The cotton gauze grocery bag provides a unique design turning an environmentally-friendly cheesecloth gauze fabric into a sturdy mass produced grocery bag that later can easily be used at home as machine-washable cotton napkins, reusable cleaning cloth and much more.
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Pluumo uses surplus feathers cleaned to hypo-allergenic standards to make compostable, biodegradable packaging.
BE O Lifestyle is a Dutch company which has developed a form of plant-based plastic that it uses to manufacture water bottles. The bottles are made from sugar cane residue and are reusable, completely environmentally-friendly - and nice to look at!
The E-waste Race is an educational competition between ten primary schools to collect old electronic devices. Project participants are given an introductory lecture about recycling and the valuable materials contained in electronic devices. They then start collecting e-waste and the school which collects the most wins an educational - and fun! - school trip.
Red Orka is a circular babywear brand that aims to do better for people and the planet. Red Orka's product is delivered to people's homes on the basis of a subscription for a fixed amount each month. The baby rompers are made from 100% organic cotton and produced in the most sustainable way possible.
The Italian company Menichetti produces organic glues and adhesives intended for sustainable packaging. The raw material is obtained from leather and tanning industry by-products.
LENA is the first online and offline fashion library in the Netherlands. It has a system for borrowing clothes and provides an extended wardrobe for every occasion. Their aim is to speed up the fashion industry's transition towards a circular system.
The Waste Transformers transforms organic (food) waste in an anaerobic digester called a Waste Transformer housed in 20-foot shipping containers into clean energy, water and high-grade fertiliser whilst also upcycling the waste into new raw materials for paper, textiles or soaps. They do this all on-site where the waste is produced. No transport, no CO2.
Ocean Sole takes the world's most widely worn shoe, the flip flop, and turns it into art, and the Dutch company Nic&Mic sells it in the Benelux countries. Ocean Sole is Kenya-based and began with the desire to clean up beaches that were heavily polluted with plastic and flip flops. Ocean Sole has grown to employ 90 Kenyans.
Back in 1931, EMMA was founded as a social enterprise for injured workers from the Dutch State Mines. Hence, social entrepreneurship is in the DNA of EMMA Safety Footwear. Today, EMMA still employs about 100 people who need some additional support in the labour market. Making sustainable safety shoes was, therefore, a logical next step in EMMA’s journey towards a positive footprint.
This study aims to assist the European Commission to identify policy options that support the uptake of circular economy principles for buildings’ design in European, national and local policies.
The goal is:
- to increase the service life of buildings
- to facilitate the use of secondary materials and
- to improve resource efficiency across the building life cycle.
The study also provides key insights and recommendations on actions for a roadmap supporting the uptake and implementation of circular economy principles for buildings’ design.
The Federal Council for Sustainable Development Belgium has issued a formal response to the Federal Belgian Action Plan on the Circular Economy. The council addressed issues regarding the substance and procedure of the action plan.
Procedural issues include the vagueness of the plan's exact intentions and deadlines as well as the lack of a better governance mechanism. Substantive issues include:
- more focus needed on the social challenges associated with the introduction of a circular economy
- more focus on the impact on the climate of increasing digitalisation
- recycling of critical metals, and
- importance of removing all known barriers (regulatory, fiscal, financial, etc.) to the circular transition.
Ethical smartphones, multifunctional strollers, remanufactured milking robots and bicycles-as-a-service: the Dutch manufacturing industry offers plenty of inspiring and groundbreaking innovations for a circular economy. International cooperation is nonetheless crucial to deliver and accelerate the circular transition as the value chains of the manufacturing industry cover the whole world.
With this publication on Manufacturing: the future is circular, Holland Circular Hotspot and the Dutch Circular Manufacturing Implementation Programme (UPCM) aim to bring insights and case studies from the Netherlands to an international level, in order to inspire everyone around the world to act and kickstart circular development.
Every year, huge numbers of photovoltaic (PV) modules are being installed. This solar energy expansion greatly furthers the ecological transformation of the energy system. But to solve the climate crisis every aspect has to be taken into consideration. This is why this white paper wants to shine light on challenges currently occuring or to be expected in connection with used photovoltaic modules and their disposal in Germany.
To better implement the goals of a circular economy, this paper will retrace the steps in the lifecycle of a photovoltaic module and analyse problems and possible solutions along these stages. After a brief description of the occuring challenges, opportunities and solutions deemed to be effective and sensible in these matters are presented.
The COVID-19 pandemic is having an immense impact on societies across the world. It has caused millions of deaths worldwide and challenged our health systems and economies. The pandemic - and responses to it, involving lockdowns, use of personal protection equipment and stay-at-home measures - has far-reaching health and economic consequences.
This briefing deals with the less visible effects on our environment and climate originating from changed use of single-use plastics due to the pandemic.
Emerging waste streams: Opportunities and challenges of the clean-energy transition from a circular economy perspective
Emerging waste streams: Opportunities and challenges of the clean energy transition from a circular economy perspective
Renewable energy technologies, such as wind turbines, solar photovoltaic panels and batteries, are essential for Europe’s transition to climate neutrality. Deployment, maintenance and replacement of this infrastructure requires significant resources, including many substances included in the EU list of critical raw materials.
Waste arising from end-of-life clean energy infrastructure is projected to grow up to 30-fold over the next 10 years, presenting significant opportunities to reduce consumption of scarce raw materials by recycling metals and other valuable resources back into production systems.
Circular economy approaches such as repair and upgrading of equipment and recycling of end-of-life infrastructure can underpin the sustainability credentials of EU renewable energy.
The extraction/processing of raw materials is associated with potentially significant environmental impacts, including contributing to approximately half of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions globally. In the EU, non-energy, non-agricultural raw materials account for 18 % of GHG emissions associated with EU consumption.
Given the EU's commitment to reducing its GHG emissions, and the European Green Deal's aspiration to achieve a climate-neutral continent by 2050, mitigating climate impacts from raw material production is central to the EU's climate agenda.
All activities associated with collecting waste materials for recycling lead to GHG emissions. Especially for metals, however, their contribution to emissions is only a fraction of the emissions saved by not using primary metals.
Every year, about 100 billion tons of material are taken from the planet - but only 10 billion are circularized. The results of the TOP 10 study clearly highlight the differences between the systems: the waste culture and concepts are different in the Global North and the Global South, as are the objectives of the respective legislations.
In the Global North, the goal is to decouple waste generation from consumption. In the Global South, waste increases with per capita income; here, the old consumption patterns and images of the rich Global North are often emulated.
Scorecards are used in the study to assess individual materials and their circular maturity in the region. The overall score is shown in the summary per material.
Innovation Deal for a circular economy: unlocking opportunities through public-private collaboration
By designing and enabling the use of Electric Vehicle (EV) batteries for multiple use-cycles, valuable materials are maintained, and a range of economic and environmental benefits can be unlocked.
Innovators from the automotive industry, Dutch and French public authorities, and the European Commission have collaborated to identify regulatory barriers to reusing EV batteries as energy storage devices and unlock solutions.
France’s Anti-waste and Circular Economy Law is a great example of cross-sectoral collaboration. Policymakers, municipalities, NGOs and businesses worked together with the public administration to identify a richer range of needs, solutions, and policy measures. As a result, the law is ambitious and contributes to a system-wide transition towards a circular economy.
CircLean is a network of businesses and SMEs that participate in the reuse of raw materials through industrial symbiosis. The network aims at mobilising industries and relevant stakeholders to overcome the challenges of industrial symbiosis today for its increased uptake in Europe.
The network will create:
- a common methodology to measure and report on resource exchange and benefits from symbiotic exchanges;
- an online tool for matchmaking and assessment of transactions;
- and a CircLean Label to accredit members that comply with it.
CircLean is an initiative of the European Commission. It is implemented by a consortium led by Technopolis Group, involving Trinomics, International Synergies, and Arctik as partners, and supported by A’SPIRE, EIT Raw Materials and ACR+.
RCUBE is a Federation of French companies active in the Reuse/Reduce/Repair sectors and covering a very wide range of products and services (such as smartphones, computers, tyres, toys, electronics and bicycles).
By promoting the exchange of best practices with regard to reconditioning, training and public affairs, RCUBE helps and supports companies as they shift to circular economy business models.
REFLOW is an EU H2020 funded project that seeks to understand and transform urban material flows, co-create and test regenerative solutions at business, governance, and citizen levels to create a resilient circular economy.
The project aims to develop circular and regenerative cities through enabling active citizen involvement and systemic change to re-think the current approach to material flows in cities. For more info, read the Reflow whitepaper.
Hosted on the REFLOW website, the Community of Practice (CoP) houses a Forum for exchange, a Best Practice Database and a host of Circular Resources. By becoming a member of the community, you join an ecosystem that is designed to share resources, knowledge and practical solutions to accelerate the transition towards circular cities.
The Circular Plastics Alliance (CPA) is an open platform for public and private actors in the European plastics value chain that want to help increase the EU market for recycled plastics to 10 million tonnes by 2025.
Companies and business associations are encouraged to submit their voluntary pledge here. Voluntary pledges consist of a quantity of recycled polymer(s) to be produced or used by your organisation by 2025. The CPA is an initiative under the European Strategy for Plastics. 240 signatories work together to implement the content of the CPA declaration. For more information, you can watch the CPA video or visit the EU Commission website.
The Circular Economy for Flexible Packaging (CEFLEX) initiative is a collaboration of over 160 European companies, associations and organisations representing the entire value chain of flexible packaging. CEFLEX wants all flexible packaging to be designed for easy collection, sorting and recycling, with valuable new markets and applications created for the recycled materials.
CEFLEX stakeholders represent the full value chain including: raw material producers (plastics, paper and aluminium foil), ink, coating and adhesive suppliers, film producers and flexible packaging converters, brand owners, waste management companies, recyclers, extended producer responsibility organisations and technology suppliers.
InnovaWood speaks for research, innovation and education in the field of wood science and technology. It is a European network of 60 organisations in 28 countries, including research institutes, universities, VET actors and regional cluster organisations throughout the value chain from forestry and wood processing to construction, furniture and the circular economy.
The network promotes greater impact from innovative uses of wood, Europe’s chief and abundant renewable raw material, through dedicated communication. It supports project consortia and collaborative initiatives, forging links with other industry sectors and promoting crosscutting RTDI cooperation. Collectively, its members are involved in at least 1 500 national and 250 international projects.
The European Recycling Industries’ Confederation (EuRIC) promotes recycling among local and European industrial members
The European Recycling Industries’ Confederation (EuRIC) represents the recycling industry at European level. Gathering the national recycling federations from EU/EEA Member States, EuRIC represents over 5 500 companies, from market leaders to SMEs, who recycle waste streams, i.e. household or industrial and commercial waste, end-of-life vehicles, Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment, packaging (paper and plastics), end-of-life tyres or textiles.
It serves as a platform for the cooperation and exchange of best practices, actively promotes recycling and contributes to European projects.
EuRIC’s event, the European Recycling Conference (ERC) discusses key questions with industry professionals and EU policy-makers.
Read about EuRIC's top five priorities from 2019-2024 here.
The platform is a virtual learning and collaboration environment for all interested stakeholders, using an interactive and collaborative online structure:
- Knowledge Hub: interactive resource centre gathering useful information for Vocational Education and Training teachers and professionals
- Online Training Course for EduZWaCE Manager and EduZWaCE Technician
- Partners Section for the partners in the EduZWaCE project
- Collaborative Section to inspire professionals from companies
- Diagnosis Tool for companies to investigate opportunities for circular economy and zero waste solutions.
ASPAPEL, the Spanish Association of Pulp and Paper Manufacturers, promotes a competitive and sustainable development of the sector by encouraging circular methods
ASPAPEL is a Spanish association for pulp and paper manufacturers. They work to promote sustainable and competitive development of their member companies, especially focusing on the improvement of industries by applying circular methods in the recycling of used paper processes.
Their key areas are:
- industrial relations,
- occupational risk prevention,
- public communications.
The association is governed by a General Assembly and a Management Board with assisting committees and working groups.
Chemical Recycling Europe is a platform that encourages its members to unite for the common goal of closing the loop for the plastics industry through technological innovation and participation within chemical recycling. The platform encourages the goal of recycling all plastic waste into its original components or as value-added materials.
The association was established in 2019 for the European chemical recycling industry to make a difference towards the public and European institutions.
Its members offer technologies to transform unrecyclable plastic waste into new raw materials. In this way, the transformation to reuse ensures the reduction of CO2 emissions and combat global warming and increased CO2 footprint of plastic products.
Just say no to textile waste! In order to identify the potential for circular business practices and fabric recycling, it is important to understand the availability and usage of post-industrial and post-consumer textile waste in production and consumption countries.
The Green Growth Community (GGC) is organising a new online edition of a communication training on 22 February. This session will help participants communicate their projects or initiatives in the field of sustainability and circular economy more effectivelly.
The 1st meeting of the EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste in its new mandate (2022-2026) will be held virtually on 17 February 2022.
In this panel discussion, founders of circular enterprises will get the audience up to date on the latest trends, challenges and innovations in the sector.
The online symposium "Smart Process Systems Engineering 2022: Towards sustainable and circular production processes" on 2-4 March 2022 will cover both engineering and social sciences. You can register and submit an abstract for a flash presentation until 20 February.
The ISPIM Innovation Conference 2022, “Innovating in a Digital World”, is a three-day event that brings together world-renowned experts on innovation management.
Circularities and Circl (an initiative of ABN AMRO) have collaborated on a magazine called ChangeMakers which offers a rich assortment of interviews, ideas and tips for the circular transition. The event on 10 February at 17:00 CET will launch the magazine.
The Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP 2.0) brings opportunities for businesses. It encourages new business models which generate substantial material savings throughout value chains, making them more resilient and fostering industrial symbiosis. Innovative environmental technologies play a substantial role in helping companies make their business models and value chains inclusive and circular faster and more efficiently.
The EU policies and initiatives under the CEAP (such as the Green Claims Initiative, the Sustainable Products Initiative and the revision of the Ecodesign Directive) supported by sectoral policies also give businesses incentives to look for better alternatives. The webinar on 17 February aims to present the Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) scheme and discuss its contribution to linking the circular transformation of industrial ecosystems with the innovation ecosystem and CEAP objectives.
This online conference will build on research by Chatham House, and others, to drive forward an inclusive circular economy agenda and promote a just transition to circular economic models.
This local event, in the framework of #EU Industry Week 2022, is an exchange of good practices by European regions addressing circular economy incentives for SMEs through the Taxonomy regulation for the classification of economic activities with a substantial contribution to the transition towards the circular economy. It is targeted to regional government, policymakers, regional agencies, SMEs and their support organisations.
Circular Insider - A speed date with circular economy frontrunners
Circular Change invites you to discover the circular lifestyle with its brand new publication. Circular Insider aims to be a source of inspiration for decision makers and to bring the concept of the circular economy closer to the general public.
Aimplas coordinated the European Life Ecomethylal Project, which has ended with the construction of a plant capable of extracting up to half a kilo of methylal from each kilo of non-recyclable waste.
The Circular Consumption Charter is the result of a partnership between Eni and 18 Italian consumer associations. It was launched on 17 June at a conference involving consumer associations, representatives of public institutions, the scientific world and the certification sector. EESC Vice-President Cillian Lohan participated in the event.
Interested in contributing to EU efforts to fight food loss and waste? Don’t miss the opportunity to submit your application!
The Commission is calling for applications from private sector organisations with expertise and proven track record in food waste prevention to re-establish, together with public entities, the EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste for its second mandate (2022-2026).
This study aims to provide information about circular economy perspectives in the management of textile products and textile waste in the European Union. The report improves the understanding of current value chains in the manufacturing and retailing of apparel products in the EU and provides a detailed picture of material flows in the EU textile sector in a global context.
The Conference on the Future of Europe is collecting ideas on how to use resources more efficiently in a circular economy. As well as sharing your own ideas, you can also find other ideas from across Europe.
Discover the ECESP Coordination Group's work plan 2021 to advance the circular economy and bring the community together. The Group members will use their expertise and tackle issues in eight key areas identified as essential for the transition to a more circular economy.
You are encouraged to participate in a survey that the European Food Safety Agency is launching to complement and prioritise the set of circular economy areas and practices which might pose risks to food/feed safety and the environment.
The European Commission is organising a series of targeted stakeholder workshops to gather input on challenges and gaps as well as opportunities for the textile sector in the transition towards sustainability. The fourth workshop on 18 June 2021 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. CET will focus on “product design for sustainability in the textile value chain”.
On 7 June 2021, the Italian G20 Presidency and the EU are organising an online workshop on Circular Fashion to inform discussions in the G20. The workshop will explore the G20’s role in promoting the circular economy in the fashion sector.
On the 24th of May, C&A Foundation, together with Ecopreneur.EU hosted a Circular Fashion Policy Lab in Brussels at the European Economic and Social Committee in the context of the Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform. The purpose of the event was to bring together representatives from across the fashion industry to discuss key policy measures to make a meaningful impact for a green economy.
Circular Economy Stakeholder Conference on 20/21 February: Delivering on the Circular Economy - What's next?
Two years after the adoption of the first EU Circular Economy Package, more than half of the initiatives included in the Action Plan were delivered. The first Circular Economy Stakeholder Annual Conference took place in Brussels in February 2018 to discuss upcoming deliverables, explore new areas of action, and share the first achievements of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform.