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.
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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.
Billy Tannery is a micro-tannery helping to create value by reusing goatskins that would otherwise go to waste, to make leather products.
The Shellworks designers’ collective recycles seafood shells to make bioplastic, in order to reduce plastic use and waste.
Ocean Cleanup has launched design sunglasses made from plastic removed from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
In 2017 JRK Waste management introduced an intelligent data system (ECONIT) to reduce the high quantities of mixed municipal waste in Czechia. The programme asks residents to scan their rubbish with QR codes. Information on the quantity and types of waste produced is then used by the local waste management agencies to improve collection and recycling rates.
The company Teemill produces t-shirts from organic cotton. They are designed to be sent back to the company when they are worn out.
Splosh sells its range of products – from detergents and fabric softeners to shower gel and hand wash – in bottles that can be refilled from their concentrated refill pouches. Buying refills in these pouches cuts plastic waste by 95%.
Since 2010, Philips has been working on introducing recycled plastics into its product portfolio. The baseplate of Senseo Original coffee makers, the company’s most popular model, has been changed to 95% post-consumer recycled plastic.
SECONTRADE is the first and largest European online market for secondary raw materials, launched in Austria in 2018. It digitalises waste management and enables the trade of recycled materials across Europe.
CICERONE is a group of European programme owners, researchers and businesses seeking to build a platform for an efficient circular economy. Its report Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) on Circular Economy aims to help owners and funders of European circular economy programmes adopt a systemic approach to circular economy transition.
The SRIA was developed based on eight priority themes (biomass and biotechnologies, chemicals, construction and demolition, food, plastic, raw materials, waste and water) and builds on four societal areas that face sustainability challenges (urban areas, industrial systems, value chains and territory and sea) to identify priority areas to tackle EU region-wide issues and facilitate the circular economy transition.
Plastic-based — or ‘synthetic’— textiles are woven into our daily lives in Europe. They are in the clothes we wear, the towels we use and the bed sheets we sleep in. They are in the carpets, curtains and cushions we decorate our homes and offices with. And they are in safety belts, car tyres, workwear and sportswear. Synthetic textile fibres are produced from fossil fuel resources, such as oil and natural gas. Their production and consumption and handling the related waste generate greenhouse gas emissions, use non-renewable resources and can release microplastics.
This briefing provides an overview of the synthetic textile economy in Europe, analyses environmental and climate impacts, and highlights the potential for developing a circular economy value chain.
Plastics play an essential role in modern society, but they also lead to significant impacts on the environment and climate. Reducing such impacts while retaining the usefulness of plastics requires a shift towards a more circular and sustainable plastics system.
This report tells the story of plastics and their effect on the environment and climate, and looks at their place in a European circular economy.
Data palms are becoming ever more important globally and in the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa). The Khalifa Award Report, inspired by 46 contributors in 21 countries, focuses on the 5 Ps - People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnerships - which shape the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The bio-circular economic potential of the date palm industry has yet to be explored. In some cases, it is a necessity that can save lives in oases prone to fire hazards caused by climate change; it can also provide new green jobs in the sustainable economy transition. The European circular economy transition can serve as a model for adaptation in the MENA region.
More info on date palm recycling on pages 162-3 of the report.
GLOPACK: radio frequency identification can help prevent your fridge spawning furry science experiments
The GLOPACK (Granting society with LOw environmental impact innovative PACKaging) project aims to come up with food packaging which has no environmental footprint and can extend the shelf life of food products.
This paper explores the applications of Radio frequency identification (RFID), a promising technology that can identify articles much more efficiently than barcodes. One of the project's areas of interest is RFID-enabled wireless food spoilage indicators linked to food date labels.
RFID technology can help reduce waste (consumers can use it to check the quality of the food in their fridge) and increase recycling (it is good for mass identifying items quickly, which is helpful in a recycling facility).
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation has identified five universal circular economy policy goals that provide a framework for national governments, cities and businesses to create a transition that fosters innovation and decouples growth from finite resource consumption and environmental degradation.
As governments and industries around the globe move towards a circular economy, it is key to align ambitions and collaborate effectively. The five goals provide a blueprint for cooperation and the private and public sectors need to pull together to achieve them. The goals acknowledge that the relevant policies are interconnected, which will help avoid creating a patchwork of solutions.
As part of its work on the environmental footprint, the European Commission organised a webinar for SMEs on 10 December 2020 providing an introduction to the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) method.
The event focussed on the following questions:
- What is a PEF study?
- How can such a study be undertaken?
- What are the benefits for SMEs?
The Netherlands faces major challenges in the domain of sustainability. Its ambition is to create a circular economy and ultimately eliminate CO2 emissions and other greenhouse gases altogether. What does that mean for Rijkswaterstaat?
This report contains a selection of sustainability highlights by Rijkswaterstaat (Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management). Inspiring tales of what can be achieved by making full use of everyone’s knowledge and experience, but also a fascinating description of how Rijkswaterstaat has evolved into a sustainable executive organisation for the entire national government.
Leveraging Circular Economy Innovation - Selected Case Studies from EIT Climate-KIC's City Loops Circular Innovation Programme
The intention of EIT Climate-KIC's City Loops Programme is to build circular capacity by addressing cross-sectoral collaboration on a system-level, and within an urban context. To achieve this, each of the five project partners - Circular Berlin, Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI), Provadis Hochschule (Frankfurt), Cleantech Bulgaria (Sophia) and Wuppertal Institute - held various workshops in 2020 implementing a 'Circularity Thinking Innovation Process'.
The following case studies give an overview of the different situations circular economy innovation tools can be applied to and the value it creates.
The Commission's DG Environment and DG for International Cooperation and Development commissioned a study on the circular economy in Africa, and eight country reports were drawn up in preparation for a continent-wide report on the prospects of the circular economy in Africa.
The Rwanda report examines the scope and status of the circular economy there. It looks at the policy framework, trade and investments and the impact and benefits of the circular economy. It also explores circular economy-related cooperation between the EU and Rwanda. It concludes that the government is acting on circular economy principles and is well placed to be the regional hub for Africa in the area of the circular economy.
Cirkelstad is a national platform connecting private entrepreneurs and policy-makers who are delivering the transition to a circular economy in pioneering Dutch cities. By facilitating their networking, the platform enables greater impact by spreading best practice.
In addition to a comprehensive database of good practice, research and policy guidelines to inspire practicioners, the Cirkelstad Academie also provides occassional trainings and provides advisory services to aspiring circular projects in Utrecht and Amsterdam.
To learn more about this hands-on network and connect with the 'spinners' coordinating activities in each city, visit the platform here.
The Polyolefin Circular Economy Platform (PCEP) is a European joint industry value chain initiative, founded by two plastics industry associations (EuPC and PlasticsEurope) in order to advance the circular economy by increasing the reuse and recycling of polyolefin-based products and the use of recyclates as raw material.
Polyofelins are the most widely used family of plastics. They are present in every day life and are fully recyclable. Their main products are high, low and linear low density polyethylene (HDPE, LDPE, LLDPE) and polypropylene (PP). Polyethylene (PE) and PP represent close to 50% of the total European plastic production and are largely utilized in various plastic applications.
PCEP recognises that a business-as-usual approach will not enable the proposed challenging target of 55% plastic packaging "preparing for re-use and recycling” by 2025, as outlined in the European Commission’s Circular Economy Package, so the platform will be working for a 5-10 year horizon based on effective, science-based solutions. It will initially focus on polyolefin-based packaging as it represents the application segment where highest quantities of valuable recycled raw materials can be generated.
PCEP is developing activities in the following areas of work:
- Development of packaging design guidelines and assessment.
- Innovation to increase the recyclability of flexible and rigid packaging.
- EU-wide quality standards for sorted plastics, harmonisation of test methods for recycled plastic materials and certification of plastic recycling operations.
- Innovation & development of end-use markets to encourage demand for recycled plastics.
- Stimulating innovation to improve mechanical recycling, conversion technologies and reuse.
- Driving the R&D of new technologies to convert non-mechanically recyclable plastics into feedstock for the production of new materials.
#gocircularnow (GCN) is a consumer-focused campaign to advance the transition to a circular economy. It encourages a more sustainable way of living and consuming that’s realistic, affordable and simple to incorporate.
As part of this movement, GCN provides consumers with the information and means needed to ask their favourite brands to #gocircularnow, while providing clarity on the many different ways in which circularity can be of benefit to their daily lives.
GCN also promotes makers currently operating within the structures of circular production, bringing them to the attention of consumers so they can be seen as viable alternatives to non-circular brands.
Its mix of engaging content and opinion communicates in ways that take the conversation around sustainability out of its current ‘eco-bubble’, connecting with everyday realities to make conscious consumption the new normal.
MaterialDistrict is a unique platform for innovative materials which empowers global innovation by match-making material needs with material solutions in the name of circularity. R&D and design professionals of all industrial sectors use this platform to discover new material solutions daily via MaterialDistrict's independent collection of materials, annually at MaterialDistrict Rotterdam and periodically throughout the year with travelling MaterialDistrict Expo, MaterialDistrict Talks and MaterialDistrict Pop-Up events.
C-SERVEES is a network aiming at activating Circular Services in the Electric and Electronic Sector through the development, testing, validation and transfer of new circular economic business models based on systemic eco-innovative services that include:
- eco-leasing of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE),
- product customization,
- improved management of waste of electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE),
- and ICT services to support the other eco-services.
ICT tools (relying on QR codes) will be developed as the driver of the proposed eco-innovative services to take full advantage of the potential and synergies of two major revolutions of our time: the circular economy and the Industry 4.0.
C-SERVEES will contribute to transform the E&E sector into circular and 4.0, raising new opportunities for end-users (such as their involvement in design or the access to a product as a service) and for social and solidarity economy (conducted by NGOs employing people at risk of social exclusion to repair and prepare WEEE for re-use). The techno-economic, environmental and social viability of the new circular economy business models will be validated through demonstrations dealing with four target products: washing machines, toner cartridges, telecom equipment and TVs.
The African Circular Economy Network (ACEN) is a registered Non-Profit Organisation in South Africa (195-590 NPO).
Its vision is to build a restorative African economy that generates well-being and prosperity inclusive of all its people, through new forms of economic production and consumption which maintain and regenerate its environmental resources.
The research activities of the ACEN will investigate issues, document findings relevant for the African context and its needs. Researchers will be drawn from ACEN members, academics and other stakeholder partners across Africa, but also Europe, Asia or America, where needed.
Training and Awareness
The priority of ACEN is to raise awareness and undertake training amongst key sectors of the African economy: public (government, educational institutions), private (corporates & SMEs), and civil society (non-governmental organisations) to promote the concept, benefits, principles and practice of the Circular Economy.
Networking and Events
ACEN believes that solutions to current challenges require inter-disciplinary skills, multiple stakeholder involvement and regional, African as well as international partnerships. It therefore aims to create platforms where specialists can collaborate to exchange ideas, experiences and solutions. ACEN has hosted several stakeholder engagements to date to enable a global reach. Members from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (UK), Pavia University (Italy), the South African/European Union Partnership (South Africa), the World Economic Forum (Switzerland) and Green Alliance (UK), to name a few, have joined the discussion.
ACEN currently disseminates and shares knowledge about the circular economy through LinkedIn and Facebook, and in the future, will also use other online channels to develop a strong base of knowledge and information and extend its reach throughout South Africa and Africa.
The network is active in over 24 countries. In 2017 it co-organised the first Circular Economy Conference in Africa with the European Union and the South African Government (World Economic Forum Africa, Durban). It is engaged with the EU to discuss approaches on ways to be inspired by the African continent and enable more circular strategies (less negative impact), and with training, research and knowledge sharing with corporate and universities.
The ECO.NOMIA portal, created in 2016, is one of the components of the Portuguese Action Plan for Circular Economy (2017), adopting the role of a knowledge-sharing space. It is a one-stop-shop for all things circular, in Portuguese, aimed at citizens, companies and investors. Not only does it explain the principles, advantages and opportunities of the circular economy, it also provides examples and information on financing, learning opportunities and national and international events.
The Italian Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform (ICESP) is the mirror initiative launched at national level by the National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA) - the only Italian member of the ECESP's Coordination Group.
The ICESP is bringing together Italian circular economy initiatives, experiences, critical issues and perspectives to be represented at European level. Its objective is to promote the Italian way for circular economy at national and international level.
The ICESP acts through six working groups: 1) Research and eco-innovation, 2) Policy and governance, 3) Measuring the circular economy, 4) Sustainable and circular design, production, distribution and consumption, 5) Cities and territory, 6) Good practices.
Valdelia is a non-profit simplified joint stock company (SAS) founded in 2011 by 13 companies specializing in the manufacture of non-household furniture in order to set up a joint service for the management of non-household furniture waste.
Valdelia was approved by the French authorities in December 2012 for the management of non-household furniture waste. Valdelia supplies professional furniture marketers with a shared, turnkey solution enabling them to meet new regulatory obligations for furniture waste management. It favours upcycling whenever possible and in the process is actively contributing to social entrepreneurship in the sector.
TOMRA, a global leader in collecting beverage containers for recycling, invites you to attend its second webinar on lessons learned from the world's highest-performing deposit return systems. This webinar will take a deep dive into how high-performing systems make retrieving containers convenient, and why convenience is key to an effective deposit recycling programme.
To register, please click here.
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.
New EU Ecolabel criteria have been adopted for Electronic Displays and Printed paper, stationery paper and paper carrier bag products. Stringent criteria ensure that EU Ecolabel products are among the best on the market in terms of environmental performance. Follow the webinars on 9 and 10 December to learn more about these new criteria.
The LOOP-Ports circular economy project, coordinated by Fundación Valenciaport and co-financed by EIT Climate-KIC, will organise its final conference in an online format open to the public, on 16 December as an official side event of the World Circular Economy Forum Online hosted by the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra and its partners.
SECOND HAND COUNTS is a market survey on second-hand clothes in the EU. It aims to provide facts needed for decision making on second-hand clothes both in general and on a country by country basis for all EU countries plus the United Kingdom, Norway and Switzerland.
How to stop plastics ending up in the ocean? The Rethinking Plastics – Circular Economy Solutions to Marine Litter project is working on solutions together with seven countries in East and South East Asia.
Cillian Lohan, Green Economy Foundation CEO, is also EESC vice-president and representative of the ECESP Platform. In this video for Euronews, he gives strong arguments for the circular economy as a motor to regenerate ecosystems, economies and a more sustainable future.
Is your SME providing digital solutions to make our cities more circular? Join the transformation of European Cities by applying to DigiCirc Accelerator Programme! DigiCirc Circular Cities Open Call is now open for applications!
The Circular Plastics Alliance aims to boost the EU market for recycled plastics to 10 million tonnes by 2025. The alliance covers the full plastics value chains and includes over 175 organisations representing industry, academia and public authorities. New stakeholders can join the alliance by signing its declaration.
Discover the 24 members of the new Coordination Group of the Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform for its new mandate November 2020 - May 2022.
A “Bach Forest” for the climate! To offset the CO2 footprint of the Bachfest, which every year draws Bach friends from all over the world to Leipzig (DE), organisers aim to plant 72 acres of mixed forest on a former opencast mining site over the next few years.
EU environmental rules aim to ensure that end-of-life vehicles are managed sustainably. They seek to eliminate hazardous substances in cars and require that most ELV parts and materials are reused or recycled.
The Commission would like to hear your views on its proposal to improve collection, treatment and recycling of ELVs. You can give your feedback on this initiative until 19 November 2020.