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The Beverage Carton Roadmap to 2030 and beyond

ACE logo

Type:

Roadmap, strategy
Author: 
ACE
Publication Date: 
03/2021
Country: 
Belgium

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The Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE) and its members have set out the industry’s vision for the future: they intend to deliver renewable, climate positive and circular packaging for resilient food supply systems.

Through its robust and ambitious Roadmap, the industry commits to take action throughout the industry value chain, from sustainable sourcing to climate impact and recycling. Its ten commitments include increasing the collection and recycling of beverage cartons to reach a 90% collection rate and at least a 70% recycling rate by 2030, and decarbonising the industry’s value chain in line with the 1.5o C aligned science-based targets.

TOMRA: Resource recovery playbook

Resource Recovery Playbook

Type:

White paper
Author: 
TOMRA
Publication Date: 
01/2021
Country: 
Germany, Other (Norway)

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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

Aspects of the circular economy: waste management and smart cities

REVOLVE logo

Type:

Articles
Author: 
Marta Castillo Sánchez, Michael Karner
Publication Date: 
04/2021
Country: 
Austria, Belgium, Spain

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REVOLVE magazine has published several articles on waste management and smart cities:

Future is waste. When it comes to climate change and environmental degradation, waste is both the problem and the solution.

This article focuses on the Interreg MED Green Growth Community's work on developing green and smart public services in Euro-Mediterranean cities.

Here’s a look at Euro-Mediterranean projects that have been making progress on the ground.   

Pathways to circular procurement

Interreg ProCirc logo

Type:

Article
Author: 
Interreg NSR ProCirc
Publication Date: 
02/2021
Country: 
Netherlands

Language for original content:

Key Area:

One of the ways we can accelerate the transition to a circular economy is to change our procurement practices. Programmes like ProCirc are running pilot projects to test the waters.

In an article titled Pathways to circular procurement, Joan Prummel and Cuno van Geet, two experts on the subject working at Rijkswaterstaat, part of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, explain the benefits of circular procurement and how to get started.

Digital technologies will deliver more efficient waste management in Europe

EEA logo

Type:

Briefing
Author: 
EEA
Publication Date: 
01/2021
Country: 
EU

Language for original content:

Scope:

Almut Reichel Contact details

This EEA Briefing highlights how digitalisation is transforming the 21st century and affecting every area of daily life, including the environmental technology sector. Digital technologies will make waste management more effective. They will enable Europe’s economy to recover more of the valuable materials present in waste streams, reducing the amount of raw materials mined or imported and avoiding the associated environmental and climate impacts.

The briefing also concludes that the digital transformation of the waste management sector should be aligned with plans to make greater use of digital technologies in the development of a circular economy.

The EU Ecolabel for hard covering products

EU Ecolabel

Type:

Ecolabel
Author: 
European Commission
Publication Date: 
03/2021
Country: 
EU

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The EU Ecolabel is the official European Union label for environmental excellence.

It is awarded to sustainably-designed products, thereby encouraging innovation, and contributing to the EU’s goal of climate neutrality by 2050 and to the circular economy.

Industry can use the EU Ecolabel to offer consumers an eco-friendly alternative to conventional products and help them lower their daily environmental impact.

Ambitious criteria have been set, focusing on the main environmental impacts generated over the lifecycle of these products. This ensures that EU Ecolabel hard covering products are among the best on the market in terms of environmental performance.

Access the full list of EU Ecolabel criteria for hard coverings products here.

 

Open Access Knowledge Hub: a wealth of circular economy case studies

Knowledge Hub

Type:

Tool and Knowledge Repository
Author: 
Circle Economy, Tair Bilyalov, Yasmina Lembachar, Marijana Novak, Shyaam Ramkumar
Publication Date: 
01/2018
Country: 
Netherlands

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Knowledge Hub is an open access collaborative library of circular economy case studies from Europe and around the world. It contains over 2000 case studies.

Knowledge Hub is based on the following three principles:

  • Everyone contributes: the knowledge base grows quicker if everybody adds case studies.
  • Everyone edits: It's not meddling, it's co-authoring! Version history ensures nothing is lost.
  • Everyone curates: See any irrelevant, duplicate or promotional content? Report it to the Knowledge Hub admins!

White paper - Durable and repairable products: 20 steps to a sustainable Europe

Durable and repairable products

Type:

White paper
Author: 
Adèle Chasson, Public Affairs Manager of HOP , Laetitia Vasseur, Co-Founder and Director of HOP , Alice Papillon, HOP, Ariane Jamin, HOP
Publication Date: 
11/2020
Country: 
EU

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European consumers lack the means to improve the durability of their products. In addition to harming the environment by emitting CO2, extracting non-renewable resources unnecessarily and creating waste, premature obsolescence in all its forms affects citizens’ purchasing power, their right to repair and their freedom to make their products last longer.

This white paper aims to give all stakeholders suggestions and ideas to move towards a world in which repair and responsible consumption are the norm. This will necessarily imply new constraints on manufacturers, that can no longer make products without taking durability and repair into account. It will also require new tools to inform citizens so that they are empowered in their consumption choices.

Guidelines on Pre- and Co-processing of Waste in Cement Production – Use of waste as alternative fuel and raw material

Type:

Guidelines
Author: 
S. Blume, M. Hinkel, D. Mutz, D. Hengevoss
Publication Date: 
01/2020
Country: 
Germany

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Different types of waste have been successfully co-processed as alternative fuels and raw materials (AFR) in cement kilns in Europe, Japan, USA, Canada and Australia since the beginning of the 1980s.

In 2006, the first edition of the GTZ-Holcim Guidelines on Co-processing Waste Materials in Cement Production was published (GIZ-Holcim, 2006), aiming to gather the lessons of these experiences and offer it particularly to low and middle income countries as an option to improve approaches to waste management. Since then, waste management has earned a much more prominent place on the political agenda.

This revised edition of the guidelines updates technical, institutional, legal and social aspects of the original document as well as incorporate new ideas and information.

EPR Toolbox | Know-how to enable Extended Producer Responsibility for packaging

EPR Toolbox - Know-how to enable Extended Producer Responsibility for packaging

PREVENT Waste Alliance

Type:

Collection of relevant know-how (modules, videos, country reports, etc.)
Author: 
Agnes Bünemann, Jana Brinkmann, Dr. Stephan Löhle, Sabine Bartnik
Publication Date: 
10/2020
Country: 
Germany

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Pollution caused by incorrect packaging of waste is a serious problem. It can be addressed by designing products that are easier to recycle and by investing in collection and recycling systems. Establishing these kinds of systems requires a strong coordination body, backed up by transparent and stable sources of funding.

Experience suggests that the principle of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) can have significant potential to achieve a range of policy objectives. The EPR Toolbox contains detailed information about EPR and provides an introduction to a number of distinct issues.

Making a business case for African battery recycling

African battery recycling

Type:

White paper
Author: 
Reinhardt Smit
Publication Date: 
09/2020
Country: 
Netherlands

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Closing the Loop (CTL) and Fairphone have partnered with other circular innovators, such as the Dutch government, in a project that is likely to become a game-changer for the electronics industry - proving that scrap batteries from Africa can be used to produce clean materials for the future.

In the first-ever shipment of scrap Li-ion batteries from West Africa to Europe, CTL has taken the first step towards proving that these scrap batteries can be a sustainable source for resources.

The results of this pilot have been recorded in a white paper, available here.

Wskaźniki monitorowaniagospodarki o obiegu zamkniętymgospodarki o obiegu zamkniętymgospodarki o obiegu zamkniętym

Indicators for monitoring circular economy in Poland

collection of contributions by different authors
Author: 
Joanna Kulczycka (editor)
Publication Date: 
10/2020
Country: 
Poland

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Contact: 
Mineral and Energy Economy Research Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences

This is the second book published by the Mineral and Energy Economy Research Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

It is a collection of contributions by different authors focusing on a proposal for indicators to monitor circular economy in Poland. A large part of the work consists in explaining that circular economy is more than just waste management.

The publication is in Polish, but abstracts of the different contributions are available in English at the end of the book (from page 203 onwards).

 

Europe’s consumption in a circular economy: the benefits of longer-lasting electronics

Europe’s consumption in a circular economy - the benefits of longer-lasting electronics

Type:

Briefing
Author: 
EEA
Publication Date: 
06/2020
Country: 
EU

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The electrical and electronics industry has been contributing to Europe socially and economically for almost 100 years. However, its production, use and disposal are resource- intensive activities resulting in significant environmental and climate impacts.

This European Environmental Agency (EEA) briefing describes how increasing product lifetime and improving ‘circularity’ are essential steps towards reducing impacts from electronics.

Case studies of 4 different electronic product groups show there is potential for significant increases in their actual lifetime use. Extending the lifetime and delaying the obsolescence of electronics can significantly reduce impacts and contribute to meeting EU environment, climate and circularity objectives.

The case for increasing recycling: Estimating the potential for recycling in Europe

The case for increasing recycling - Estimating the potential for recycling in Europe

Type:

Briefing
Author: 
EEA
Publication Date: 
06/2020
Country: 
EU

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Scope:

EU legislation includes recycling targets for municipal, construction and demolition, and electronic waste. This European Environment Agency briefing shows that there is significant potential to increase recycling from all of these streams.

However, to fully exploit this potential, current barriers need to be overcome. This also requires strong implementation of targeted regulations to increase separate collection.

Implementing new policy measures, some of which are already included in the EU 2020 Circular Economy Action Plan, can both directly and indirectly exploit the potential for increased recycling.

Biodegradable and compostable plastics - challenges anf opportunities

Biodegradable and compostable plastics: what are the challenges and opportunities?

Type:

Briefing
Author: 
EEA
Publication Date: 
08/2020
Country: 
EU

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Scope:

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?

This European Environment Agency (EEA) briefing aims to answer these questions.

Categorisation system for the circular economy

Categorisation system image

Type:

categorisation of circular economy
Author: 
Peter Hirsch (editor), Christian Schempp (editor)
Publication Date: 
03/2020
Country: 
EU

Language for original content:

Contact: 
Janneke van Veen
Contact publications

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.

See also: Accelerating the Transition report and Incentives to boost the CE report.

The EU’s Circular Economy Action Plan: setting the world’s largest single market on a transition towards a circular economy

EMF

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.

Enhancing a resource-efficient, circular economy in the food and drink industry

FoodDrinkEurope - an organisation representing Europe's food and drinks industry - has designed a website explaining what the industry is currently doing to enhance a resource-efficient circular economy.

Entitled Ingredients for a Circular Economy, the website specifically looks at the areas of farming, manufacturing, sustainable packaging and consumers, providing numerous examples of how the European food and drinks industry is helping to promote circular economy. The website also sets out policy recommendations for how to unlock further sustainable growth and innovation for a resource-efficient circular economy in the food and drinks industry. 

EUMEPS op-ed on the ‘Renovation Wave’

EUMEPS op-ed: Thermal insulation improvements in the EU building Renovation Wave also promote the Circular Economy

Type:

Op-ed
Author: 
Association for European Manufacturers of Expanded Polystyrene (EUMEPS)
Publication Date: 
06/2020
Country: 
Belgium

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Key Area:

Scope:

Contact: 
Flavia Ferri

The European Manufacturers of Expanded Polystyrene (EUMEPS) is the voice of the Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) industry. It has published an op-ed welcoming the European Commission’s commitment to a Renovation Wave and the outline of its strategy shared in the roadmap published in May 2020. It believes that this initiative is a great opportunity for scaling-up current renovation rates and EU’s climate and energy efficiency goals.

EUMEPS agrees that increased renovation can be a key contributor to creating jobs and stimulating economic recovery in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. It embraces the Commission’s finding that buildings are also critical for making circularity work and its objective to implement the Renovation Wave in line with circular economy principles.

The Covid-19 recovery requires a resilient circular economy

The Covid-19 recovery requires a resilient circular economy

The coronavirus crisis has disastrous human and economic consequences, revealing our system's exposure to a variety of risks. As the pandemic forces us to adapt our daily lives in ways we would not have imagined, it is also challenging us to rethink the systems that underpin the economy.

While addressing public health consequences is clearly the priority, before the crisis, momentum had already been increasing around the need for a system reset, and the potential of a circular model.

Far from the pandemic pushing the circular economy agenda to the bottom of the list, this article by Jocelyn Blériot at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation highlights and reiterates that it is now more relevant than ever, and sets out to explore the wider possibilities for recovery.

Scaler Quick Guides – Helping industries increase efficiency through resource sharing

SCALER

SCALER provides mechanisms to accelerate the journey towards efficient and quick implementation of industrial symbiosis in the European process industry. They do this by developing action plans and adapted solutions to industrial stakeholders and communities.

SCALER works closely with a wide range of stakeholders including industrial networks, consultancies, researchers and policy makers at various geographic and political levels, to deliver practical tools and guidelines for industry actors engaging in resource efficiency, reuse and sharing.

To achieve this goal, SCALER is developing a set of reports and guides. They offer insights into how businesses can start industrial resource synergies with other companies to minimise their waste and create more value from their production.

Circular Aluminium Action Plan: A Strategy for Achieving Aluminium's Full Potential for Circular Economy by 2030

The Circular Aluminium Action Plan is the aluminium sector’s strategy for achieving aluminium’s full potential for a circular economy by 2030. The action plan aims to ensure that all end-of-life aluminium products are collected and recycled efficiently in Europe to maximise the aluminium recycling rates and to keep the material in active use. It builds on the aluminium industry’s Vision 2050 and provides policy recommendations for the sector.

The aluminium industry has the potential to be a key driver in achieving Europe’s ambitions for a climate-neutral and circular economy. Aluminium is by nature circular and fit for multiple recycling: it can be recycled over and over again without losing its original properties (lightness, conductivity, formability, durability, impermeability).

Circular Fashion MOOC: Design, Science and Value in a Sustainable Clothing Industry

Wageningen MOOC

The fashion industry has a big influence on the global economy and is known for its social and environmental impact. This online course by Wageningen University & Research is an introduction to circular fashion, brought by 30 experts from academia and practice.

After this course, you will be able to:

  • Understand the role of sustainability and circularity in fashion
  • Understand the importance of design for disassembly and recycling
  • Evaluate new biobased materials for textiles and understand the change in production processes
  • Disrupt current thinking and mindset in the industry and manage the transition to circular fashion
  • Understand economic paradigms and new forms of value creation for circularity in the fashion industry

Read more and enrol.

TU Delft Online Learning: Sustainable Packaging in a Circular Economy

TU Delft

Type:

online course (MOOC)
Author: 
Delft University of Technology
Publication Date: 
02/2020
Country: 
Netherlands

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Scope:

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) is offering a 100 % online course on Sustainable Packaging in a Circular Economy. Students and professionals with basic knowledge of the circular economy and an interest in or experience of packaging can start studying anytime, at the time and place of their choosing. The course material is accessible 24/7. This is a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) that runs on edX.

The course programme includes:

  • Business strategies that support sustainable packaging systems
  • Opportunities for designing with renewable, bio-based materials
  • Best practices through case studies with industry frontrunners
  • How circular design principles can be applied to create 'closed loop' packaging systems.

You can enrol here.

EEA Briefing: Reducing loss of resources from waste management is key to strengthening the circular economy in Europe

Type:

Briefing
Author: 
Özlem Durmus (EEA), European Topic Centre on Waste and Materials in a Green Economy (ETC/WMGE)
Publication Date: 
10/2019
Country: 
EU

Language for original content:

Scope:

Contact: 
Ozlem Durmus

Europe relies heavily on material resources for almost all of society’s activities. Its extraction and production of material resources have significant impacts on the environment and human health, as well as the economy.

It is essential to reuse resources in European economies, keeping their value high, delivering value for longer periods and reducing the need to use virgin materials. While progress is being made in Europe, by implementing an ambitious waste policy and the Circular Economy Framework, significant amounts of valuable resources are still lost through inefficient waste management practices.

This briefing describes material losses in Europe for some key waste streams, namely waste electrical and electronic equipment, end-of-life batteries, plastic and textile waste.

EEA briefing: The plastic waste trade in the circular economy

Type:

Briefing
Author: 
Lars Mortensen (EEA)
Publication Date: 
10/2019
Country: 
EU

Language for original content:

Contact: 
Lars Mortensen

Europe is at crossroads regarding its management of plastic, plastic waste and the plastic waste trade. Rapidly growing amounts of plastic have negative environmental and climate impacts.

Plastic and plastic waste are traded worldwide. Exporting plastic waste from the EU to Asia is a means of dealing with insufficient recycling capacities in the EU. Waste import restrictions in China have shifted exports to other countries. Because some types of plastic waste have been added to the United Nations Basel Convention, the option of exporting plastic waste is becoming increasingly difficult.

This briefing provides an overview of exports of plastic waste from the 28 EU Member States (EU-28) to other countries and discusses its possible consequences and opportunities.

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