The Italian project BIOCOSI (BIOdegradable and COmpostable packaging for sustainable, circular and smart industry) has come up with a revolutionary solution to the problem of wastewater in the dairy sector.
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In Denmark, the interior design company Mater has developed chairs made out of brewery waste. The production method uses plastic waste and the grain left over from beer production at the Danish brewery Carlsberg.
Fjällräven is giving wool waste a second life by using it for innovative purposes, like padding in jackets or backplate in backpacks.
Cikautxo worked with the TAPA (ThermoplAstic fluid handling Pipes for cooling circuits in Automotive sector) project, funded by EIT RawMaterials, to develop new materials for pipes and hoses. They substituted natural rubber with a 100% recyclable thermoplastic material (thermoplastic elastomeric, TPE), using energy-efficient extrusion technology.
The Horizon 2020 project SUSTAINair was launched recently. It aims to research and develop solutions to increase resource efficiency and aircraft performance while cutting down on waste and material costs throughout the aircraft life cycle - what is known as "circular aviation".
CLIC trans-disciplinary research project aims to demonstrate that it is economically, socially and environmentally convenient to maintain and/or reuse cultural heritage and landscape.
Maersk has been developing ways to build recyclable ships that can be dismantled and reused.
Aerocircular provides green, service-only, economical end-of-life aircraft recycling and upcycling services to fleet owners.
RiVending is an innovative cycle of recovery and recycling of polystyrene cups, stirrers and PET bottles for vending machines in Italy.
The partnership between Herning and DFD has led to a new circular business model for the work clothing used by the municipality’s technical operations department.
The European Manufacturers of Electrical Machines and Power Electronics are committed to Circular Economy
The European Committee of Manufacturers of Electrical Machines and Power Electronics (CEMEP) supports the development towards a circular economy (CE), thus actively contributing to more sustainable manufacturing and responsible consumption. This industrial sector follows a business-to-business market model, delivering products for a wide number of economic sectors and applications.
Its three main product groups – electric motors, variable speed drives and uninterruptable power systems – show differences and similarities when it comes to material efficiency, hence the need for sector- or product-specific approaches when pursuing CE.
This position paper describes the CE status of the CEMEP industries and the way forward towards more circularity.
This document is the result of the active involvement of the Interreg MED Green Growth community, together with its projects.
To make circular economy (CE) simpler, more efficient and more competitive, it is suggested to take a holistic, integrated and cooperative approach, by considering all phases in which CE is structured, all levels (from local to European) and all stakeholders involved in the implementation of CE models.
The policy recommendations proposed in the document are structured into six main areas:
- Investments and access to finance
- Technological infrastructure
- Labour market and employment
- Awareness and knowledge
- Cooperation among stakeholders and technology transfer
- Cross-cutting issues.
The Capital Region of Denmark is committed to becoming a fossil-free and circular region by 2050. Inter alia, this entails achieving an 80% recycling rate for the region’s waste by 2035, and growing green business activities by 8% by 2025. New forms of cooperation and dialogues between stakeholders are necessary to reach these goals.
Through a three-year public-private partnership, the Region and its partners aim to pave the way for greater collaboration between the waste sector and the business community. Metabolic collaborated with the Region to undertake a material flow analysis and an environmental assessment of the Region’s waste system, and to identify impact hotspots and circular opportunities.
The fourth Thematic Working Group (TWG) set up by Interreg MED's Green Growth community implemented and assessed solutions to promote competitiveness and innovation of Mediterranean SMEs in a circular economy.
The TWG's White Paper addresses the following issues:
- smart specialisation, public-private partnerships and innovative funding;
- lack of effective clusters for companies and stakeholders to connect, work together and transfer innovations;
- limited access of SMEs to tools, services and funds driving innovation;
- limited consumer awareness and interest in “green” and “circular” products and services.
Zero waste: problems become opportunities in Waste Prevention & Management - a White Paper by Interreg MED's Green Growth community
The third of the four Thematic Working Groups created by the Interreg MED's Green Growth community addressed waste reduction, prevention and management.
This White Paper promotes solutions to reduce organic (livestock) and inorganic waste, and maps technologies, systems, and strategies for proper waste management. It illustrates issues - e.g. over-production/application of high-nitrogen slurry and manure and need to treat it, as well as lack of treatment of agrifood waste - and highlights the projects’ contributions to achieve full use of resources through their life cycle to create a circular economy.
Among the results: policy guidelines based on four Struvite Precipitation (SP) plants to stimulate innovation and set up a common legal framework for struvite as fertilizer.
Promoting Green and Smart Public Services within Mediterranean Municipalities to move towards a Circular Economy: a White Paper by Interreg MED's Green Growth community
The second of four Thematic Working Groups created by the Interreg MED's Green Growth community was tasked with promoting green public procurement (GPP) by which public authorities seek to procure goods and services with reduced environmental impact throughout their life cycles.
This White Paper provides solutions for GPP and addresses issues linked to the lacking integration of sustainability and circular economy criteria in GPP and the provision of public services. It also highlights the need to develop the capacity of private actors to adopt eco-innovation and green energy in order to participate in green e-tenders.
The main objective is to examine public procurement in the context of long-term impacts, with specific attention paid to the role of public authorities.
Make More With Less: Enhancing Resource Efficiency in the Mediterranean Agro-food Sector and Cities for a Circular Economy
Make More With Less: Enhancing Resource Efficiency in the Mediterranean - a White Paper by Interreg MED's Green Growth community
The first of 4 Thematic Working Groups created by the Interreg MED's Green Growth community focused on Sustainable Consumption and Production by enhancing Resource Efficiency in the Mediterranean agrofood sector, as well as in urban areas through the implementation of the Smart City Concept.
The White Paper zooms in on the difficulties that companies face in:
- measuring their environmental footprint and resource efficiency;
- the use of low-cost, low-tech, labour-intensive and rudimentarily-equipped greenhouses;
- the lack of energy efficiency and renovation of EU buildings.
It then presents the projects' solutions and the benefits of resource efficiency for the environment and the economy. The projects were monitored according to the EU CEAP's indicator framework.
The Circularity Gap Report Norway is an in-depth analysis of how Norway consumes raw materials to fuel its societal needs. Currently, 97.6% of materials consumed each year never make it back into the economy.
Norway also has one of the highest per capita consumption rates in the world (44.3 tonnes per person). At 2.4%, its circularity rate is below the global average (8.6%). Each year Norway consumes 235 million tonnes of materials - metals, fossil fuels, biomass and minerals - to meet its internal needs.
However, the report reveals how Norway could see a 20-fold increase in its circularity by restructuring its businesses and industry through 6 key actions in the following fields:
- repair, reuse and recycle
- forestry and wood products.
The EU’s Circular Economy Action Plan: setting the world’s largest single market on a transition towards a circular economy
This case study on the EU's Circular Economy Plan (CEAP) by the Ellen McArthur Foundation reflects back on the steps which the European Commission took to take a lead in circular economy policies globally. From initially aiming at improving resource efficiency, to redefining growth with positive social, environmental, and economic benefits, this case study analyses this policy-making process.
The CEAP was a comprehensive body of legislative and non-legislative actions adopted in 2015, which aimed to transition the European economy from a linear to a circular model. It mapped out 54 actions, as well as four legislative proposals on waste.
By rethinking resource efficiency and material flows, the European Commission has developed a framework to promote systemic change.
The relationship between innovating business model and the circular economy is complex and rapidly evolving. So, how can we turn the focus on the circular economy into a driver for global sustainability?
The report titled "Incremental Circular Economy as a Serious Sustainability Problem" aims to understand the relationship between business model innovation and the circular economy.
It also seeks to guide companies, intrapreneurs in companies, and organisations working towards a circular economy. And, finally, it aims to provide a structure to understand very different approaches and their outcomes.
The Circular Economy Foundation (FEC) is a private, Iberian ambit foundation working in areas related to circular economy, sustainability, resource use and environment.
FEC has launched PIPEC, a multi-participant Iberian platform (Spain, Portugal and Andorra) whose aim is promoting the Circular Economy and its potential advantages such as sustainable development, eco-competitiveness of companies, new proximity employment, reduction of dependence on raw materials, energy and material efficiency, reduction of the ecological footprint, promotion of local and quality production, prevention and minimization of waste, protection of natural capital, increased ecological resilience and the reduction of carbon emissions.
FEC has launched this platform in order to involve all actors in the life cycle (or value chains), with the aim of discussing the possible orientations and co-build innovative economic initiatives. PIPEC is structured in: "Multiparticipant" Working Groups and Sectorial Platforms.
- an international network of over 3500 circular economy professionals and organizations from over 100 countries.
- non-for-profit, global and open to anyone willing to join the club for free.
The CEC vision: opening a new era where all cities worldwide function through a circular model, setting the end of an age of waste.
- bring the circular economy to cities worldwide by building strong local networks to design and implement circular local strategies; embed the circular economy in the education system; and
- help circular solutions scale.
- the CEC Organizers program: for circular leaders to bring the circular economy to live in their cities, universities, hubs and companies;
- the CEC Mentors program: for members with expert skills to give free advice to the most promising circular talent; and
- the CEC Global events: for members to ccoperate to the solution of local and global challenges.
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.
A breakfast briefing will be held on 5 March (9-10 a.m. CET) to launch the Think2030 paper ‘A low-carbon and circular industry for Europe’, co-written by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP).
On 19 March, OVAM, EEB, UNEP partners and ECESP organised a webinar on trade, resource extraction and circular economy. The event brought together the trade and circular economy communities to:
- increase awareness of the issues identified in the UNEP-IRP’s report
- to feed the upcoming discussion on the EU’s trade policy review and the WTO’s future.
The anti-waste law for a circular economy, promulgated on 10 February 2020, includes new requirements which seek to steer public procurement towards recycled raw materials. To help public purchasers in Île-de-France, GIP Maximilien will be launching a new initiative on Thursday 11 March at 9 a.m., focusing on guiding public purchasers towards more circular public procurement.
This webinar, on Thursday 25 February from 9 to 10.30 a.m. EST, is a pre-event of the World Circular Economy Forum + Climate (WCEF+Climate), co-hosted by the EU Delegation and the Permanent Missions of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Singapore, Kenya and Finland. It aims to discuss the potential of the circular economy as an essential tool in a comprehensive climate policy.
LOOPS is a webinar series which aims to shine a spotlight on innovation in the circular economy. The episode on 3 March will consist of a live conversation with leaders of the two Horizon2020-funded projects HOUSEFUL and WOOL2LOOP, which seek to identify innovative solutions in the construction industry.
Over the last 2 and a half years, CICERONE has worked closely with over 100 stakeholders, primarily programme owners, to build more alignment for circular economy programming and funding in Europe. The event on 30 March is an excellent opportunity to hear the partners present some of the project's results and experience first-hand the launch of the new EU Circular Cooperation Hub.
The Global Alliance on Circular Economy and Resource Efficiency brings together governments and relevant networks and organisations to provide a global impetus for initiatives related to the circular economy transition, resource efficiency and sustainable consumption and production, building on efforts being deployed internationally. Join the official launch on Monday 22 Feb - 12:00-13:15 CET.
EU Interreg Alpine Space Project CIRCULAR4.0 takes you on a virtual study tour on Circular Design Business Models in a Circular Economy.
EU Interreg Alpine Space Project CIRCULAR4.0 takes you on a virtual study tour on Optimal Use Business Models in a Circular Economy.
Organised in the context of the 2021 EU Industry Days, this event aims at understanding how the recently proposed Sustainable Batteries' Framework will impact the batteries' recycling industries. The event will gather input from EU institutions, the batteries' recycling industry and think tanks.
The European Commission's roadmap on the requirements on packaging and packaging waste in the EU is now open for feedback. Dealine 06 August 2020.
Public consultation on boosting the renovation of buildings across the EU launched by the European Commission in order to gather views and input from a broad range of stakeholders, including national, regional and local authorities, businesses, unions, civil society organisations, education organisations, consumer groups, research and innovation organisations, as well as individual citizens.
AIMPLAS - a consortium member of the OCEANETS project - has developed a material that ensures the traceability of fabric made from end-of-life fishing nets. When exposed to infrared radiation, the material changes colour and so helps identify where it came from.
As part of the European Vocational Skills Week, the European Commission's Directorate-General for Employment has launched Excellence Awards to celebrate the good practices and innovative work of Vocational Education and Training providers, trainers, tutors, companies, apprentices, etc.
Take five minutes to answer to few questions on the possible bio-based impact to the circular economy transition and green recovery.
ACR+ has created 3 new working groups on circular economy focusing on governance, procurement, and monitoring. They will bring together front-runners and learners to work on improving local and regional strategies on circular economy and resource efficiency.
LIFE - the European Programme for the Environment and Climate Action - has been financing Eco-Innovation and Circular Economy related projects since its start in 1992. The call for LIFE 2020 proposals is now open, with more than €450 million earmarked for nature conservation, environmental protection and climate action projects.
GRAMOFON, a European project coordinated by the Spanish Plastics Technology Centre AIMPLAS, has ended after 42 months, with very promising results on CO2 capture. New materials for capturing CO2 could be used to reduce industrial emissions and as catalysts.
In April 2020, European Aluminium launched its Circular Aluminium Action Plan, a strategy for achieving aluminium’s full potential for a circular economy by 2030.
All citizens and the wider community of stakeholders are welcome to express their views in a consultation on Waste shipments – revision of EU rules before 30 July 2020 (midnight CEST).