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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

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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

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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.

L'économie circulaire en Région de Bruxelles-Capitale

L'économie circulaire en Région de Bruxelles-Capitale

Type:

Reference book
Author: 
BELIN Hughes, HANANEL Cédric
Publication Date: 
11/2019
Country: 
Belgium

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Contact: 
Hananel Cédric

Since 2016, the Brussels-Capital Region has set the circular economy as one of its strategic priorities, and is implementing concrete actions to that effect.

Where are we today? Is this just the beginning of a major cultural shift? What are the main challenges ahead? To find out, the authors met numerous actors - public or private - on the ground to better understand the implications of 'circularising' the Brussels Region.

This brochure gives an overview of the promises and limitations for this new economic model with concrete examples, providing inspiration and grounds for further reflection on transitioning to the circular economy.  

 

Circular Cities - A practical approach to develop a city roadmap focusing on utilities

Circular Cities - A practical approach to developpin a city roadmap focusing on utilities

Circular Cities

Type:

White paper
Author: 
Charleyne Terry , Irene Vivas Lalinde, Cristian Matti, Morten Meldgaard
Publication Date: 
12/2019
Country: 
France

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Contact: 
Charleyne TERRY

Cities can play a pivotal role in creating an enabling environment through regulations and incentives, but the private sector needs to collaborate and explore the cross-sectoral synergies required to achieve a circular model. There are immense opportunities for public-private collaboration in achieving goals that might not otherwise be possible for cities to accomplish alone.

Cities are embedding circular thinking in their utility processes, placing the onus on the private sector to come up with new business models that are both economically viable and ecologically sustainable. This could potentially result in a situation whereby circular products and services become the new market standard.

Circular economy for climate neutrality: Setting the priorities for the EU

Circular economy for climate neutrality: Setting the priorities for the EU

Type:

Policy Brief
Author: 
Vasileios Rizos, Milan Elkerbout, Christian Egenhofer
Publication Date: 
11/2019
Country: 
EU

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Contact: 
Vasileios Rizos
Milan Elkerbout
Christian Egenhofer

The previous Commission policy on resources management was part of the priority for jobs and growth and economic competitiveness. The circular economy will be no less important for the new political priority of climate neutrality; it will become one of the indispensable elements for meeting the EU’s ambitions.

EU climate policy and the circular economy are, by and large, complementary and mutually reinforcing. The circular economy is more than just another ‘product standards’ policy.

Circular economy products for the foreseeable future will require both technology push and market pull policies. The principal challenge will be to create ‘lead markets’ for the circular economy in combination with low-carbon products. 

Briefing on textiles in Europe's circular economy

Textiles

Type:

Briefing
Author: 
European Environment Agency
Publication Date: 
11/2019
Country: 
EU

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Textiles are fundamental to our society and employs millions of people worldwide, making it among the largest in the world and an important part of Europe's manufacturing industry. However, textile production and consumption cause significant environmental, climate and social impacts by using resources, water, land and chemicals and emitting greenhouse gases and pollutants. 

In Europe, the sector employs 1.7 million people and Europeans consume on average 26 kg of textiles per person per year. This briefing by the European Environment Agency provides an EU perspective of the environmental and climate pressures from textile production and consumption, and discusses how circular business models and regulation can help move us towards a circular textiles economy.

Methodological Guide “Beneficial use of dredged sediments in road engineering”

Methodological Guide “Beneficial use of dredged sediments in road engineering”

European Sediment Network

Type:

Methodological Guide
Author: 
Nor-Edine Abriak (Ecole des Mines de Douai), Yannick Mamindy-Pajany (Ecole des Mines de Douai), Nicolas Proulhac (IDRA Environnement), Patrice Rivard (Université de Sherbrooke), SEDIMATERIAUX (Scientific Advisory Group) , Gaëlle Mesmacques (DREAL Nord Pas de Calais), Patrice Maurel (Conseil Régionale Nord Pas de Calais), Samira Brakni (CD2E) (currently: Cyril Scribot)
Publication Date: 
05/2019
Country: 
EU

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Contact: 
Bruno Lemière

This guide presents how dredged sediments can be beneficially used in road engineering with a view to sustainable development and to the protection of the environment and of populations.

This is the result of research carried out by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (DGCE) at the School of Mines of Douai for more than ten years on the theme of using dredged sediments. It is coherent with French regulations and the methodological framework (ADEME, 2010; SETRA, 2011) that prevailed at the time of the work.

This guide is not intended for use of sediments abstracted from a river system. It is only intended for harbour and canal dredgings, where restitution to river systems is usually not possible -at least economically.

Elephant in the Boardroom: Why Unchecked Consumption is Not an Option in Tomorrow’s Markets

Elephant in the Boardroom: Why Unchecked Consumption is Not an Option in Tomorrow’s Markets

wri report logo

Type:

Working paper
Author: 
Samantha Putt del Pino, Eliot Metzger, Deborah Drew, Kevin Moss
Publication Date: 
03/2017
Country: 
EU

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The Elephant in the Boardroom: Why Unchecked Consumption is Not an Option in Tomorrow’s Markets is a working paper from the World Resources Institute that can guide discussion within companies about an uncomfortable truth: many of today’s business models are not fit for tomorrow’s resource-strained world.

Normalizing the conversation will set the groundwork for the pursuit of new business models that allow growth within the planet’s limits and generate stakeholder value in new and exciting ways.

Statement from the Architects' Council of Europe - Designing Buildings for Circular Economy

Statement
Author: 
Architects' Council of Europe (ACE)
Publication Date: 
06/2019
Country: 
EU

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Key Area:

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Contact: 
Pierre Obajtek

On the occasion of the World Circular Economy Forum (WCEF), held on 4-5 June 2019 in Helsinki, the Architects' Council of Europe (ACE) published a Statement highlighting the importance of design to achieve more circularity in the construction and building sector, as well the solutions that architecture can bring.

Like many other sectors, the construction and building sectors operate largely within a linear economy model of “take, make and waste”. Yet, there is growing awareness of the finite nature of natural resources and fragility of our environment, and thereby of the urgent need to develop more sustainable and regenerative economic models.

Architecture has a crucial role to play here as many decisions taken during the design phase have long-lasting consequences on the environmental performance of a building. Developing circular economy principles in the built environment is fundamentally about changing the way we design our buildings to ensure that they can be operated, maintained, repaired, re-used or adapted to new needs, while optimising resource value and generating as little waste as possible. If high-quality architecture can create significant value, conversely, ill-conceived buildings can cause considerable waste and costs, both in the short term as well as for future generations.

Designing and building in a circular manner requires acknowledging that a building is above all a support for life. Beyond optimising the use of resources for their own sake, it is essential to seek to preserve and enhance the economic, social, environmental and cultural value that a place embodies for end-users, so that it can be used for the longest possible time.

The Statement presents different architectural solutions promoting circularity, focusing on preserving and enhancing the value of resources. It also puts forward some policy recommendations to support the architectural approach to circularity.

Creating a Digital Roadmap for a Circular Economy

Creating a Digital Roadmap for a Circular Economy

EPC publication

The EU faces multiple challenges (climate crisis, environmental disasters, a lack of competitiveness, falling behind in the digital race, etc.) that it will need to address if it is to ensure long-term sustainable prosperity for European citizens. At the same time, there are two ongoing transitions – the creation of a circular economy and the digital transformation – that could provide the means to address these challenges, if they are managed well.

As the EU and national policymakers are making significant efforts to promote a circular economy on the one hand and a digital economy on the other, Annika Hedberg and Stefan Šipka, together with Johan Bjerkem, argue that it is time to align the agendas as a means to achieve greater sustainability and competitiveness.

This publication:

  • demonstrates what digitalisation means in the context of a circular economy;
  • considers what a greater focus on sustainability would mean for the digital transition;
  • examines the role of the EU policy framework, tools and initiatives in steering a (digital) transition towards a (digital) circular economy and makes recommendations for EU institutions for the next five year.

It suggests that the EU must:

  • think systemically, define a vision and act;
  • provide an adequate governance framework and economic incentives for a (digital) transition to a (digital) circular economy;
  • encourage collaboration across European society and economy as well as globally, and empower its citizens to contribute to the transition.

This Discussion Paper builds on the findings of the EPC’s "Digital Roadmap for a Circular Economy" project of 2017-19 and paves the way for a more extensive final study, scheduled to be published in the late autumn of 2019.

The project has been supported by Aalto University and the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) (members of Helsinki EU Office), Central Denmark region, Climate-KIC, the Estonian Ministry of the Environment, Estonian Environment Investment Centre, HP, Orgalim, the province of Limburg, UL, Fondazione Cariplo and Cariplo Factory.

Putting theory into practice: Circular Economy Business Models in the EU

Putting theory into practice: Circular Economy Business Models in the EU

CE Business Models in the EU

Type:

Policy brief
Author: 
Interreg Europe
Publication Date: 
03/2019
Country: 
EU

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The policy brief discusses Circular Economy Business Models (CBM), gives several examples and considers the challenges and solutions facing policymakers. It makes a number of recommendations to regions to speed up the development of CBMs ‒ something this brief argues regions are in a good position to do ‒ and shares several good practices from Interreg Europe projects. It should be read in conjunction with the Interreg webinar on CBMs webinar on Circular Economy Business Models. It also briefly sketches EU policies in this area and offers some practical funding and networking tips.

Circular Economy in Cities: a suite of easily accessible resources

Type:

Resources collection
Author: 
Ellen MacArthur Foundation
Publication Date: 
05/2019
Country: 
United Kingdom

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Explore how city governments around the world are taking action to enable circular economy opportunities that deliver on a range of mayoral priorities, Sustainable Development Goals, and climate objectives.

In March 2019, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation launched Circular Economy in Cities, a suite of easily accessible resources which provide a global reference on the topic.

Its modules have been developed to respond to the growing interest in circular economy from city governments and mayors, and will offer insights to many other urban stakeholders, including the people who live in cities.

Circular Economy in Cities focuses on opportunities in three key urban systems - buildings, mobility, and products - and looks at how city governments can work to enable a circular economy transition.

The project addresses questions such as:

  1. Vision: What will the implementation of circular economy principles in cities look like?
  2. Factsheets: What benefits can a circular economy transition in key urban systems bring to cities?
  3. Policy levers: What can urban policymakers do to accelerate this transition?
  4. Case studies: What examples are there of urban policymakers already putting this into action?
  5. Other networks & resources: What are other organisations doing on the topic of circular economy and cities?

Livre blanc - Systèmes agricoles et agroalimentaires circulaires

Livre blanc 'Systèmes agricoles et agroalimentaires circulaires' INEC

 Livre Blanc Systèmes agricoles et agroalimentaires circulaires

Type:

Livre blanc
Author: 
Institut National de l'Economie circulaire (INEC), Groupe de Travail "Systèmes agricoles et agroalimentaires"
Publication Date: 
11/2018
Country: 
France

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Sector:

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L'Institut national de l'Economie circulaire (France) a lancé en 2017 un Groupe de travail sur les systèmes agricoles et agroalimentaires, dont ce Livre Blanc présente les conclusions. Il explore les solutions que les orinicpes d'économie circulaire peuvent apporter pour des systèmes agricoles et agro-alimentaires durables.

Trois thématiques prioritaires ont été sélectionnées (par le Livre blanc):

  • Systèmes agricoles et agroalimentaires circulaires: définitions, état des lieux et bonnes pratiques, sensibilisation des parties prenantes (consommateurs, professionnels, décideurs, distributeurs);
  • L'écologie territoriale appliquée aux systèmes agricoles et agroalimentaires: les synergies entre les entreprises, le niveau d’application (exploitation agricole, région, etc.), les circuits courts, l’agriculture urbaine et périurbaine;
  • Le retour au sol de la matière organique: identification des freins et leviers (acceptation sociétale, réglementation, etc.), compostage, méthanations et autres processus de transformation;
  • Valorisation des services rendus (qualité des sols, puit de carbone, approvisionnement durable…).

EU Guidelines for the feed use of food no longer intended for human consumption

EU guidelines facilitate the feed use of certain food no longer intended for human consumption

Animal feed

Type:

Commission notice
Author: 
European Commission
Publication Date: 
04/2018
Country: 
EU

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Contact: 
Sante Food Waste

The EU Guidelines for the feed use of food no longer intended for human consumption are an integral part of the communication Closing the loop - An EU action plan for the Circular Economy.

They were developed by the Commission in close cooperation with the food, feed, animal health and environmental authorities of the Member States and the members of the EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste, as well as other stakeholders.

The valorisation of the nutrients of food which, for commercial reasons or owing to problems of manufacturing,  is no longer intended for human consumption, but can be safely used in animal nutrition, prevents these materials from being composted, transformed in biogas or disposed of by incineration or landfilling.

Available in all EU languages by following the Official Journal link, these guidelines should assist the national and local competent authorities, as well as the operators in the food chain, in applying the relevant EU legislation. Legal clarity is therefore enhanced and examples of best practices that are in compliance with the current EU regulatory framework are presented while preventing unnecessary administrative burden.

EU guidelines on food donation

Food donation

Type:

Commission Notice
Author: 
European Commission
Publication Date: 
10/2017
Country: 
EU

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Contact: 
Sante Food Waste

As part of the Circular Economy Action Plan, the Commission has adopted EU food donation guidelines in order to facilitate the recovery and redistribution of safe, edible food to those in need.

Developed in consultation with the EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste, the EU food donation guidelines seek to:

  • facilitate compliance of providers and recipients of surplus food with relevant requirements laid down in the EU regulatory framework (e.g. food safety, food hygiene, traceability, liability, VAT, etc.);
  • promote common interpretation by regulatory authorities in the EU Member States of EU rules applying to the redistribution of surplus food.

Circular economy Logistics: für eine Kreislaufwirtschaft 4.0

Circular economy Logistics: für eine Kreislaufwirtschaft 4.0

Circular economy Logistics: für eine Kreislaufwirtschaft 4.0

Type:

White Paper
Author: 
Verena Fennemann, Fraunhofer IML, Christian Hohaus, Fraunhofer IML, Jan-Philip Kopka, Fraunhofer IML
Publication Date: 
10/2017
Country: 
EU

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Contact: 
Verena Fennemann

This White Paper deals with the role of logistics in the Circular Economy as well as trends and developments in logistics which will enable the transformation of economy towards the Circular Economy.

Circular economy for the preservation of resources and the climate

Circular economy for the preservation of resources and the climate

Circular economy for the preservation of resources and the climate

Type:

Book
Author: 
Orée - Entreprises, territoire et environnement
Publication Date: 
09/2015
Country: 
France

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Contact: 
Stevan Vellet

This book will help you discovering a large number of experiments and actions which can be reproduced on your level of action. Their generalisation to the whole France is currently a priority if we want to lead the ecological transition of our society. Nevertheless, circular economy is not something which can be decreed, and each territory wishing to invest in it has to reinvent its own process to adapt and implement the concept to its own specificities.