. It also emphasises the importance of promoting cross-regional knowledge through education and training.
The European Green Deal provides the impetus to find more resilient, fair and sustainable economic systems. To deliver this ambition and recover from the economic impact of COVID-19, a systemic approach is needed.
The System Change Compass re-examines the driving forces of our socio-economic system, addressing the issues of resource consumption and environmental pressures.
The report presents future-fit policy directions and economic ecosystems (among them, nature-based, circular materials), and shows how these can better serve our societal needs and work within planetary boundaries. It also highlights 50+ champion orientations outlining a next-generation industrial landscape, with investable opportunities for jobs and a more sustainable future via COVID-19 recovery funds.
The report on Sustainable Plastics Strategy was prepared by the European Technology Platform for Sustainable Chemistry (SusChem) and its partners: Cefic, PlasticsEurope, European Plastics Converters (EuPC) and the European Composites, Plastics and Polymer Processing Platform (ECP4).
One of the keys to tackling plastic waste is the creation of a circular economy. However, the circular economy for plastics is not just about waste. Eliminating leakage and stepping up the use of secondary materials may be part of the picture, but the transition to renewable inputs completes it.
This report outlines the future research needed to fulfil the objectives of the European Strategy for Plastics and the Green Deal priorities.
L’économie de la fonctionnalité et de la coopération consiste à fournir aux entreprises, individus ou territoires, des solutions integrées de services et de biens reposant sur la vente d’une performance d’usage ou d’un usage et non sur la simple vente de biens. Ces solutions doivent permettre une moindre consommation des ressources naturelles dans une perspective d’economie circulaire, un accroissement du bien-être des personnes et un developpement économique.
L’Institut est un organisme d’intermédiation dont l’objectif est de favoriser la coopération entre tous les acteurs (publics, parapublics et privé)s engagés dans la démarche relevant de l’économie fonctionnelle et de coopération.
Notre mission est de faire mieux connaître le modèle de l’EFC car il ne peut pas y avoir de transition sans transition économique et sans changement du travail.
Pour y arriver, l’Institut s’appuie sur
- un réseau de Clubs Territoriaux
- l'animation de 8 ateliers sur différents thèmes de recherche opérationnelle
Enfin l’Institut assure la promotion, la communication et la diffusion du modèle de développement de l’EFC en France, en Europe et à l’international.
The Circular Economy Task Force is a business group convened by the Green Alliance. It is a forum for policy, innovation and business thinking on resource use in the UK and is currently chaired by Colin Church, chief executive of IOM3. This task force has already produced a number of reports on resource policy, recycling opportunities and manufacturing productivity.
The task force’s most recent report, Completing the Circle, has placed a spotlight on the amount of material often lost to the economy, once collected, and proposes new measures to complement recycling targets which would help to 'pull' these materials back into use in manufacturing.
Some of the task force's recommendations were picked up by the UK’s Environmental Audit Committee’s Growing a circular economy report, and by the Scottish Government’s Resource Use and the Circular Economy inquiry.
The task force has also established the North Sea Resource Roundabout project, working with the Embassy of the Netherlands in the UK to identify the regulatory barriers to the trade and use of recycled materials across European countries, and working with regulators to develop solutions.
The current members of the task force are Kingfisher, Viridor, Walgreens Boots Alliance, SUEZ recycling and recovery UK, and Veolia.
Versnellingshuis Nederland Circulair! (Netherlands Circular Accelerator) is a business support network created by VNO-NCW / MKB Nederland, their regional affiliates and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water. Despite much interest in the circular transition, creating a successful enterprise that effectively keeps resources and products in use longer is not that straightforward due to a lack of knowledge and too little collaboration with stakeholders.
The Versnellinshuis helps overcome these challenges by:
- improving the preconditions for circular entrepreneurship through dissemination of financing opportunities, promotion of market incentives and discussion on regulatory barriers at regional, national and European levels
- matchmaking entrepreneurs across regions and value chains to stimulate sustainable solutions.
In addition to hosting a website for circular innovators to connect directly, the Versnellingshuis launches 5 groundbreaking projects and fosters 3 regional collaborations yearly and contributes to a circular transition with the following programmes as well:
- Holland Circular Hotspot: network for international promotion of Dutch CE activities
- VANG: knowledge and best practice exchange for local authority waste managers
- Plastic Pact NL: bringing 75 value chain players together to stimulate less plastic and more recycling.
For a brief overview, view the video below:
Circwaste is a 7-year LIFE IP project that promotes efficient use of material flows, waste prevention and new waste and resource management concepts. It is coordinated by the Circular Economy Service Centre established by the Finnish Environment Institute.
The Service Centre provides regional operators with expert support and disseminates information on good practices in the context of the circular economy. It distributes information on material-efficient public procurement, harmful substances, establishing industrial symbioses and the possibilities of funding new initiatives. In particular, it supports regional working groups and a select number of pioneering municipalities in preparing their own circular economy roadmaps, which should be adopted by late 2019.
A regional cooperation network provides support and expert assistance for developing the circular economy and implementing the national waste plan in Southwest Finland, Central Finland, South Karelia and North Karelia.
The circwaste.fi portal (in English), which distributes information on national good practices in circular economy, similar to 'Good news from Finland', is an abridged version of the Finnish-language service materiaalitkiertoon.fi.
To learn more about circwaste activities watch the video below:
The Swedish Life Cycle Center is an initiative by the Swedish Energy Agency, hosted by Chalmers University of Technology, which strengthens collaboration and engages more organizations to apply a life cyle perspective in Sweden.
The platform, designed for academia, industry, research institutes and government agencies, has been active for 20+ years, counts 14 partners and is supported by 7 government agencies. In 2018, it organized 80 meetings for 370 lifecycle professionals.
The lifecycle center accomplishes its objectives with partnerships for several activities such as: network conferences, seminars, webinars, education, initiating research projects, collaboration and communication activities.
The Circular Economy Academy is a free mentoring and support programme, set up by the Rediscovery Centre, which is the National Centre for the Circular Economy in Ireland. The programme assists social enterprises and community organisations in any part of Ireland to move their activities towards sustainability and embrace the circular economy.
The Academy provides business support services built on the Rediscovery Centre’s vast knowledge of social enterprise development and design thinking concepts. The service includes advice for start-up, circular business planning, development, funding, diversification, and training. The Academy also supports organisations to replicate the Rediscovery Centre’s successful paint, furniture, fashion and furniture reuse initiatives.
Each service is tailored to suit the needs of the participating organisation. The Academy also offers incubation and regional clinics.
State of Green is a not-for-profit, public-private partnership from Denmark. It facilitates relations with international stakeholders and is a one-point entry to more than 500 leading Danish players working to drive the global transition to a sustainable, low-carbon, resource-efficient society.
As "Moving towards a circular economy" is one of the network's four global challenges, State of Green is highly active in communicating Denmark's policy and business leadership in this field. Since inception, the platform has:
The UK Circular Plastics Network (UKCPN) brings together diverse users of plastic products to reduce plastic waste entering the environment through a programme of networking and knowledge-sharing events, and related support activities.
- Eliminating the volume of plastic waste arising from within the UK.
- Raising awareness and sharing best practice to improve the rate of UK plastic recycling.
- Sharing best practices to reduce confusion among citizens and highlighting user-centred design.
- Showcasing innovation focused on reducing the amount of plastic ending up in the environment.
With support from UK Research and Innovation, UKCPN forms part of the Plastics Research Innovation Fund (PRIF), which is engaging Britain’s best scientists and innovators to help move the country towards more circular economic and sustainable approaches to plastics.
The two-year programme brings together those with solutions to the problem and facilitates circular supply chain engagement with those solutions. The UKPCN will host more than 12 events during this period and launch a website for the community to interact directly, while also publishing a directory of companies active in this sector as a landscape map accessible to all members.
UKCPN also has signed up as an engagement partner of the UK Plastics Pact.
The Network Economia Circolare (Circular Economy Network) is a multi-stakeholder platform hosted by the Fondazione per lo sviluppo sostenibile (Sustainable Develpoment Foundation) to promote the Italian circular economy.
A mix of professional and technical associations, innovative companies and civil society organisations promote the network, which is open to all companies that intend to share these goals by taking concrete actions and commitments. As of 2019, the network counts 13 promoters and a couple dozen members.
The Network Economia Circulare focuses on three core activities:
- yearly conference on the circular economy
- annual report outlining the state of the circular economy
- Sustainable Development Prize for journalists and creatives
Circular Oslo promotes multi-stakeholder collaboration to accelerate the circular transition in the Oslo Region by sharing knowledge and expertise for reduced material consumption, while supporting regional activities having positive social, economic and environmental impact. To achieve this, Circular Oslo:
- encourages and inspires by identifying and highlighting municipalities, organizations, projects and initiatives that implement circular solutions and innovative business models
- develops and provides access to tools, workshops, and educational resources for public entities, communities, NGOs, businesses, entrepreneurs, and students to better understand and implement circular solutions
- collaborates with similar initiatives whose values and mission align
- strengthens links with other regions, both nationally and internationally.
In 2019, Circular Oslo has begun mapping circular economy policy actions from the Nordic region and wider Europe to support the development of a national CE strategy for Norway.
What is a blockchain? Why is it increasingly used in the circular economy? In which cases is it relevant?
To understand it all, join the INEC at its dynamic and educational webinar Blockchain for Circular Economy actors in 10 questions on 11 October!
The workshop on Delivering the EU Green Deal through Circular Procurement will take place on 14 October during the European Week of Regions and Cities. This event will help procurement specialists, policy makers and other stakeholders understand how public procurement can accelerate local and regional transitions towards a circular economy.
Join the EU Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) programme's online webinar on 29 September 2021 to learn how ETV can help innovators, investors, and buyers improve their confidence in new environmental technologies through verification. ETV works to boost innovative environmental technologies adoption and contribute to the circular economy.
High-level foresight conference on positioning sustainable and circular bioeconomies in Central and Eastern Europe to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.
The Making It Circular Challenge is a two-day event on circular economy for plastics in Europe. This free-of-charge event will take place online on 29-30 September 2021.
The European Union, the Canada Plastic Pact, the Circular Economy Coalition and the project Reducing Plastic Waste in Canada are hosting a WCEF21 two-hour Accelerator Session on circular economy for plastics with a focus on global supply chains on 15 September 2021.
According to the UN, in 2021 each person on the planet will produce on average 7.6 kg of e-waste, meaning that a massive 57.4 million tonnes will be generated worldwide. Only 17.4% of this electronic waste, containing a mixture of harmful substances and precious materials, will be recorded as being properly collected, processed and recycled.
Many initiatives are underway to tackle this growing concern, but none of them can be fully effective unless consumers are properly informed and really play their part. This year’s International E-Waste Day will focus on the crucial part each of us has to play in making circularity a reality for e-products.
The building and infrastructure sectors show high potential for circularity given their significant resource and energy consumptions. Despite several EU initiatives in the sector, little attention is given to sustainable and circular infrastructure. ENEA, Alchemia-Nova, Innowo, the ECESP Coordination Group on construction and infrastructure and the ECESP invite you to the twin #EUCircularTalks on 28 and 30 September at 10:00 a.m. CEST.
Join us and learn more on connections between the construction and infrastructure value chain and the other value chains, and also the strength and weaknesses of using secondary materials in the market.
This hybrid event, Mazovia Circular Congress, part of Circular Week 2021, will take place on 15 October. It is aimed at representatives of public administration, local government, enterprises, managers dealing with sustainable development and CSR, start-ups and media. We also plan to organise a panel discussion for various stakeholder groups (entrepreneurs, non-governmental organisations, representatives of state administration and local government) on how to use circular economy solutions.
This event explores the development of taxonomies globally as well as the status of the EU and UK taxonomies.
Catalonia's Ministry of Territory and Sustainability is organising the 2021 Catalonia Eco-Design Award. This recognises products already in the market or under development or strategies designed to improve the environmental performance of products and services and so contribute to the circular economy. Deadline for applications: 15 February.
Ecorys is looking to develop a roster of experts / business advisors / consultants on the topics of sustainability and resource efficiency, to provide support to the European Cluster Collaboration Platform. Both individuals and organisations are eligible, and the call will remain open until 16 February at 6 p.m. CET.
It is possible to make products safer and more sustainable by assessing their performance at the design stage of product development, according to the EEA. This approach would reduce risks from chemical pollution and support Europe’s transition to a circular and low-carbon economy.
The RECITURF project is developing new methods for recycling artificial turf so that it does not end up in landfills. New artificial turf can be manufactured using the different plastics recovered from waste turf.
Circularity can reduce the land consumption footprint and contribute to ecosystem restoration. Safe, sustainable and circular use of excavated soils can reduce pressures on biodiversity. The European Commission has therefore launched an online public consultation on the development of a new EU Soil Strategy.
The transition from a linear to a circular economy is one of the most important imperatives of our time: it requires a fundamental change in the way we produce and consume. A circular approach to production and consumption reduces emissions and pollution, increases competitiveness, and boosts innovation.
From goods as simple as office supplies to services as complex as energy systems – everything has to go through procurement. Green Public Procurement is not only closely tied to key EU Green Deal targets, but also to the indispensable principle of a just and inclusive transition to the Circular Economy.
Together with its research partner TNO Netherlands, the European Sustainable Business Federation - Ecopreneur.eu - invites companies to take part in a consortium of green SMEs to respond to future calls from the new HORIZON EU research and innovation programme, which runs from 2021 until 2027 and has a budget of around EUR 95,5 billion.
On 18 January 2021, the co-design phase of the New European Bauhaus is officially starting! The launch was announced by Commissioners Gabriel and Ferreira.
The roadmap for the EU strategy for sustainable textiles has been published and will be open for feedback until 2 February 2021.