Refarmed uses the concept of ‘building integrated agriculture’. High-impact buildings (meaning they produce a lot of waste and excess heat) are equipped with rooftop greenhouses which turn all that waste into value - to support low-impact food production.
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ConnectedBin has developed a waste container solution using artificial intelligence to identify waste types and sort them properly. The Internet of Things system reports on waste types and amounts, making waste collection more efficient.
Residuos do Nordeste, an intermunicipal waste management company based in North-Eastern Portugal, is running an education and awareness-raising campaign called "Educar para uma Economia Circular" related to the top of the waste management hierarchy: prevention.
Studio Thomas Vailly's project makes use of what is left of the sunflower crop to produce innovative materials.
TailoredTile creates decorative tile pieces completely made of recovered plastic. The company also promotes circular economy by accepting used tilegrams in exchange of purchase discounts, as this material can be crushed and shaped more than once.
Sonae Arauco is a wood-based panel producer that contributes to the circular economy through the recovery of wood waste. It has developed a close value chain that reuses and recycles the wood residues generated during the production process.
For New York's design week, NYCxDESIGN in May 2018, the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York invited chefs from the Helsinki-based Restaurant Nolla to bring their zero waste food philosophy to New York. The temporary bistro was built on themes of circular economy, new material innovations and sustainable design.
eCO2blocks creates an alternative – or a complementary material – to cement by producing building blocks made from industrial waste and water which is not fit for drinking.
Da Vide: reducing CO2 emissions when producing paper, paints and pens from by-products of grapevines
In the Douro Valley of Portugal, the research and development project Da Vide has created a range of products using grapevine residues – from paper to pens – avoiding the use of plastics and wood and using agricultural waste as a resource.
A team of researchers from the Faculty of Science and Technology of the University of Coimbra (FCTUC) has developed an innovative wastewater treatment technique using natural flocculants extracted from waste eucalyptus wood.
More and more plastic products are being labelled as compostable, biodegradable, oxo-degradable or bio-based. However, plastics made from bio-based materials are not necessarily compostable or biodegradable. Moreover, plastics that do biodegrade can be made from fossil fuel-based materials.
What is the difference between compostable and biodegradable? What happens to biodegradable and compostable plastics when they are littered? Can citizens compost such products in their own gardens? Can such plastics be recycled?
The brochure "From Linear to Circular in the Textile and Apparel Industries - Let’s make the circular shift together" aims to give a push towards a circular textile industry. Circular economy strategies and business models have the potential to offer solutions for the textile industry:
- use renewable sources
- phase out dangerous substances
- increase utilisation and
- radically improve reuse and recycling.
The brochure highlights Dutch circular frontrunners that make a change - just a fraction of the initiatives, organisations and technologies available. Only the most inspiring examples have been selected, with a potential to be upscaled and implemented in other parts of the world, hoping that they will also inspire and encourage others to collaborate and make a change.
Bio-waste – mainly food and garden waste – is a key waste stream with a high potential for contributing to a more circular economy.
This European Environmental Agency Report provides an overview of bio-waste generation, prevention, collection, and treatment in Europe.
Bio-waste accounts for more than 34 % of the municipal solid waste. Many countries in Europe are far from capturing bio-waste's full potential. Food waste accounts for nearly 60 % of all bio-waste from households and similar sources. Preventing it is felt as an ethical responsibility for society.
Composting (with oxygen) and anaerobic digestion (without) are currently the two most widely applied treatment techniques. The latter generates biogas - renewable energy - and tends to deliver higher environmental benefits.
The lack of a commonly accepted, inclusive definition of and methodology for measuring circularity hinder the transition to a more circular economy (CE). These two factors obstruct the development of and access to dedicated or non-dedicated finance, credit risk assessment and the transferability and replicability of projects and investments across regions and jurisdictions.
The Expert Group on Circular Economy Financing proposes a sector agnostic CE categorisation system that defines categories of activities substantially contributing to a CE. Guidelines with an indicative list of typical investments/projects for each CE category are included.
Many European countries still lack a national strategic roadmap for transposing the European directives at national level.
Some outstanding issues include the need to have clearer operational guidelines for the adoption of circular models and metrics for monitoring the transition towards circular models.
This study has been prepared in collaboration with Enel and with the scientific contribution of Enel Foundation. It unfolds in three main parts:
- State-of-the-art of Circular Economy in the European Union
- An innovative assessment model for socio-economic and environmental benefits of Circular Economy in the EU, with a focus on Italy, Romania, and Spain
- Policy proposals for successfully managing the transition from a linear to a circular world
This research reviews the long history and diversity of circularity thinking to develop a comprehensive timeline, which identifies and conceptually classifies 72 different CE-related concepts from the Global North and South alike (such as industrial ecology, Gandhian and steady-state economics, buen vivir, doughnut economics, degrowth).
In November 2020 the paper was completed with an interactive timeline that helps researchers and practitioners better situate and navigate the concept of circular economy, both in its rich historical origins and in its theoretical diversity. It thus fosters a cross-pollination of concepts and ideas which can help address the complex socio-ecological challenges of the 21st century.
To learn more about this timeline, please click here.
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.
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.
This event explores the development of taxonomies globally as well as the status of the EU and UK taxonomies.
The design stage will determine up to 80% of a product’s environmental impact. Designing better is key to reduce this impact. But what do these principles mean in practice for textiles? Where are the gaps in current standards and benchmarks, and how can we account for the variability of textile products when deciding on specific ecodesign criteria?
ECOS, OVAM, EMF, EuroCommerce, the Policy Hub, the Leadership Group on Textile and ECESP invite you on 9 November at 10:00 CET to this #EUCircularTalks event to discuss and expand the current Ecodesign directive to include textiles and within the upcoming EU Textile Strategy. Speakers and experts will set the scene for the forthcoming SPI and provide the theoretical framework for applying eco-design principles to textile products. Business owners will present cases of how they used these ideas in practice.
The participatory info session Circular solutions for regions and cities – how to make it work will take place on Wednesday 13 October, 11:00 a.m. (CEST). Participants will learn more about the Circular Cities and Regions Initiative (CCRI), which offers possibilities for cities and regions, ranging from knowledge-sharing and technical expertise to financial opportunities, and get insights and experiences from the local perspective.
Last days to register to an online webinar on 15 September: RREUSE, the European network of social enterprises active in re-use, repair and recycling, is delighted to share with you an invitation to its second episode of the series Let's Get Talking, with Lakshmi Narayan.
The aim of this series is to address and explore social value within the circular transition, a topic RREUSE hopes to bring at the heart of discussions on circular policies and re-use/secondhand.
The second annual Circular Nonwovens Forum "Shaping together the circular economy for nonwovens" creates a platform for in-depth engagement with stakeholders on the challenges and opportunities arising on the path towards the circular economy for nonwovens, with a view to collectively finding ways and means to accelerate this transition. The event has been converted into a hybrid webinar for 2021.
Since 2019, the Foundation for Future Generations has been supporting student entrepreneurs with the prototyping phase of a product, service or technique with a positive impact on society. Discover the winners in the fields of the circular economy and zero waste during a webinar on 23 September 2021 from 3.30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Event schedule change!
This webinar is the final event of the CIRC4Life project. We will look into the lessons learnt from research and demonstrations, and discuss the challenges and policies needed to further boost circular solutions for the electrical and electronic equipment sector and the agri-food value chain.
As part of the Circular Economy Action Plan, the European Commission is developing two key policies on transparency: the Substantiating Green Claims Initiative and the Empowering Consumers Initiative, which will require companies to substantiate claims they make about the environmental footprint of their products/services and will help consumers to play their role in a green transition.
In light of this, the Policy Hub is willing to organise on 14 September a webinar co-hosted with Delara Burkhardt, a Member of the European Parliament to discuss what is needed for an effective policy framework on transparency. At the same time, the event will mark the launch of the Policy Hub’s position paper on transparency reflecting on the key recommendations from the apparel and footwear industry.
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).
Business4Change is a 2-day Hackathon and initiative of the European Commission to be held on 16-17 November 2020 in Brussels, Belgium. The focus of the Hackathon is to support businesses with their transition to the circular economy. They are currently looking for "challenge owners" to pitch the circular challenges they are facing.