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Accelerating the transition to the circular economy - Improving access to finance for circular economy projects

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A report by the Informal Commission Expert Group “Support to Circular Economy Financing” (E03517), This report has greatly benefited from the comments and contributions by Arnold Verbeek, Christian Schempp, Gianpiero Nacci, Philip Marynissen, Frido Kraanen, Rebeka Kovacic and Laura Busato.
Publication Date: 
03/2019
Country: 
EU

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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.

See also: Categorisation system and Incentives to boost the CE reports

25 Jun 2021
Aimplas

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.

Van Werven: Plastics recycling

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Netherlands

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Van Werven Plastics Recyling specialises in creating high-quality raw materials from post-consumer hard plastics, collected from construction waste, industrial waste and municipal recycling centres. Van Werven has a separate machine for each type of plastic, as every material has its own properties.

Gr3n: chemical recycling of PET bottles and food containers is now possible at a reasonable cost

Tanvi Sharma from Unsplash

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Switzerland

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The Gr3n projects aims to contribute to the fight against plastic proliferation in the world by introducing an innovative process for profitable plastic recycling. This process uses microwave technology on a chemical reaction, and results in a ground-breaking, economically efficient chemical recycling process for PET.

Community composting in the city of Nitra

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Slovak Republic

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As part of the EU's Bioregio project, the Slovakian city of Nitra has developed a project for community composting by 50 households. The system produces compost, which can be used as a fertiliser by the community. The project aims to lower technical barriers to the reduction of bio-waste.

By producing beer from surplus bread, Toast Ale saves on land, water and energy

Toast Ale

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United Kingdom

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Toast Ale was founded in 2015 to reduce demand for natural resources by replacing virgin barley with surplus fresh bread.

29 Jun 2021

Lors d’un colloque organisé à l’ESCP, le 29 juin en présence de Florent Menegaux, président de Michelin, l’association française Entreprises pour l’Environnement (EpE) dévoile le fruit de trois ans de réflexion de sa commission «Ressources Naturelles» sur l’économie circulaire. Illustrée de 27 démarches concrètes mise à bien par des entreprises, la publication insiste sur l’importance des partenariats, décrit leurs principaux objectifs et, en collaboration avec la Chaire Economie Circulaire de ESCP-Deloitte, propose une analyse de la diversité des principaux modèles de gouvernance observés.

16 Jun 2021
Recyclers Talks

Going the extra mile on the road towards a climate neutral and circular economy is a must to achieve the targets set by the European Green Deal - and tyre recycling is key. Tyres are complex products made from the very best quality raw materials, such as rubber, steel and textile fibres.

Recyclers have invested heavily in recovering more materials from end-of-life tyres while creating non-outsourceable jobs and contributing to environmental sustainability. However, there is still considerable room for improvement in the European Union with a view to optimising tyre recycling.

Join Recyclers’ Talks #4 | Boosting Tyre Recyclers - Essential to the European Green Deal on 16 June to discuss what is needed to achieve more circularity in tyres and a more sustainable value chain. Find out how different players in the tyre value chain can contribute to this goal.

Organic glues and adhesives by Menichetti

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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.

The Waste Transformers: Turning food waste into valuable resources on-site

Waste Transformers logo

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.

Nic&Mic: Upcycling waste while supporting employment

Nicmic logo

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.

18 Jun 2021
Textile workshop

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.

SNEW Telecom – Circular telecoms and IT equipment with a social heart

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Netherlands

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SNEW has developed a circular system reusing the raw materials in existing equipment. It aims to give business telecoms and IT equipment a second life. Companies which hand over their old ICT equipment get either maintenance for their current equipment or money for the old equipment.

Arapaha: Circular goods made out of advanced bio-based materials

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Country: 
Netherlands

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Arapaha is a design company which develops and manufactures sustainable, circular household and sports items and clothing. It focuses on circular processes and uses biobased composites. Goods purchased in their webshop can be returned when no longer needed so that the components can be reused.

CuRe: Low energy molecular polyester recycling

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Netherlands

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CuRe has discovered a smarter and scalable technology for creating a fully circular polyester chain. It rejuvenates any type of used polyester by removing the colour and converting it into clear pellets with the same properties as virgin grade polyester.​ In July 2020, a pilot plant in Emmen (Netherlands) was opened for rapid scale-up.

FIBI-buffer: a sustainable alternative for protecting products during transport

FIBI

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Country: 
Netherlands

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FIBI-buffer is an eco-friendly alternative to Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) or Polyurethane (PU) foam used to protect products during transport. It is a unique and patented product which offers high-quality protection, is universally applicable, is price competitive, can be reused again and again, and is biobased and 100% compostable.

Catalogue of Best Practices in Circular Economy

BPEC

The Catalogue of Best Practices in Circular Economy identifies good practices carried out in Spain which are transferable and scalable by other stakeholders.

22 Jun 2021
Circular Threads

Circular Threads is the first sector study carried out to measure the level of circularity of the textile industry in Italy. In order to promote the transition towards the Circular Economy in the textile industry, Tondo - in collaboration with Fondazione Pistoletto, Associazione Tessile e Salute and Ren - has conducted research that aims to measure the level of sustainability and circularity on a sector and company scale.

Tradecowall: Upcycling mixed mineral construction and demolition waste

Muri @cvil

The cooperative company Tradecowall manages construction and demolition waste in the Belgian Walloon region and comprises a network of companies working with inert waste recycling centres in the region.

Effective Recycling Concrete Technology: aggregates from 100% recycled CDW do not compromise on quality

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Czech Republic

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ERC-TECH is a company based in the Czech Republic that provides the construction sector with know-how, licenses and products to reuse 100% of construction and demolition waste in concrete mixtures and other products suitable for use in various construction activities.

With Leef... tableware really does grow on trees

Leef

Leef has eliminated plastic waste by producing 100% biodegradable plates from (non-palm oil) palm leaves grown in mixed plantations in Tamil Nadu, India.

Feplo: waterproof eco-boards from pressed recycled drinks cartons for use as building material

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Other (Serbia)

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The Serbian company Feplo manufactures waterproof eco-boards from recycled beverage cartons.

Tabor: second-hand market

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Slovenia

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Tabor is a marketplace initiative introduced in the city of Maribor, Slovenia. Tabor was designed as a second-hand market, where people can participate by selling their goods to others.

FORCE project: Cities Cooperating For Circular Economy

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Denmark, Germany, Italy, Portugal

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The FORCE project is an EU-funded project seeking to promote the shift towards the circular economy. Running from September 2016 to January 2021, the project identified four main focus areas: plastic waste, wood waste, used electronic and electrical equipment, and food and biowaste.

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