The project „Prosperkolleg“ in Bottrop started on the 1st of June 2019 with the objective to explore how to transfer the idea of circular economy to the industry. The "Hochschule Ruhr West", the "WiN Emscher-Lippe GmbH", the city of Bottrop, the "Effizienzagentur NRW" and the "Prosperkolleg association" joined forces to research and demonstrate innovative circular product and business model developments. The project is funded by the ministry of economics, innovation, digitalization and energy of the land NRW.
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Making the transition to a circular economy requires a pressing need for new skills, competences and approaches. Education, and training have a critical role to play in delivering and updating these skills.
The Erasmus+ CYCLE project created a set of tools and resources to support adult trainers in developing and expanding their professional and educational skills in the circular economy.
The Cycle Competence Centre (CYCLE CC) is a platform where educators can find training and guidance tools in 6 languages to help them introduce circular economy in different learning environments.
The Plastic Atlas contains more than 49 detailed infographics covering a broad range of topics regarding the plastic pollution crisis looking along the entire value chain of plastic. The atlas highlights the scale of the crisis, and the global impacts of plastic production, consumption and disposal on other key global challenges such as human health and climate change. It also outlines the role of plastic for key industrial sectors such as agriculture and tourism and describes the corporate interests and drivers behind the plastic crisis. Finally, the Plastic Atlas presents an overview of key plastic-free regulations, zero waste solutions and a snapshot of the growing global movement working towards a future free from plastic pollution.
Tarpaper Recycling is a recycling specialist minimising the environmental impacts of construction waste. It has developed a patented method to recycle bitumen from roofing-felt waste by converting it into a material that can be used as a binder in asphalt production.
To create a circular economy for Flexible Intermediate Bulk Containers, Starlinger, a plastic packaging machinery and process technology engineering company from Austria, has simulated a closed loop for polypropylene - the main component of big bags- in cooperation with renowned big bag manufacturers Louis Blockx and LC Packaging.
RePack is the easiest way to implement circular economy in eCommerce. Using reusable and returnable RePack packaging service means sustainability in every package.
The reusable RePack bags are and made of durable and recycled materials and come in three adjustable sizes. They replace single-use packaging as the customer chooses RePack as the mean of package for delivery from the webstore. Once empty, the RePacks are designed to fold into letter size and can be returned to a postbox, free of charge, anywhere in the world. A voucher is sent to thank the customer for the return. This is the circular economy in action.
The Circular Economy Initiative Deutschland, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and participating companies, brings together economic, scientific and societal stakeholders in developing a joint vision and concrete plan on how to support the German transformation towards a circular economy.
The network also stimulates practical implementation, for example in the form of collaborative projects, with support from acatech – National Academy of Science and Engineering in cooperation with SYSTEMIQ.
These projects will also serve to formulate policy recommendations and options that will be summarised in a 'Circular Economy Roadmap for Germany'. This roadmap will additionally be underpinned using the insights of the following working groups:
Circular business models and regulatory framework conditions
New value networks for mobile energy storage systems
New value networks for packaging.
This preliminary study stimulates public debate on the circular economy in Germany and serves as a basis for discussion within the recently launched Circular Economy Initiative Deutschland. With a sizeable industry, there is substantial opportunity for Germany to adopt circular policies, but this paradigm shift would mean no less than a reinterpretation of the "Made in Germany" model.
In the past years, both the European Union and several Member States have adopted circular economy strategies to transition to a resource-efficient economy based on keeping resources in use for longer. While countries outside Europe also follow this guiding principle in their industrial and resource policies, e.g. China, Japan or Canada, such a plan is still missing in Germany.
This report discusses the preconditions for a successful implementation of a circular economy within the German context, before discussing the experiences of European countries, which have already initiated the transformation to a circular economy by developing roadmaps or comparable strategies. The learning experiences and best practices of these countries are examined with a view to transferring some of these to Germany.
Circular Economy Transition aims to accelerate the transition of Switzerland to a Circular Economy. The programme operates in 5 Swiss cities: Basel, Bern, Geneva, Lausanne and Zurich.
In close collaboration with all Impact Hubs throughout Switzerland, sanu durabilitas and support of the MAVA foundation, this initiative will contribute to drive the new paradigm for the future of business, policy making and society through 4 main pillars:
- project & startup incubator
- community events
- business lab for corporates & SMEs
- research & policy recommendations
VertECO consists of a vertical ecosystem (vertical constructed wetland) treating greywater from handwash basins, showers, and laundries.
plastship, successfully launched in May 2019, is a German digital startup that has created a trading and service platform for buyers and sellers of regrinds, re-granulates and recyclates.
This study delivers the first empirical findings on the relevance of digitisation to improving material efficiency based on the German company survey ‘IW-Zukunftspanel’.
German manufacturing firms have up to now only rarely digitised material efficiency measures to a great extent. If they are - particularly in large companies - they tend to be used for process optimisation. Around two fifths of the companies are at least moderately digitised in relation to the most important industrial efficiency measures, namely process optimisation and the use of new techniques, but there is still more than a third that is not at all. Companies have most frequently digitised cross-company materials cycles, but this instrument is only applied by two fifths of industrial companies. There is still potential for more digitisation of measures relating to product design, materials cycle management and new business models.
At least every other manufacturing company reuses residue and waste materials via internal circulation systems. Nevertheless, for two fifths of these companies digital networks do not play any part and in the case of a further two fifths, the part they play is minor. Only one in ten companies is heavily digitised. More than half of industrial companies use resource-saving measures that begin at the product design stage. To date, almost half of these companies are not digitally networked, or if they are, it is only to a small extent. One third of the industrial companies up to now have considered new business models as an efficiency-raising way. Of these, three out of ten have not been digitised yet with a further two fifths having only a minor level of digitisation.
Companies that have already embedded digitisation in their strategy are frontrunners for greater material efficiency, since they more frequently use material efficiency measures intensively, are more likely to recognise further potential savings and their efficiency-saving approaches are also clearly more often highly digitised.
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Eines von zwei Unternehmen macht Ökodesign digital
Flustix is a certification body for plastic-free and partially plastic-free products as well as goods made from recycled plastics. By making plastic reduction clearly visible for customers, the certification provides guidance and the opportunity to make a plastic-aware buying decision.
Use of recycled plastic material (rPM) in North West Europe is homogeneously low. In packaging and building, the highest plastic-consuming sectors, only 8% of plastic employed is recyclate (Plastics Europe 2016). This is often due to the lack of information on purity and composition of recycled plastics. The Interreg NWE research project Di-Plast develops digital technology to enable complete documentation and quality assurance of recycled plastic material flows.
Vienna's Municipal Department 48, responsible for the city's waste management, has been active in re-use since 1989, when the city’s first re-use shop was founded. In Summer 2015, the Department opened the 48-er Tandler: a mobile re-use shop where citizens can buy affordable, quality second-hand goods and whose proceeds go entirely to charity.
Austria Glas Recycling Gmbh is setting the course for the future: the Austria Glas Agenda 2030, which it has developed together with stakeholders, experts and scholars, defines the orientation of the glass recycling system according to the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
The Austria Glass Agenda 2030 is pioneering work setting new impulses for the implementation of the SDGs. As one of the first companies in Austria, Austria Glas Recycling Gmbh is facing the challenge to implement the SDGs in all its business processes. The Austria Glas Agenda 2030 is the basis for future project developments of the glass recycling system.
In addition, the Austria Glas Agenda 2030 should serve as a role model for other sectors and inspire them to take action for the SDGs.
In October 2015 the Luxembourg government named the municipality of Wiltz a Circular Economy Hotspot. In February 2018 Wiltz renewed its political commitment with a Circular Economy Charter signed by its municipal council, by which it committed itself to mainstreaming circular economy in its future project and activities in order to improve its global footprint on the Ardennes region and to take on its responsibilities towards future generations of citizens.
The Climate Pact, which was set up by Luxembourg's Ministry of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure in order to enable municipalities wishing to actively tackle climate change to request State support by signing an engagement charter, now includes measures on circular economy.
"Circular Futures - Plattform Kreislaufwirtschaft Österreich" is a solution-oriented multistakeholder platform that brings together professionals across relevant industries, the administration, politics, science and civil society in Austria. Circular Futures acts as a think-tank, incubator, and catalyst for projects and initiatives necessary for a successful transition to a circular economy in Austria.
Circular Futures offers:
- A website that serves as a central information and communication platform;
- Knowledge events on the circular economy to inform and mobilise stakeholders;
- Targeted capacity-building for relevant stakeholders through workshops, trainings, and the publication of project information;
- The coordination of local activities and strengthening of regional networks; and
- The involvement of relevant stakeholders in political processes (consultations, strategy/guideline developments, etc.) through information-sharing and mobilization.
Circular Futures AT is a collaboration between the Umweltdachverband and the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), the Reuse and Repair Network Austria (RepaNet), and the Verband Abfallberatung Österreich (VABÖ).
Klättermusen is a Swedish outdoor clothing company producing waterproof jackets, pants and backpacks made at least partly from recycled polyamide. The polyamide is created from post-industrial waste including packaging materials from factories, old carpets as well as discarded industrial fishing nets.
ECOALF is a Spanish fashion company with a sustainable profile. ECOALF makes swimwear from 100 % recycled fabrics made from PET and recycled polyester.
Raubersachen (robbers' loot in German) applies the concept of product-as-a-service to baby clothes, providing parents with a ecological woollen alternatives by refurbishing disposed baby and toddler clothes and renting these out, thus reducing the amount of cheap, low-quality products being bought and keeping baby clothes in circulation far longer.
The Upper Autrian Cleantech-Cluster networks all actors from the resource supplier, to the manufacturer, industrial researcher, to mechanical engineers, recyclers, and disposers in order to find joint solutions and develop new technologies. We cooperate with our 10 cluster initiatives in the Upper Austrian business support agency and 2000 partner companies, whose activities range from plastics, to automotive, furniture and wood construction, food, medical technology, mechatronics, IT, logistics, and HR, In order to support projects for SMEs in particular, the cluster also supports EU funding applications, thus offering its partners an internationally mature circular economy toolbox.
THEMES and EXPERTISE in the network:
- Material efficiency in production
- Circular design
- Business Models
- Initial and continuing education
- Cross-sector networking with researchers, companies, associations (regional, national, international)
- Project development
- Project Management
- Process support through conception, moderation of workshops, work meetings, events
- Funding advice
The study analysed the economic effects of the transposition of Directive 1999/44/EC concerning warranty rights, which had to be transposed into national law by January 2002. A number of publications had suggested that strengthening warranty rights for consumer goods as foreseen in the directive could increase the price level of these goods, possibly resulting in a reduced purchases. The study addressed both questions by analysing data from several EU countries. The first question was addressed by analysing inflation rates of general prices and of prices for the consumer goods affected by the directive in the time period 1998 until 2002. The second question was analysed by looking at the share of consumers who used online consumer-to-consumer markets, which were not covered by the warranty rights foreseen in the directive.
The comparison of inflation rates for consumer goods showed that inflation rates for consumer goods were below the general inflation rate between 1998 and 2004. Therefore, between 1998 and 2004 prices for the different groups of consumer goods covered by the directive did not increase but actually appear to have decreased slightly. This effect has been found for all countries analysed with no significant differences between countries transposing the minimum standards and those that went beyond. The second part of the analysis addressed the question if a developed market for online consumer-to-consumer selling of goods exists, for which the new seller's warranties weren't valid. In case of price increases for business-to-consumer markets – which have not been found in the first part of the analysis – part of the transactions could be transferred to these markets. The analysis showed that the vast majority of consumers in Western European countries used the internet regularly to purchase goods, including the online-platform Ebay. In case of increasing prices for consumer goods because of strengthened warranty rights, part of the transactions would move to online consumer-to-consumer markets rather than resulting in an overall decline of consumer goods purchases. The general conclusion was that over the analysed time period no negative impact of strengthened warranty rights on the price level of consumer goods could be found.
In operation since 2007, PET to PET Recycling Österreich GmbH focuses on the production of food-grade recycled PET, which is used for “bottle-to-bottle recycling”, a globally unique and resource-efficient recycling loop in which old PET bottles are turned into new ones.
Printer cartridges are seen as a single-use product by printer and cartridge Original Equipment Manufacturers. However, most of today’s printer cartridges fall within the scope of the WEEE-2 directive.
The FISSAC project involves stakeholders at all levels of the construction and demolition value chain to develop a methodology and software platform, to facilitate information exchange, that can support industrial symbiosis networks and replicate pilot schemes at local and regional levels.