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Study on Circular Economy developments in the GCC region and opportunities for collaboration with the European Union

Study on Circular Economy developments in the GCC region and opportunities for collaboration with the European Union

EEAS logo

Type:

Author: 
CEPS: Noriko Fujiwara, Vasileios Rizos, Jorge Núñez Ferrer
Publication Date: 
04/2021
Country: 
EU

Language for original content:

This study explores developments in the field of the circular economy in the Arab States of the Gulf region to identify areas where the EU and the GCC countries can strengthen their collaboration. Focusing on two GCC countries with recent policy developments in this area: Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the study first examines the current framework conditions that would shape prospects for a circular economy and then explores emerging business opportunities.

The research concludes that there are three main areas where the EU and GCC countries could further collaborate on the circular economy:

  1. infrastructure development
  2. regulatory enforcement, and
  3. funding mechanisms.

The report was first published on the European External Action Service’s website.

Leading the Loop - UNESDA Circular Packaging Vision 2030

Unesda
Commitment Targets
To be achieved by: 
December 2025

By 2025, 100% recyclable beverage packaging & PET bottles of 50% recycled content.

To be achieved by: 
December 2030

By 2030, PET bottles of 100% recycled and/or renewable PET, 90% collected & more use of refillables.

The governance of circular bioeconomy - Practices and lessons learnt from European regions

The governance of circular bioeconomy – Practices and lessons learnt from European regions

ACR+ logo

ACR+ has published a report to show the development and implementation of circular bioeconomy strategies in different contexts, focused on three detailed regional case studies in Navarre, Bavaria and Flanders. Under a cooperation agreement with the French Pays de la Loire region, ACR+ set up a working group on circular bioeconomy, with a particular focus on governance. The objective of the working group is to support the development of local or regional roadmaps on circular bioeconomy where public authorities have a strong role in terms of steering and supporting the development of circular bioeconomy in their territories. The publication on the governance of circular bioeconomy is the result of the ACR+ activities implemented via the working group.

ČSOB: eco-friendly recycled bank cards

CSOB logo

Type of organisation or company:

Country: 
Belgium

Language for original content:

Scope:

In 2020, the Czech bank ČSOB, in cooperation with IDEMIA, launched an eco-friendly recycled card to reduce the amount of virgin plastic which ends up in rubbish bins. By opting for IDEMIA’s eco-friendly product, ČSOB is the first bank in the Czech Republic to take a significant step towards addressing this ecological burden. 

ReziProK programme run by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research

ReziProK logo

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.

The governance of circular bioeconomy - Practices and lessons learnt from European regions

ACR+

Type:

Author: 
ACR+, Association of Cities and Regions for sustainable Resource management
Publication Date: 
04/2021
Country: 
Belgium

Language for original content:

ACR+ is launching a publication on the development and implementation of circular bioeconomy strategies in different contexts, focusing on three detailed regional case studies in Navarre, Bayern and Flanders.

Under a cooperation agreement with the French Pays de la Loire region, ACR+ has set up a working group on the circular bioeconomy, with a focus on governance. The working group aims to support the development of local and regional roadmaps for the circular bioeconomy, as public authorities steer and support the development of the circular bioeconomy on their patch.

The publication is the result of activities implemented by ACR+ through the working group.

Circular economy intervention to go beyond the existing climate action in developing countries

Climate Change

Commissioned by the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP), which advises the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and co-authored by Circle Economy and Shifting Paradigms, this report uncovers the range of socio-economic and environmental co-benefits that circular mitigation interventions can bring to GEF countries of operation.

The report supports strategic advice by the STAP to the GEF and its implementing partners, and helps carve out a role for these bodies in accelerating the transition to a low-carbon circular economy. Its findings will be highly relevant to the development of future GEF projects and programmes across its different focal areas.

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

Language for original content:

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.   

The Interreg MED Green Growth Community (GGC): How can eco-innovation drive circularity in the Mediterranean?

Eco-Innovation
Collection of articles
Author: 
Marta Castillo Sánchez
Publication Date: 
04/2021
Country: 
Spain

Language for original content:

The term "eco-innovation" basically boils down to innovation. What does eco-innovation really mean? And what is the link between eco-innovation and a more circular economy, particularly in the Mediterranean region?

A wide range of initiatives and programmes point towards innovation being key to enabling green growth. Eco-innovation and the circular economy: are they two sides of the same coin?

It is becoming clearer - and more urgent - every day that we need to abandon the linear economy. The climate emergency together with the economic crisis that the region is experiencing makes a transition based on eco-innovation a priority for a more sustainable future for the Mediterranean.

Read the full article here.

Chalmers University: a decidedly fishy project

Herring image

The NoVAqua project found that the countless thousands of litres of waste water thrown away by the fish processing industry was essentially nutritious stock which can be put to better use than just pouring it down the drain...

Using horse manure to power horse shows

Fortum HorsePower

Type of organisation or company:

Country: 
Finland

Language for original content:

Finnish energy company Fortum had developed a circular renewable energy service, dubbed HorsePower, that used recycled materials to provide a bedding management service for stable-owners, as well as using manure for energy.

ecoBirdy: Children’s furniture made from recycled plastic toys

Plastics image

Type of organisation or company:

Country: 
Belgium

Language for original content:

Scope:

EcoBirdy has come up with a way to recycle mixed plastics, and then uses the resulting material to make recyclable children's furniture.

Refind's Battery Refund machine: old batteries in, coupons for new batteries out

Battteries

Type of organisation or company:

Country: 
Sweden

Language for original content:

Coop Norway, Energizer and Swedish Refind Technologies have come up with a battery refund machine. People can drop off dead household batteries and walk away with coupons to put towards the price of new batteries.

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.

Durable, repairable and mainstream - How ecodesign can make our textiles circular

Durable, repairable and mainstream: How ecodesign can make our textiles circular - a report by ECOS

Illustration: Visual Thinkery

Type:

Author: 
Valeria Botta
Publication Date: 
04/2021
Country: 
Belgium

Language for original content:

Valeria Botta Contact details

Textile products have a tremendous ecological footprint at all stages of their lives. This new report by the Environmental Coalition on Standards (ECOS), provides a comprehensive analysis of the current situation and goes on to explore the policies and standardisation actions needed to advance towards circular textiles, building on the lessons learnt from the implementation of the ecodesign approach in other sectors.

ECOS argues that textile products put on the EU market should comply with a minimum level of sustainability. Mandatory ecodesign requirements for textiles are needed to address minimum lifetime, as well as durability, reusability, repairability, recyclability, prevent the presence of hazardous chemicals, and limit microplastics release at all stages.

Luxembourg's Circular Economy Strategy

Government of the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg

The Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg is a frontrunner in many economic sectors, including finance, construction, data-driven innovation and space resources.

In recent years, the country has sought to position itself as a hotspot for the circular economy (CE) and many ongoing public and private initiatives support this claim.

Based on these fruitful experiences and the recognition of the CE as a high priority by the Luxembourg government, which has made it a major feature of the 2018-2023 Government agreement, the current strategy aims to take the CE in Luxembourg to the next level. It identifies proven regulatory, financial and information management methods and tools for boosting circular initiatives, and proposes a methodology for using them in a number of key economic sectors.

Circular construction and renovation - Actions and recommendations to the Federal government for accelerating the circular economy in construction

Circular construction and renovation

Photo Romnée A.
Author: 
Federal Council for Sustainable Development (FRDO-CFDD)
Publication Date: 
11/2020
Country: 
EU

Language for original content:

The final study report on Circular construction and renovation - Actions and recommendations to the Federal government for accelerating the circular economy in construction proposes actions to be taken by Belgium's federal government (and thus the regional levels as well), with a view to accelerating renovation and circular construction with respect to building materials.

More specifically, the study aims to identify relevant instruments, obstacles and measures which are either needed or already underway, and to issue general recommendations for the federal authorities. The study does not address ways to put these measures into effect or possible changes in the instruments.

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:

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.

Circular economy: Putting ideas into practice

SRU

Type:

Author: 
German Advisory Council on the Environment
Publication Date: 
01/2021
Country: 
Netherlands

Language for original content:

Key Area:

Scope:

Michiel De Vries Herschberg Contact details

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.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on municipal waste management systems

ACR+

Type:

Author: 
Jean-Benoît Bel, Paolo Marengo
Publication Date: 
04/2021
Country: 
Belgium

Language for original content:

ACR+ has run a survey targeting municipal and local authorities (and their waste operators) to understand and assess the impact of the COVID-19 on their waste systems, in particular regarding the services provided, the quantities collected, the health and safety measures, as well as the finances and communication to users.

The report presents the main information and trends coming out of this survey. It also provides an overview of the measures taken by local authorities to tackle the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown measures.

Local data were collected to analyse the impact of municipal waste generation and sorting performances. Several illustrations of good practices addressing key challenges are also highlighted.

A circular economy for plastics: Let's turn challenges into opportunities

A circular economy for plastics: Let's turn challenges into opportunities

NL branding

Type:

Author: 
Anna Schwarz, Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, Rob de Ruiter, Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, Esther Zondervan, Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, Freek van Eijk, Holland Circular Hotspot, Lia Huybrechts, Holland Circular Hotspot
Publication Date: 
04/2021
Country: 
Netherlands

Language for original content:

Energy efficient bubbles, solar-powered interceptors, new business and design models, smart collection solutions, high-tech and fully automated sorting practices and chemical recycling technologies: the Dutch initiative provides inspiration and innovation insights linked to a circular economy for global application. Only by international collaboration will we achieve sizeable success as the plastics value chain spans the globe.

With this brochure, Holland Circular Hotspot and TNO bring their insights to the international level and share best practices with the hope that it will inspire everyone around the world to take action and kickstart circular development.

Growth-positive zero-emission pathways to 2050

Sitra studies 185

Type:

Author: 
Paul Drummond, Daniel Scamman, Paul Ekins (UCL), Leonidas Paroussos (E3-Modelling), Ilkka Keppo (UCL and Aalto University)
Publication Date: 
04/2021
Country: 
Finland

Language for original content:

Sitra commissioned this study to investigate whether and under what assumptions and policy measures the decoupling of CO2 emissions from economic growth could occur at a sufficient rate for CO2 emissions to decline to net zero by 2050. The analyses were carried out on a global level.

The results of this study show that deep CO2 emission cuts in line with the 1.5 °C target and positive GDP growth can occur at the same time.

A natural next step would be to analyse in detail the decoupling of other harmful environmental impacts from economic growth. For example, a global shift to more circular business models could reduce CO2 emissions and help cut the use of materials and natural resources while maintaining economic growth.

The winning recipe for a circular economy

Sitra publication

Type:

Author: 
Maria Hughes, Reetta Kohonen, Antti Lehtinen, Anu Mänty and Mika Sulkinoja (Sitra), Lauri Byckling, Nina Ahola, Ella Tolonen, Nicolas Dolce, Miikka Simanainen (Deloitte Finland), Olivier Jan, Pierrick Drapeau, Andreas Mitsios, Khai Linh Lhomme, Laura Plamondon (Deloitte France), Akira Kato, Arisa Fukuoka (Deloitte Japan), Joe Solly, Jillian Rodak, Tamara Luisce (Deloitte Canada)
Publication Date: 
04/2021
Country: 
Finland

Language for original content:

This study by Sitra set out to find diverse circular economy solutions that are viable and scalable, that drive systemic circularity, and that have exceptionally positive environmental and social impacts. Over 200 organisations around the world submitted their solutions for consideration.

The study presents 39 outstanding examples of circular economy solutions that are closing material loops and driving the circular transition while being very relevant to their own environment. These solutions demonstrate the benefits of circular business operations and how different organisations across society can use circular thinking to improve the value of their business and progress towards achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Mater: chairs from spent brewery grain

Mater Mask stool

Type of organisation or company:

Country: 
Denmark

Language for original content:

Scope:

In Denmark, the interior design company Mater has developed chairs made out of brewery waste. The production method uses plastic waste and the grain left over from beer production at the Danish brewery Carlsberg.

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