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The case for increasing recycling: Estimating the potential for recycling in Europe

The case for increasing recycling - Estimating the potential for recycling in Europe

Type:

Briefing
Author: 
EEA
Publication Date: 
06/2020
Country: 
EU

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Scope:

EU legislation includes recycling targets for municipal, construction and demolition, and electronic waste. This European Environment Agency briefing shows that there is significant potential to increase recycling from all of these streams.

However, to fully exploit this potential, current barriers need to be overcome. This also requires strong implementation of targeted regulations to increase separate collection.

Implementing new policy measures, some of which are already included in the EU 2020 Circular Economy Action Plan, can both directly and indirectly exploit the potential for increased recycling.

Biodegradable and compostable plastics - challenges anf opportunities

Biodegradable and compostable plastics: what are the challenges and opportunities?

Type:

Briefing
Author: 
EEA
Publication Date: 
08/2020
Country: 
EU

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More and more plastic products are being labelled as ‘compostable’, ‘biodegradable’, ‘oxo-degradable’ or ‘bio-based’. However, plastics made from bio-based materials are not necessarily compostable or biodegradable. Moreover, plastics that do biodegrade can be made from fossil fuel-based materials.

What is the difference between compostable and biodegradable? What happens to biodegradable and compostable plastics when they are littered? Can citizens compost such products in their own gardens? Can such plastics be recycled?

This European Environment Agency (EEA) briefing aims to answer these questions.

From Linear to Circular in the Textile and Apparel Industries

From Linear to Circular in the Textile and Apparel Industries

Brochure From Linear to Circular in the Textile and Apparel Industries

Type:

Author: 
Mieke Evers, Netherlands Enterprise Agency, Freek Van Eijk, Holland Circular Hotspot
Publication Date: 
09/2020
Country: 
Netherlands

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Key Area:

The brochure "From Linear to Circular in the Textile and Apparel Industries - Let’s make the circular shift together" aims to give a push towards a circular textile industry. Circular economy strategies and business models have the potential to offer solutions for the textile industry:

  • use renewable sources
  • phase out dangerous substances
  • increase utilisation and
  • radically improve reuse and recycling.

The brochure highlights Dutch circular frontrunners that make a change - just a fraction of the initiatives, organisations and technologies available. Only the most inspiring examples have been selected, with a potential to be upscaled and implemented in other parts of the world, hoping that they will also inspire and encourage others to collaborate and make a change.

Bio-waste in Europe - from challenges to opportunities

Bio-waste in Europe - turning challenges into opportunities

Type:

Author: 
Ann van der Linden (VITO, ETC/WMGE), Almut Reichel (EEA)
Publication Date: 
06/2020
Country: 
EU

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Bio-waste – mainly food and garden waste – is a key waste stream with a high potential for contributing to a more circular economy.

This European Environmental Agency Report provides an overview of bio-waste generation, prevention, collection, and treatment in Europe.

Bio-waste accounts for more than 34 % of the municipal solid waste. Many countries in Europe are far from capturing bio-waste's full potential. Food waste accounts for nearly 60 % of all bio-waste from households and similar sources. Preventing it is felt as an ethical responsibility for society.

Composting (with oxygen) and anaerobic digestion (without) are currently the two most widely applied treatment techniques. The latter generates biogas - renewable energy - and tends to deliver higher environmental benefits.

Categorisation system for the circular economy

European Commission

Type:

categorisation of circular economy
Author: 
Peter Hirsch (editor), Christian Schempp (editor)
Publication Date: 
03/2020
Country: 
EU

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Contact: 
Janneke van Veen
Contact publications

The lack of a commonly accepted, inclusive definition of and methodology for measuring circularity are hindering the transition to a more circular economy (CE). These two factors obstruct the development of and access to dedicated or non-dedicated finance, credit risk assessment and the transferability and replicability of projects and investments across regions and jurisdictions.

The Expert Group on Circular Economy Financing proposes a sector agnostic CE categorisation system that defines categories of activities substantially contributing to a CE. A set of minimum criteria must be met for activities to be considered as substantially contributing to a CE. Guidelines with an indicative list of typical investments/projects for each CE category are included.

Financing the Circular Economy – Capturing the opportunity

Financing the circular economy – Capturing the opportunity

Type:

Author: 
Ellen MacArthur Foundation
Publication Date: 
09/2020
Country: 
United Kingdom

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation's new report highlights rapid growth in circular economy financing and investment, and describes how investors and the banking and insurance industry are capitalising on the resulting opportunities.

AIMPLAS begins research on developing more efficient methods of recycling composite materials

Sparta

Type of organisation or company:

Country: 
Spain

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The main goal of the European SPARTA project, coordinated by AIMPLAS with the participation of TEKNIKER, is to find a new method of recycling and reprocessing composite thermoplastic materials that reduces both the amount of waste generated by the aerospace industry and its environmental impact. Another goal is to design more eco-efficient manufacturing methods.

Circular Europe - How to successfully manage the transition from a linear to a circular world

Circular Europe - How to successfully manage the transition from a linear to a circular world

Type:

Author: 
The European House - Ambrosetti, ENEL
Publication Date: 
09/2020
Country: 
Italy, Romania, Spain

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Many European countries still lack a national strategic roadmap for transposing the European directives at national level.

Some outstanding issues include the need to have clearer operational guidelines for the adoption of circular models and metrics for monitoring the transition towards circular models.

This study has been prepared in collaboration with Enel and with the scientific contribution of Enel Foundation. It unfolds in three main parts:

  • State-of-the-art of Circular Economy  in the European Union
  • An innovative assessment model for socio-economic and environmental benefits of Circular Economy in the EU, with a focus on Italy, Romania, and Spain
  • Policy proposals for successfully managing the transition from a linear to a circular world

Waste Action Plan for a Circular Economy in Ireland

Waste Action Plan Ireland

The Waste Action Plan for a Circular Economy fulfils the commitment in the Programme for Irish Government to publish and start implementing a new National Waste Action Plan. This new national waste policy will inform and give direction to waste planning and management in Ireland over the coming years. It will be followed later this year by an All of Government Circular Economy Strategy. The need to embed climate action in all strands of public policy aligns with the goals of the European Green Deal.

The policy document contains over 200 measures across various waste areas including Circular Economy, Municipal Waste, Consumer Protection and Citizen Engagement, Plastics and Packaging, Construction and Demolition, Textiles, Green Public Procurement and Waste Enforcement.

A typology of circular economy discourses: Navigating the diverse visions of a contested paradigm

A typology of circular economy discourses: Navigating the diverse visions of a contested paradigm

This research reviews the long history and diversity of circularity thinking to develop a comprehensive timeline, which identifies and conceptually classifies 72 different CE-related concepts from the Global North and South alike (such as industrial ecology, Gandhian and steady-state economics, buen vivir, doughnut economics, degrowth).

This leads to the development of the first typology of circularity discourses, which classifies circularity visions according to their position on fundamental socio-ecological issues. This research thus seeks to provide a basis for a more inclusive and comprehensive discussion on the topic, opens the imagination about the many circular futures that can exist, and allows for a cross-pollination of ideas, policies, strategies, practices and solutions.

The European Manufacturers of Electrical Machines and Power Electronics are committed to Circular Economy

CEMEP
Author: 
CEMEP
Publication Date: 
07/2020
Country: 
Belgium

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Key Area:

Scope:

Contact: 
Jesper Jerlang
Didier Gufflet

The European Committee of Manufacturers of Electrical Machines and Power Electronics (CEMEP) supports the development towards a circular economy (CE), thus actively contributing to more sustainable manufacturing and responsible consumption. This industrial sector follows a business-to-business market model, delivering products for a wide number of economic sectors and applications. 

Its three main product groups – electric motors, variable speed drives and uninterruptable power systems – show differences and similarities when it comes to material efficiency, hence the need for sector- or product-specific approaches when pursuing CE.

This position paper describes the CE status of the CEMEP industries and the way forward towards more circularity.

Make circular economy simpler, more efficient and more competitive

Interreg MED
Author: 
Interreg Med Green Growth Community
Publication Date: 
09/2020
Country: 
EU, Spain

Language for original content:

Contact: 
Patricia Carbonell

This document is the result of the active involvement of the Interreg MED Green Growth community, together with its projects.

To make circular economy (CE) simpler, more efficient and more competitive, it is suggested to take a holistic, integrated and cooperative approach, by considering all phases in which CE is structured, all levels (from local to European) and all stakeholders involved in the implementation of CE models.

The policy recommendations proposed in the document are structured into six main areas:

  1. Investments and access to finance
  2. Technological infrastructure
  3. Labour market and employment
  4. Awareness and knowledge
  5. Cooperation among stakeholders and technology transfer
  6. Cross-cutting issues.

Gate C: Helping businesses capture the value of the circular economy

Gate C

Gate C is a French consulting firm helping clients to map the benefits and capture the value of the circular economy.

Report from the Circular Economy Advisory Board to the Danish government

Circular Opportunities in the Danish Waste System

Waste Analysis | Capital Region of Denmark

Type:

Author: 
Thomas Thorin
Publication Date: 
02/2020
Country: 
Netherlands

Language for original content:

Contact: 
Kate Black

The Capital Region of Denmark is committed to becoming a fossil-free and circular region by 2050. Inter alia, this entails achieving an 80% recycling rate for the region’s waste by 2035, and growing green business activities by 8% by 2025. New forms of cooperation and dialogues between stakeholders are necessary to reach these goals.

Through a three-year public-private partnership, the Region and its partners aim to pave the way for greater collaboration between the waste sector and the business community. Metabolic collaborated with the Region to undertake a material flow analysis and an environmental assessment of the Region’s waste system, and to identify impact hotspots and circular opportunities.

Read the executive summary of the waste analysis, or the full Danish report.

DigiCirc - Digital innovations for the Circular Economy

Country: 
Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland

Language for original content:

Contact: 
Mélanie Pellen

The EU-funded DigiCirc project aims at enabling the digitalisation of the Circular Economy by building upon the innovation potential of SMEs. DigiCirc will build and coordinate an innovative network of stakeholders that will set the foundation for an open space for innovation performed through the DigiCirc accelerators.

45 circular innovations, addressing sectoral challenges and generating new value chains, will be selected through open calls in three domains:

  1. circular cities
  2. bioeconomy
  3. blue economy.

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