The Ressourcerie Namuroise in Belgium provides collection and processing services for bulky household waste, while also helping people with scant marketable skills to break into the labour market. In 2017, the cooperative established a partnership with Namur's waste management authority, which enabled municipalities to outsource the collection of bulky items with a view to their reuse.
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.
18 Italian Consumer Associations sponsored by Eni have identified the challenges to be tackled and the actions to be implemented in order to empower consumers for the circular economy transition in a document titled Circular Consumption Charter.
According to the Charter, circular consumption should be:
Textiles are an important issue for cities, as people generate more and more textile waste. City authorities are required to provide for separate collection of used textiles but have limited ways of putting the waste generated to good use.
Eurocities’ paper on circular textiles is published ahead of the Commission's new Strategy for Sustainable Textiles, planned for autumn 2021, to help the EU shift to a climate-neutral, circular economy (CE) where products are designed to be more durable, reusable, repairable, recyclable and energy-efficient. It focuses on a sustainable recovery of the textile sector from the Covid-19 crisis by:
making it more competitive,
applying CE principles to production, waste management, etc.
and directing investment, research and innovation.
The lack of a commonly accepted and inclusive definition and circularity measurement methodology hampers the transition to a more circular economy. It obstructs the development and access to dedicated or non-dedicated finance, credit risk assessment, and the transferability and replicability of projects and investments across regions and jurisdictions.
This report proposes a sector-agnostic circular economy categorisation system that defines categories of activities substantially contributing to a circular economy. A set of minimum criteria needs to be
met by activities to be considered as substantially contributing to a circular economy.
A methodological guidance with an indicative list of typical investments/projects for each circular economy category is also included.
The transition to a circular economy is at an early stage in the EU.
Regulations, markets and investment tools, including financial risk assessment, are adapted to linear models. Generally speaking, externalities linked to linear business models are not taken into account. This poses a problem for emerging circular models, which have to contend with the challenge of accessing finance, as the financial sector sees circular projects as highly risky.
To improve the conditions for financing CE projects, the Expert Group on Circular Economy Financing identified the main areas where incentives are needed, addressing recommendations to policy makers, financial institutions and project promoters.
Over the past decades concepts such as sustainability and industrial development have slowly come to the same operational logic, as demonstrated by a growing interest in exploring and describing the synergy between developments in the circular economy and industrial digitalisation. There is agreement on their complementarity evolution paths, but no outlook is available regarding the co-evolution staging and structuring. This paper based on desk and empirical research presents an approach to outline the likely path of evolution.
So far, the notion of transition to sustainability has been applied in single sector studies, while reality indicates that the systemic change required cuts across thematic technologies and sectors. The approach taken can be useful to enrich current analyses.
As an impact leader and frontrunner promoting resource circularity, TOMRA has extensively explored, analysed and collaborated with value chain partners to address the ever-increasing global problem of waste. This white paper presents the challenges, projections and opportunities involved in managing post-consumer waste in developed and developing countries. It describes how society can speed up the transition to a circular economy by collecting and recycling waste, especially plastic packaging and other carbon-intensive materials.
The white paper can be downloaded from TOMRA's website, but this requires registering in a third party's data base and submitting your email address.
This joint position paper from the Wardrobe Change coalition contains recommendations for the EU Strategy for Sustainable Textiles. It has been signed by 25 civil society organisations. The paper sets out recommendations structured around four overarching principles:
Make sustainable textile products the norm
Drive resource-sufficient textile consumption
Leave the linear business model behind
Hold the EU textile industry responsible for its role in the world.
The COVID-19 may have hit the pause button on tourism, but it also highlighted the need to switch to the circular economy.
This report summarises the findings of a two-year policy dialogue with the city of Granada in Spain, and provides recommendations and a vision to transition to a circular economy. It draws on Granada’s own experience with the transformation of a wastewater treatment plant into a bio factory in 2015, which contributed to increased water reuse and the production of new material from waste. The report argues that the city of Granada can play a role as a promoter, facilitator and enabler of the circular economy. This will require a collective and coordinated approach across all stakeholders and levels of government.
The circular economy promises a move away from a linear model of growth (extract, make, dispose) to a sustainable model (recycle, reuse, remake, share). This report, Safe Jobs in the Circular Economy, commissioned by the European Public Service Union (EPSU), focuses on the role of labour in the transition to a circular economy and, in particular, the health and safety of workers operating waste and wastewater management systems.
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),
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.
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.
Circul'R is an international network of circular economy startups.
Its mission is to unlock the circular economy's potential by connecting innovative startups with companies so that they can co-create solutions to accelerate their transition towards the circular economy.
Its main services are:
raising awareness (conferences to explain circular economy by presenting the most innovative circular solutions),
learning expeditions (bringing people on the field to meet with circular economy entrepreneurs and their projects),
Circul'R Club (bringing together large companies and startups with the objective of co-creating concrete projects in the field of circular economy: waste management, eco-design, new business models, etc.).
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.
CITEO is organising a conference on "From innovation to consumption: how new practices accelerate the circular economy" in connection with EU Green Week, which this year focuses on the delivery of the European Green Deal. The conference will take place in person only in Brussels on 31 May from 16:30 to 18:00 CEST.
CITEO considers that it is crucial to connect up the various actors involved in changes to environmental practices, from innovative start-ups to consumers.
The Circular Week is an international series of events and initiatives dedicated to circular economy and sustainable development all over Europe. It aims to promote the idea of circular economy, support sustainable business models and establish cooperation between stakeholders.
Its 5th edition, from 3 to 9 October 2022, will include workshops, debates, meetings, expert panels and matchmaking sessions for business. Its culminating event is the Mazovia Circular Congress on 7 October.
A circular economy plays a key role in halting and reversing global biodiversity loss. Join the webinar on 13 June to discuss the findings of Sitra’s new study and its linkages to key business and policy measures.
As the Horizon 2020 research programme becomes Horizon Europe, what better time to see how great ideas turned into real projects? LOOPS will be the opportunity to show what cutting-edge research has been produced, and what changes it can bring to our communities.
For those who are not familiar with it, LOOPS is a live webinar series committed to spotlighting innovation in the circular economy. The topic of the episode on 3 June will be the EU Soil Strategy.
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 what cutting-edge research has been produced, and what changes it can bring to our communities.
For those who are not familiar with it, LOOPS is a live webinar series committed to spotlighting innovation in the field of the circular economy and sustainability. The topic of the episode on 1 June will be how digital technology can make the economy more resillient.
EU ETV (Environmental Technology Verification) is a circular economy tool that provides third-party verification of the performance of innovative technologies to help them enter the market. The EU ETV Secretariat invites you to attend the 5th ETV Stakeholder Forum: De-risking the adoption of green technologies for a sustainable industrial transition. The hybrid event will be held on 1 June 2022 in Brussels at EIT House and online.
Achieving circularity for plastics and meeting ambitious plastic waste reduction goals is a complex mission. Flexible plastic packaging is a growing and challenging segment of the plastic stream that needs its own strategies and investments to progress towards circularity.
Join the webinar on 18 May on Advances in collection and sorting technologies for flexible packaging, focusing on innovation in flexible packaging.
The second Circular City Centre (C3) webinar in the morning of 17 May will focus on circular city actions and solutions. A new C3 guidance document on this topic will be presented and cities will share information and experiences about their circular actions and initiatives.
LOOPS is a live webinar series committed to spotlighting innovation in the field of circular economy. The topic of this episode on 13 May will be bio-based resins and coatings, processed by two Horizon 2020 projects: Lignicoat and TomaPaint.
The Interreg MED Green Growth Community will celebrate its final event in person in Brussels on 1 June. The event will highlight the role of businesses and public authorities in the transition towards climate neutrality, sharing the project’s best practices in supporting these actors across the Euro-Mediterranean region.
The final event will also emphasise the importance of cooperation to boost the circular economy by putting forward the Community’s policy recommendations.
Circle Economy has launched their new version of the Knowledge Hub, a collaborative platform which aims to break down knowledge barriers to the circular economy transition. The platform now enables anyone keen to contribute to the global transition to add and edit case studies in the library.
On 15 and 16 April 2021, participants representing governments, international organisations, the private sector, knowledge institutions, and civil society convened for the virtual World Circular Economy Forum + Climate (WCEF+Climate) hosted by the Netherlands and The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra.
Take part in the evaluation and validation of CIRC4Life developed CEBMs, key innovations and demonstrations, as well as the identification of future market opportunities! Deadline for applications: 3 May 2021.
New sustainable packaging will extend guacamole’s shelf life by 15% thanks to labels and additives extracted from the avocado itself. The GUACAPACK Project aims to use renewable sources to develop an innovative biodegradable packaging system that includes barrier labels and antioxidant additives from avocado waste.
Fishing industry by-products and municipal solid waste are transformed into bioplastics in the European DAFIA project, coordinated by AIMPLAS. DAFIA provides the automotive and food packaging industries with sustainable solutions by developing biopolymers, flame-retardant additives and barrier packaging.
Thanks to innovation, forests will be key for sustainable urban development. The European BASAJAUN project will optimize the use of forest products to boost the economy in rural areas and obtain new materials and construction systems based on the circular economy of wood.
AIMPLAS will participate in the development of new profiles manufactured from natural resins and reinforcement agents.
Welcome to have your say on the Sustainable Products Initiative, one of the deliverables of the Circular Economy Action Plan!
The feedback period runs until 9 June 2021 (midnight CET). The Commission would like to hear your views. Through public consultations you can express your views on aspects of EU laws and policies before the Commission finalises its proposals.
Industry faces major challenges with regard to handling the transition to an economy with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Whilst there is a growing body of literature seeking to understand how this transition will unfold, there is currently limited understanding of what the wider environmental impacts could be from the transformation.
Have your say on industry’s role in supporting the circular economy and improving the EU’s environment and participate in the Targeted Stakeholder Survey of the revision of the Industrial Emissions Directive. The feedback period closes 2 April 2021.