rhinopaq provides reusable shipping packaging boxes made of polypropylene, which can be reused up to 20 times.
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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.
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® is a product obtained from recycled nylon 6, a highly valued material because of its excellent resistance, dyeability, softness and versatility.
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 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 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 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 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.
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.
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 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.
Leef has eliminated plastic waste by producing 100% biodegradable plates from (non-palm oil) palm leaves grown in mixed plantations in Tamil Nadu, India.
Czech company Brens, which produces rail tracks, tram and railway lines, has turned to production processes using recycled materials.
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.
ReziProK is a funding programme focusing on a resource-efficient circular economy and innovative product cycles, and is run by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). It supports research and development projects which will help reach these goals. The projects seek to close product cycles by developing appropriate business models, design concepts and digital technologies and thus contribute to the implementation of a resource-efficient circular economy.
The projects focus on:
- Promoting the use of recycled materials
- Extending or stepping up product use
- Improving the recyclability of electric vehicles
- Optimising and expanding remanufacturing
- General developments on the topic of blockchain.
This report, published by the German Advisory Council on the Environment (SRU), discusses the regulatory and economic tools needed to promote a circular economy.
Circular economy has come to be regarded as the solution to the problem of resource scarcity while at the same time acting as a motor for jobs and welfare in Europe and Germany. However, only a small proportion of the demand for materials is currently met by circularity, since waste management is lagging behind the requirements of a circular economy.
The goal of reducing material flows must be anchored politically and greater attention must be paid to sufficiency. Products must be designed to be compatible with a circular economy and high-grade recycling must finally become a reality.
Fjällräven is giving wool waste a second life by using it for innovative purposes, like padding in jackets or backplate in backpacks.
PURROT is a filter that can mechanically separate organic matter and nutrients from liquid, without using chemicals.
Fraunhofer IAP and re:newcell join forces to convert old cotton clothing into a mass manufacturing fibre
The company re:newcell, together with a group of scientist from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research (IAP), have developed a technique that transforms recycled cotton into viscose rayon fibre, which is a suitable material for mass manufacturing.
The Circular Economy Network of Swabia is organised by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) of the Bavarian part of Swabia (Germany). It is open to companies that are members of the CCI. The network organises discussions and exchange of experiences on circular economy topics.
Current topics mostly handle activities in the field of waste disposal.
WFZruhr is a network of public organisations and private companies who share circular economy competences in the Ruhr area (Germany). The network members cover the whole range of circular economy services.
WFZruhr allows member companies to take part in industrial symbiosis processes, to cooperate in the field of waste management and to receive support on circular economy issues (including IT, management, etc.).
WFZruhr also organizes top-class events on key circular topics.
The Danube Goes Circular is a circular economy platform, under the Interreg MOVECO project, which involves sixteen partners from the ten Danube countries. The platform offers a space for collaboration, awareness raising and a market place for reusable materials. Hence, it provides opportunities for trading materials and expanding their circularity.
Moreover, the platform offers information on how to extend a product’s useful life cycle and on legal requirements and business good practices linked to the promotion of circular economy.
Another benefit of the platform is that various stakeholders interested in circular topics can team up, which would ideally encourage the formation of partnerships.
For more information on the strategy named The Danube goes Circular, please click here.
The Norwegian company NCP delivers sustainable furniture from recycled plastic materials through innovation and design. The S-1500 chair, designed by Snøhetta, is produced by NCP showing how plastic waste from Norway’s fish farming can be transformed into a sustainable design object with an expected lifetime of at least 50 years.
Nachhaltig.digital is a platform for stepping up dialogue on the sustainability and digitalisation of SMEs in Germany.
It provides a space for the exchange of ideas, products, solutions, inspiration and discussion - both online and offline. The platform helps companies to use digitalisation to make their business sustainable.
The platform has also focused on the circular economy. As well as providing a forum where companies can interact, Nachhaltig.digital informs them about digitalisation and the circular economy, answering questions and telling them about current trends.
FISSAC - Fostering Industrial Symbiosis for a Sustainable Resource Intensive Industry across the extended Construction Value Chain
FISSAC is a project seeking to stimulate the coordination and facilitation of work in the construction and demolition value chain. Accordingly, the initiative aims to gather various stakeholders and to encourage the development and adoption of a common methodology and software platform for the exchange of information and best practices.
The overall aim of the project is to help companies with sustainability practices, by creating models that can be used by anyone. The models can be:
- manufacturing processes (such as demonstrations of close-loop recycling processes to transform waste into secondary raw materials)
- product validations (examples of eco-design and eco-innovative construction products)
- industrial symbiosis models (software platforms for example).
LENZING™ ECOVERO™ produces a sustainable and fully biodegradable fibre brand for apparel. It is developed from renewable pulp and wood sources. Importantly, the wood which serves as raw material come from certified sustainable sources.