Rediscover Fashion is a social enterprise that produces 100 % redesigned and repurposed clothing, accessories, and home ware ranges from unwanted textiles, preventing the materials from being sent to landfill.
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This social enterprise collects unwanted paint donated at local recycling centres, filters and remixes it to create new paint sold at the Rediscovery Centre’s Eco Store.
Rediscover Furniture is a furniture restoration and upcycling social enterprise housed at the Rediscovery Centre in Ballymun, Dublin.
ZERO BRINE is running a pilot project to recover valuable resources from wastewater in the Polish mining industry so that they can be reused in other sectors.
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.
Reverse Resources promotes upcycling of textile leftovers and creates supply chain transparency with online platform
Reverse Resources is an Estonian company that offers an online “circular” solution that tracks and traces waste flows by connecting manufacturers, waste handlers, recyclers/spinners and brands on one platform by offering 360 degree transparency, data accuracy and real-time transactions on waste flows.
Since 2012, SWEETS hotel has been adapting Amsterdam's abandoned bridge houses into unique flats, thus preventing their demolition.
Policy enablers to accelerate the circular economy: Scaling up actions across regions and stakeholders
Over the past couple of years, as companies start to understand the opportunities that lie under the concept of circular economy, the circularity conversation has gained significant momentum. At the same time, national and regional governments are developing frameworks and regulations to promote the circular economy.
Effective policymaking is crucial to accelerate and scale up circular actions in the economy. It supports businesses in overcoming hurdles by stimulating innovative projects and long-term investments in circularity, facilitating collaboration and partnerships, and producing tangible results.
Learning from successful policies can help inform future policies to promote wider actions in other sectors and regions over time.
By highlighting some representative pioneers in circular economy policy, exploring key enablers from these policies, describing how other regions could replicate these enablers and providing recommendations, this publication aims to provide insights from the policy perspective and to feed into the ongoing development of other initiatives and policies related to the circular economy globally.
Destination Climate Neutrality brings together leading recommendations of think tanks, scientists, thought leaders and NGOs to offer a policy blueprint for how best to propel Europe towards net zero carbon emissions in the coming five years of the Von der Leyen term. It offers sector-by-sector analysis, targets and initiatives in the fields of governance, finance, industry, energy, transport, the circular economy, agriculture and employment.
On circular economy, the report identifies challenges in:
- a lack of EU targets for waste prevention, reuse, repair and refurbishment
- no monitoring framework for material flows
- contamination of materials by hazardous ingredients
- high demand for biomass
The authors identify opportunities in job creation, cleaner supply chains and product policies.
The BlueCity business park is one of Rotterdam's unique landmarks: formerly a water park resort, the complex is now a circular incubator housing over 30 startups experimenting towards a sustainable future.
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.
At the intersection of science, design, and waste management, PuriFungi develops natural cleaning systems. PuriFungi's new product is an ashtray made of mycelium and cigarette butts.
adidas, one of Europe's premier sportswear manufacturers, is increasing the use of sustainable materials in its product range. From 2024 onwards, only recycled polyester will be used in every product and on every application where a solution exists.
In 2019, Stella McCartney partnered up with adidas to solve the problem of product waste with the introduction of two new apparel innovations.
The SaltGae project has established real scale demonstration sites in Slovenia, Italy and Israel that show the long-term techno-economic performance of microalgae technology for the efficient treatment of saline wastewaters from the food and beverage industries.
From shoemaker to wind energy park engineer: 7.5% of all jobs in Belgium are circular. This report presents a baseline measurement of employment in the Belgian circular economy and provides insights into the nature and number of jobs in the country’s circular economy. This includes all jobs contributing to the circular economy through activities in renewable energy, repair and maintenance, recycling, digital technology, design, new business models and collaboration.
Monitoring the employment effects of the circular economy will discern what specific employment opportunities the circular economy has to offer, how these are distributed across society and how we can equip the workforce with the right skills to meet changing demand.
This report, conducted by the King Baudouin Foundation and the Dutch social enterprise Circle Economy, aims to inform governments, employers, social partners and other representatives with a view to pursuing effective and inclusive circular labour policy.
An online monitor, which the partners will update regularly, complements the report.
The Finnish city of Lahti has been pioneering industrial symbiosis at the Kujala Waste Treatment Centre where all sorts of waste are reused. Several companies have established interconnected material flows, thus making one’s residues another one’s raw materials.
Estonian leather goods maker Stella Soomlais has come up with an innovative bag design that enables old or damaged leather bags to be turned into new leather goods, with little leftover material.
Estonian company Gelatex Technologies has designed a new textile made of gelatine - a substance derived from livestock industry waste. Compared to other materials, this innovative textile is the closest thing to leather. The product is easily scalable, quick to produce and environmentally-friendly.
By identifiying good practices in turning biomass to heat or power, the uP_running project is unlocking the strong potential of woody biomass residues produced by Agrarian Pruning and Plantation Removals.
From seafood waste to food packaging: CuanTec develops a new circular and compostable bioplastic made with chitosan
CuanTec is a Scottish blue biotech company that replaces plastic with natural alternatives. Sourced from waters of the Atlantic, CuanTec takes waste from fisheries and obtains the natural biopolymer chitin. Their process uses biology rather than chemistry to create chitin and chitosan of high quality and purity, which are in demand for over 3,000 industrial uses around the world.
AgriChemWhey seeks to build first-of-a-kind bio-refinery with a view to transforming dairy waste into added-value bio-based products.
Renewable energy is not enough. There needs to be a fundamental shift in the global approach to tackling climate change and the circular economy can play an essential role.
Completing the Picture: How the Circular Economy Tackles Climate Change, a paper published by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, tells us:
- Greenhouse gas emissions are not dropping quickly enough to achieve climate targets and switching to renewable energy can only cut them by 55%
- The remaining 45% of emissions come from how we make and use products, and how we produce food
Whilst the circular economy is underpinned by renewable energy, the paper concentrates on five key areas (cement, plastics, steel, aluminium, and food) to illustrate how designing out waste, keeping materials in use, and regenerating farmland can reduce these emissions.