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WaVa Waste Valorisation

WaVa logo

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Country: 
Switzerland

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WaVa / Waste Valorisation is a chemical exchange platform for all professionals which promotes the circular economy among manufacturers. Specifically, it is a co-product marketplace where sellers can sell their waste as a secondary raw material and buyers can buy cheaper, local materials.

Any industrial raw material, waste, by-product or manufacturing co-product can be traded on the WaVa platform. It aims to help people achieve their circular economy objectives and thus reap the economic and environmental benefits.

WaVa is not recognised as a waste disposal facility; it simply connects buyers and sellers. It never actually takes ownership of the product.

There are no fees for registration, selling or buying.

The circular economy as EU environmental policy – Changing or maintaining the status quo?

The circular economy as EU environmental policy – Changing or maintaining the status quo?

The circular economy as EU environmental policy – Changing or maintaining the status quo?

Many actors see the EU’s circular economy (CE) as a promising narrative which steps outside dominant end-of-pipe solutions towards an encompassing vision for strategies across the supply chain. However, this study finds that the EU CE Action Plan maintains the status quo narrative instead of suggesting radical changes.

By focusing on stakeholder narratives, this analysis shows that the inertia is primarily due to CE proponents’ self-perception of being in a legitimacy crisis and their strategic arguments that have:

  • concealed social conflict and potential trade-offs
  • strengthened the agency of ‘status quo’ agents
  • excluded alternative voices questioning the proposed CE narrative.

The paper discusses how to develop new environmental narratives outside the status quo.

Barriers and enablers of wood cascading – Lessons for a circular bioeconomy

Barriers and enablers of wood cascading – Lessons for a circular bioeconomy

Barriers and enablers of wood cascading – Lessons for a circular bioeconomy

Longstanding research on wood cascading has identified a variety of factors to enable more efficient, circular use of forest-based products in Europe.

This paper finds that two of the most critical barriers to wood cascading are:

  • Competition between energy and material uses of waste wood in policy, market and infrastructure
  • Inadequate information on and low quality of waste wood, including pollutant content.

It makes the following recommendations for policies and business:

  • Redesign production processes to deal with contamination and increase quality
  • Coordinate energy and waste policies
  • Advance reporting standards about material composition of bioproducts
  • Explore the best forms of involvement, awareness raising, communication and policies.

Three narratives about food waste and their social impact

France's Law Against Food Waste: do new narratives serve social justice?

Three narratives about food waste and their social impact
Policy Brief
Author: 
Sina Leipold, Kaja Weldner, Marius Hohl
Publication Date: 
12/2021
Country: 
Germany

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France's Law Against Food Waste has become an international model for sustainable food policy. The law is often described as combining economic efficiency with environmental protection and social equity. However, stakeholder narratives cast doubt on whether this French CE law really contributes to social justice in the long run. This discourse analysis shows that:

  • the ban on food waste institutionalised a narrative about food waste that prioritises profit over social equity
  • the traditionally dominant solidarity narrative about food waste has been pushed back by the emerging CE discourse
  • As a consequence of this shift, activities enacted in the name of the CE may counteract social equity goals (for instance by establishing competition with charities).

Full research article

Effective circular strategies for eco-friendly urban agriculture

Effective circular strategies for eco-friendly urban agriculture

Effective circular strategies for eco-friendly urban agriculture

Urban agriculture comes with its own share of environmental impacts. Circular strategies promise to reduce these impacts, but not all strategies are resource efficient and environmentally effective.

This paper finds that the most eco-friendly and circular strategies for urban agriculture, taking a Mediterranean tomato crop as a case study, include:

  • Struvite (phosphate mineral recovered from wastewater treatment) instead of non-renewable phosphate fertiliser to conserve freshwater
  • Recycled steel and materials for urban agricultural infrastructure to reduce carbon emissions, toxicity and freshwater pollution
  • Closed-loop irrigation to minimise ocean and freshwater pollution. However, if new infrastructure is required, it could lead to an increase in carbon emissions.

Healthy diets save more resources than food waste reduction

Healthy diets save more resources than food waste reduction

Healthy diets save more resources than food waste reduction

Policies are focusing on halving food waste to help conserve increasingly strained food resources. However, expanding their scope of action to include dietary changes and complement targets with resource footprints has greater potential to save resources while avoiding trade-offs.

This paper shows that in Germany:

  • Healthy, plant-based diets are more effective at reducing land and biomass use than halving food waste
  • A combination of more plant-based food consumption and food waste reduction in distribution and consumption is most effective at saving resources
  • Focusing exclusively on food waste reduction as a policy target can be detrimental to the overarching goal of saving resources because it deflects attention away from more effective alternatives.

Environmental assessments should focus on the needs of circular cities

Environmental assessments should focus on the needs of circular cities to support the transition to a sustainable circular economy

Environmental assessments should focus on the needs of circular cities

The circular economy (CE) is gaining momentum in cities. To ensure a sustainable CE, it is crucial to measure the environmental performance of CE strategies. However, environmental assessments overlook several strategies that are a key feature of urban CE practice. These include reuse and repair, sustainable built infrastructure and urban land use, green public procurement, smart information and access technology.

To provide insights into the environmental performance and potential of these strategies, industrial ecologists and municipalities should:

  • collaborate with urban systems experts
  • quantify the environmental impacts of entire urban systems
  • combine environmental assessments with social and economic feasibility ones.

Learning after the flood - waste management in focus

Thinking Circular®

Type:

Author: 
Eveline Lemke
Publication Date: 
03/2022
Country: 
Germany

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134 people died in the devastating flooding in the German region of Ahrweiler in July 2021, caused by a climate change-induced weather situation. Over 400 000 tonnes of waste were created by the floods in one night. 40 000 households were hit, and massive damage to infrastructure such as roads, schools and hospitals was reported. The situation was described as being similar to the massive destruction following a war.

Thinking Circular’s report summarises the process of waste management and learning from this regional crisis.

ReCreate: Innovate and develop novel technological solutions for deconstruction and reuse

Recreate

ReCreate pushes towards circular construction by investigating the system changes needed in the whole ecosystems of construction and demolition.

Wegozero: mapping businesses with zero waste potential in Europe

wegozero logo

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Country: 
Netherlands

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The zero waste consultancy wegozero has mapped more than 1000 businesses with zero waste potential in four European cities. Its maps are available for a monthly subscription and aim to tell people which businesses in their city are sustainable and geared to circular thinking.

Circular Economy Roadmap for Germany

Circular Economy Initiative Deutschland

Within the framework of the Circular Economy Initiative Deutschland (CEID) and its three interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral working groups, more than 130 experts from industry, science and civil society have summed up their findings in the Circular Economy (CE) Roadmap for Germany, which consists of a consolidated opinion addressing society as a whole.

This Roadmap, which has focused - right from the beginning - on shaping a consistent and common target vision for a circular economy in 2030, is a scientifically-based framework for action that systemically describes the necessary steps for Germany to transition to a CE and provides decision-makers from politics, industry and science with concrete recommendations for action.

BDI-Initiative Circular Economy

BDI - Circular Economy

The BDI Initiative Circular Economy (CE) was created in April 2021 by the Federation of German Industries.

It is a network of more than 50 members that defines the potential of CE and the necessary framework conditions through practical exchange. To this end, they are in close dialogue with policymakers in Berlin and Brussels and with the sciences community.​ ​

rhinopaq: reusable and recyclable shipping packaging as a B2B service

Rhinopaq

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Country: 
Germany

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rhinopaq provides reusable shipping packaging boxes made of polypropylene, which can be reused up to 20 times.

Avis sur le projet de Plan d'action fédéral pour une économie circulaire

Response to the Belgian Federal Action Plan on the Circular Economy

FRDO CFDD logo
Author: 
Federal Council for Sustainable Development (Belgium)
Publication Date: 
07/2021
Country: 
EU

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The Federal Council for Sustainable Development Belgium has issued a formal response to the Federal Belgian Action Plan on the Circular Economy. The council addressed issues regarding the substance and procedure of the action plan.

Procedural issues include the vagueness of the plan's exact intentions and deadlines as well as the lack of a better governance mechanism. Substantive issues include:

  • more focus needed on the social challenges associated with the introduction of a circular economy
  • more focus on the impact on the climate of increasing digitalisation
  • recycling of critical metals, and
  • importance of removing all known barriers (regulatory, fiscal, financial, etc.) to the circular transition.

Strengthening circularity in photovoltaics - Challenges and opportunities along the lifecycle

White paper: Strengthening circularity in photovoltaics

Deutsche Umwelthilfe

Every year, huge numbers of photovoltaic (PV) modules are being installed. This solar energy expansion greatly furthers the ecological transformation of the energy system. But to solve the climate crisis every aspect has to be taken into consideration. This is why this white paper wants to shine light on challenges currently occuring or to be expected in connection with used photovoltaic modules and their disposal in Germany.

To better implement the goals of a circular economy, this paper will retrace the steps in the lifecycle of a photovoltaic module and analyse problems and possible solutions along these stages. After a brief description of the occuring challenges, opportunities and solutions deemed to be effective and sensible in these matters are presented.

Renycle: from scrap to new nylon

Renycle

Renycle® is a product obtained from recycled nylon 6, a highly valued material because of its excellent resistance, dyeability, softness and versatility.

ReNewTex - Circular Economy for Textiles

ReNewTec

ReNewTex is an innovation network aiming to help use synergies and gradually transform the carpet & rug industry from a linear to a circular business sector.

At present it is working as a moderated matchmaking platform where people can connect to further common ideas and needs through technological projects. After finding the topics, it supports companies in finding the right investment strategy and all the way unto the project start.

To kindle creativity ReNewTex hosts discussions about sustainability or on single topics to shape the discussion into projects.

ZENIT, the agency for innovation and European affairs of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia, moderates the talks, looking for new members and support in project planning and funding.

 

 

C2C ExpoLAB: Venlo city hall

c2c-expolab logo

C2C ExpoLAB is a consultancy firm which specialises in the practical application of Cradle to Cradle (C2C) principles in the built environment. It enables its clients to exploit the circular economy concept. One of its projects was Venlo city hall which illustrates its approach and principles.

Van Werven: Plastics recycling

Van Werven image

Type of organisation or company:

Country: 
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.

Interseroh provides reusable plastic boxes for fruit and vegetables sold at Aldi Süd stores

Jonathan Mast from unsplash

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Country: 
Germany

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Interseroh provides recycling solutions for plastic packaging. For instance, it has developed a pooling system of reusable plastic boxes for fruit and vegetables sold at Aldi Süd, a German supermarket network.

Entogreen: using biomimicry to turn organic waste into fish food

Black soldier fly image

Type of organisation or company:

Country: 
Portugal

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EntoGreen aims to develop sustainable feed and organic fertilisers by using bio-based technologies to recycle nutrients from agricultural and food waste and reintroducing them into the food chain, thus closing the nutrient cycle.

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.

EMMA Safety Footwear: Sustainable safety shoes

EMMA logo

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Country: 
Netherlands

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Back in 1931, EMMA was founded as a social enterprise for injured workers from the Dutch State Mines. Hence, social entrepreneurship is in the DNA of EMMA Safety Footwear. Today, EMMA still employs about 100 people who need some additional support in the labour market. Making sustainable safety shoes was, therefore, a logical next step in EMMA’s journey towards a positive footprint.

Grover: Reducing e-waste by renting out electronic devices

Image of electronic devices

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Country: 
Germany

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Grover rents technological items such as smartphones, laptops, virtual reality (VR) gear and wearables to customers on a flexible basis and with full usage rights. Customers can choose how long they want to rent a given product.

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.

Brens uses scrap iron, crushed concrete and pulverised rubber to build tomorrow's railways

Railway image

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Country: 
Czech Republic

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Czech company Brens, which produces rail tracks, tram and railway lines, has turned to production processes using recycled materials.

SECONTRADE: The B2B platform for secondary raw materials

SECONTRADE

SECONTRADE is the first and largest European online market for secondary raw materials, launched in Austria in 2018. It digitalises waste management and enables the trade of recycled materials across Europe.

Green Tech Cluster in Austria

Green Tech Cluster

Welcome to Green Tech Valley, focussing on Climate and Circular Solutions. The Green Tech Valley is located in the south of Austria and is internationally regarded as the hotspot for innovative energy and environmental technology.

The Green Tech Cluster initiates growth through innovation. It brings together around 220 companies and research institutions shaping green solutions of the future. With 20 global technology leaders within an hour’s drive, the location forms one of the highest concentrations of companies in this industry.

Have a look at their Don't waste / Invest campaign: One-stop-shop recycling solutions for a wide range of waste fractions derived from Austrian excellence in achieving one of Europe's highest recycling rates.

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