In cooperation with Renewi and Coolrec, Circular Clockworks has launched the 'Circular Watch'. It is made from raw materials provided by Renewi, such as secondary plastic granules produced from recycled electronic and electrical appliances. Black watches are based on materials from recycled televisions, while the white ones are made from recycled fridges.
Complementerre38 obtains waste collection equipment, including end-of-life equipment, that are sold or donated, and gives them new life. In this way, the company provides a technical solution adapted to customer specifications that ensures the re-use of the equipment instead of it going to waste.
PCDT buys used spare parts for home appliances from individuals whose appliances cannot be repaired and will then sell thems - with no margin of profit - to customers who can use them to repair their own appliances.
AIMPLAS, the Plastics Technology Centre, is coordinating a project called C-SERVEES to develop more circular products like washing machines, laser printers and toner cartridges, TV sets and telecom equipment.
Circular economy strategies have been under development in European cities, regions, and countries in the last few years. 33 strategies have been adopted since 2014, and at least 29 more are under development. Existing strategies were reviewed for this study, to identify similarities and differences, and to assess the involvement of civil society organisations, and potential for collaboration.
The study argues that documents developed in the future should put more focus on including broader sections of value chains, and on ensuring inclusive partnership approaches in all phases of the strategy’s cycle. To date, circular economy strategies show different degrees of inclusiveness in terms of value chains and partner involvement.
The opportunities in the reuse and service-life extension of manufactured objects are fairly well documented. But a huge innovation potential lies dormant in the Circular Industrial Economy: the reuse and service-life extension of manufactured molecules. The latter is under-researched and under-exploited: reusing atoms and molecules in loops of highest purity, instead of recycling mixed wastes, is a challenge which involves chemistry on several levels, including the design of new molecules and mini-mill technologies to de-link existing materials. Innovative non-destructive and non-mixing collection and sorting processes will also need to be developed. Policy Innovation could close the invisible liability loop, by legislating an Extended Producer Liability.
Every second German manufacturing firm saves material by designing its products resource-efficiently. Although increasing digital networking in complex industrial production processes opens up new opportunities for saving resources, almost half of these firms are not digitalised yet.
This study delivers the first empirical findings on the relevance of digitisation to improving material efficiency based on the German company survey ‘IW-Zukunftspanel’.
German manufacturing firms have up to now only rarely digitised material efficiency measures to a great extent. If they are - particularly in large companies - they tend to be used for process optimisation. Around two fifths of the companies are at least moderately digitised in relation to the most important industrial efficiency measures, namely process optimisation and the use of new techniques, but there is still more than a third that is not at all. Companies have most frequently digitised cross-company materials cycles, but this instrument is only applied by two fifths of industrial companies.
Mountain areas face specific natural conditions, such as slope, climate, and soil types, that make the exploitation of mountain resources difficult.
Other challenges associated with connectivity and transport make economic activity all the more challenging.
The adoption of the circular economy will be particularly important in mountain areas which contain exceptional primary resources such as forests, water, and minerals, and provide ecosystems services such as carbon sequestration, clean water, landscapes, and recreation. Maximizing the value of extracted resources and managing them sustainably is particularly important for maintaining a high quality of life in mountain territories. The circular economy can create new economic opportunities that will provide much needed employment.
Since 2000, the “Slovenian Entrepreneurship Observatory” publishes a report annually providing analysis of the situation of Slovenian companies and insight into Slovenian entrepreneurship. In 2018 this report had a thematic focus on the circular economy (CE), with the authors centring in on the drivers and barriers to SMEs integrating CE into business practice.
This report first provides a theoretical framework for the CE, which aims to raise awareness and facilitate information exchange between companies and individuals looking to spread circular innovation. Simultaneously this report also provides an overview of the barriers companies face in transitioning towards circularity, which include a lack of comparable indicators to benchmark and track progress as well as cost of eco-design.
The built environment, consuming almost half of the world's resources extracted every year and responsible for a massive environmental footprint, is a fundamental sector in the circular transition. The circular economy has great potential to help meet global sustainability targets and the Paris Agreement's goals in particular. Moving towards a circular built environment involves a shift in roles and business models for stakeholders active in this sector. However, barriers related to culture, regulations, market, technology and education are slowing down the transition. The private and public sector need to create a level playing field in order for circular materials, products and services to become the new normal in the built environment.
Within the discussion on possible instruments that policy-makers can use to achieve waste collection targets and implement the 2015 Circular Economy Action Plan, deposit-refund systems (DRS) are often cited as a promising & useful policy tool.
In this report, ACR+ explored DRS experiences across ten European countries: Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. This analysis concludes that the launch timing in relation to other waste management systems and the positive participation of producers are both decisive in determining the success of the system.
To learn more about the hands-on implementation of DRS in Europe, read the full report here.
The Centro de Documentación Europea de la Universidad Francisco de Vitoria (European Documentation Centre, UFV) has completed a project titled Economía Circular y Empleabilidad de los Jóvenes en la Comunidad de Madrid (Circular Economy and Employability of Young People in the Autonomous Region of Madrid).
The outcomes include a report on communicating the circular economy through the lens of employment opportunities circular business models provide for young people. The project has also created a guide on communicating the circular economy to students, which introduces the subject, presents the 7R model and shows how innovative companies provide opportunities for employment in circular business.
Within the European project INCOVER, an experimental plant uses low-energy photobioreactors to cultivate micro-algae and transform wastewater into bioproducts.
This article describes this new experimental plant and the start-up stage, starting from the new design of three semi-closed horizontal photobioreactors with low energy requirements, for microalgae cultivation (30 m3 total), using agricultural runoff and urban wastewater as feedstock.
The inflow nutrients concentration is adjusted to select cyanobacteria, microalgae able to accumulate polyhydroxybutyrates, which can be used for bioplastics production. Part of the harvested biomass is used as substrate for anaerobic co-digestion (AcoD) with secondary sludge to obtain biogas.
On 18 May 2021, AIMPLAS will hold an online workshop on innovative uses of CO2 for industry. The event is geared to companies committed to recovering CO2 and will present existing innovations in the field of CO2 transformation and new developments in CO2 use.
The Re-Use conference on 19 May will focus on the shift towards the circular economy in the textile sector. There will be exciting contributions on textiles and the circular economy from speakers such as Dr Willi Haas. The conference will be accompanied by the Theater im Bahnhof. Please note that the conference will be in German!
The conference on "Young Researchers’ Innovative Ideas: Science - Start-Ups - Industry" will be held on 27-28 May 2021. The organisers are inviting young researchers and PhD students to prepare presentations about innovative solutions (social, organisational, marketing, product and process-related) relevant to businesses.
The Recycling Expo and Conference “eREC” on 3-8 May 2021 is a virtual platform for the recycling industry that facilitates the national and international exchange between companies and customers. Companies can use this platform to present themselves, their newest products, and innovations, and enjoy the advantages of online networking.
As the Horizon 2020 research programme becomes Horizon Europe, what better time to witness how great ideas turned into real projects? LOOPS will be the opportunity to show the resulting cutting-edge research, and the change it can bring to our communities. The 22 April episode will focus on smart and circular composite materials.
For the occasion of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the EU, from January to June 2021, CECOLAB (Portuguese COLAB for the CIRCULAR ECONOMY) was invited by the Portuguese Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education to organize an International Conference on circular economy on 20-21 April 2021.
Join Recyclers’ Talks #2 on 4 May to discuss what is needed to achieve a true circularity in textiles while lowering the impacts on the environment & climate and find out how different players in the textiles chain can contribute to this goal.