C123 is an EU-funded project aiming at transforming the largely available and unexploited methane resources into C3 hydrocarbons, particularly propylene.
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Circular economy (CE) appears everywhere in Europe to be an adequate response to the challenges of resource scarcity. Driven by the development of the European CE Package, many initiatives to accelerate the transition are emerging, both on governmental and private levels, but they lack coordination.
In the wake of the new Circular Economy Action Plan published by the European Commission in March, the "Institut National de l'Economie Circulaire" (INEC) - member of the ECESP Coordination Group - and Orée have co-authored a study identifying the major CE networks in Europe in order to strengthen the cooperation needed to achieve CE ambitions. By so doing they have pursued their common aim to develop and disseminate a vision of an inclusive and unifying CE.
Read the full study.
The Circular Economy for the Data Centre Industry (CEDaCI) is a European project focusing on circular data centres. The project is of increasing collaboration and communication to drive sustainability in the data industry.
Professor Rebecca Earley introduces a series of short films about the design tools produced at the Chelsea College of Arts research centre, and how to use them to become a more sustainable and circular designer. The series aims to help designers access and use the research resources to stay inspired and motivated to design better futures.
This paper by GS1 in Europe highlights the need to structure product data to make it available for circular economy needs. If data isn't structured and can't circulate according to a circular model, it will be very challenging to reach the scale needed for the circular economy plan.
Open standards are a way of uniquely identifying products, locations, machines, packaging, etc. If "global open identifiers" (openly available references for products, etc.) are used, rather than closed-in systems based on data for one limited purpose, it will be possible to share data.
GS1 in Europe is a neutral, not-for-profit organisation dedicated to global standards to improve the efficiency, visibility and sustainability of products around the world.
How can sustainable consumption and longer lifetime of products be promoted through consumer protection legislation?
This in-depth analysis investigates the contribution, or lack of contribution, of the current EU consumer protection legislation to sustainable consumption and longer lifetime of products. In addition, it gives an overview of the most relevant best practices at national and international level and provides recommendations on the future development and possible reforms of European consumer protection legislation with a view to more sustainable consumption and longer lifetime of products.
This study was commissioned by the European Parliament Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO).
The Data Centre Industry (DCI) is one of the most important pillars of current technological and economic developments.
In DCIs, more than fifty different materials can be found per product, including ferrous, non-ferrous metals, precious metals (PM), platinum group metals (PGM), rare earth elements (REE), plastics and/or ceramics, some being considered as Critical Raw Materials (CRMs).
This assessment aims to study DCI design and material composition (specifically servers and switches), as well as to analyse their performance in a circular economy and provide recommendations for ecodesign guidelines.
How can the EU product safety and compliance framework help promote product durability and tackle planned obsolescence, foster the production of more sustainable products, and achieve more transparent supply chains for consumers?
Product longevity can play a useful role in achieving the Paris Agreement goals – material efficiency is an important contributor to energy efficiency and is also important in its own right. The product safety and compliance instruments available at European level can contribute to these efforts, if wisely applied.
This study was commissioned by the European Parliament Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO).
The fashion industry has a big influence on the global economy and is known for its social and environmental impact. This online course by Wageningen University & Research is an introduction to circular fashion, brought by 30 experts from academia and practice.
After this course, you will be able to:
- Understand the role of sustainability and circularity in fashion
- Understand the importance of design for disassembly and recycling
- Evaluate new biobased materials for textiles and understand the change in production processes
- Disrupt current thinking and mindset in the industry and manage the transition to circular fashion
- Understand economic paradigms and new forms of value creation for circularity in the fashion industry
Read more and enrol.
An online training on how to favour the transition of the furniture industry towards circular economy
The FURN360 training course is a set of online modules offering 80 hours of training to understand the shift needed in the furniture industry to move to a circular economy.
The course allows to acquire the knowledge needed to transform an organisation into a circular furniture company, with a comprehensive approach across 8 learning modules:
1. Circular economy: an introduction
2. Circular economy in the furniture industry
3. Circular business model innovation in the furniture industry
4. Business management in the circular furniture industry
5. Sustainability in the circular furniture industry
6. Marketing the circular furniture
7. Supporting through advanced Key Enabling Technologies
8. Mini-case challenge
The Netherlands Institute for Circular Construction (Nederlands Instituut voor Circulair Bouwen):
- develops national and international research and innovation projects;
- provides various types of knowledge transfer in these research and innovation projects;
- increases the visibility of innovation and icon projects and
- supports project and construction teams with technical, contractual and financial aspects of a circular construction process.
Its key areas are modular construction, high-quality recycling, circular business models and circular contracting.
Improved selection and pre-treatment of plastics from End-of-Life Vehicles reduce carbon footprint by 75%
AIMPLAS, the Spanish Plastics Technology Centre, is coordinating the LIFE CIRC-ELV project (other participants are Desguaces Cortés, Sigit and Sigrauto from Spain, Indra from France, and Isolago from Portugal) with the aim of creating a new, technically and economically viable network in Europe for reuse and recovery of at least 95% by weight of end-of-life vehicles.
PackAlliance is a Knowledge Alliance that brings together academic and industry partners from 4 EU countries (ES, PL, FI and IT) committed to fostering Academia-Industry collaboration for the development of new skills and competence building for innovation towards the transition of the plastics packaging industry to a circular economy model.
The circular economy's closed loop and product service systems for sustainable development: A review and appraisal
This review paper of Mark Anthony Camilleri examines relevant regulatory guidelines, policies, and recommendations on sustainable development, where it traces the origins of circular economy (CE). It goes on to shed light on key theoretical underpinnings of CE's closed loop and product service systems.
The findings suggest that the CE's regenerative systems minimise the environmental impact as practitioners reduce their externalities, including waste, emissions, and energy leakages through the use and reuse of resources. Therefore, this contribution offers a critique on CE's inherent limitations and discusses about the implications of having regulatory interventions that are intended to encourage responsible consumption and production behaviours.
ekolive provides a new innovative eco-/biological method of zero-waste mining and processing of local primary and secondary raw materials, aimed at creating local resources of metals and minerals.
AIMPLAS and OLIPE use olive stones to develop a new sustainable plastic material for oil product packaging
AIMPLAS, the Plastics Technology Centre, and OLIPE, Olivarera de los Pedroches, have carried out a project entitled GO-OLIVA, aimed at finding a high value-added application for olive stone waste by producing a new sustainable material for oil product packaging.
Today, only 8.6% of the resources and materials in the global economy are reused or recycled.
A crucial transition to a circular economy is required to reach the environmental goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to achieve countries’ climate targets as set out in the 2015 Paris Agreement.
In this context, it is essential to ensure that the transition to a resource-efficient and circular economic model also delivers on social objectives.
This paper introduces the relevance of the circular economy in the international development SDG context. It also explores how a just transition approach can be successfully applied in the circular economy context.
In the third year of the RepescaPlas project, chemical recycling will be used to turn marine litter into fuel for fishing boats. During the first two years of the RepescaPlas project, five tonnes of marine litter were recovered through mechanical recycling operations.
From waste to wealth: a digital matching platform finds new high-value reuse options for your materials or (waste) products
Excess Materials Exchange (EME) is a young and innovative technology company whose digital matching platform aims to find new high-value reuse options for materials or (waste) products for companies.
The URBANREC project: new approaches for recovery of urban bulky waste to create high added-value recycled products
Despite continuous advances in municipal waste management, there are still several waste streams that offer limited opportunities for material recovery and thus end up in landfills and incineration plants.
One challenging stream is the “bulky waste”, defined by the URBANREC project as “(mixed) waste from households and similar waste from companies that does not fit (because of its size, shape or weight) in the regular receptacles used for household waste collection".
In this context, the URBANREC project aims to develop and implement a comprehensive eco-innovative bulky waste management system (to enhance prevention and reuse, improve logistics and develop new waste treatment methods to obtain high added-value recycled products) and show its effectiveness in different regions.
Research on Remelting and Purification of Si-kerf for PV wafers is part of CABRISS, a European collaboration aimed to develop a circular economy mainly for the photovoltaic but also other industries such as electronics or metallurgy.
During production of silicon wafers out of silicon (Si) ingots and wafers, about 40–50% of the material is lost due to the cutting technique. The research had kerf from slurry based wafer cuttings undergoing several refining steps and being remelted into ingots for PV-application.
Conclusion: With 10% refined material, ingots were still directionally solidified, whereas with 100% refined material, they were not. The presented refining method does not allow for ingots with 100% refined material to be used as PV-material.
The project Recycling of broken Si based structures and solar cells is part of CABRISS, a European collaboration aimed to develop a circular economy mainly for the photovoltaic (PV), but also for other industries such as electronics or metallurgy.
The paper presents some tests in which broken solar cell structures coming from an early stage in the PV production process chain as well as broken finished solar cells have been recycled into new silicon (Si) feedstock through demetallisation, purification and directional solidification.
The paper explores two different routes to remove diffusion layers and anti-reflection coating (ARC) on broken cells. It also presents the characteristics of ingots produced with the Si-feedstock from the two routes by directional solidification.
In a resource-constrained world the future economy will need to be circular.
From a policy perspective, the question is whether averting catastrophic environmental impacts through an accelerated transition to a global circular economy can also deliver sustained growth and jobs.
Multiregional input−output (MRIO) analysis models the interdependencies between industries and within/between countries as well as between intermediate and final goods producers and consumers, thus providing a useful toolbox for assessing social, environmental, and economy-wide impacts of the adoption of the circular economy.
This research paper resorts to this toolbox to compare the business-as-usual (BAU) scenario to an alternative circular economy scenario.
The OCCE is a Brussels-based federation that provides support for European investors, territories and innovators in the field of circular economy.
For investors, the OCCE can provide a link between investors/investment companies and the EU/EIB with a view to accessing funding. For territories, the OCCE supports regions, communities and local actors in becoming promoters of innovation, which can then be transformed into CE investments, jobs and industrial success stories. For SMEs, start-ups and project leaders, it can provide support and knowledge, primarily with regard to the EU's financial support mechanisms. And for its members, by sharing its international networks, the OCCE allows them to integrate an international dimension into their projects.
At its production site in Brussels, BC materials blends and transforms ordinary earth streams - what some consider to be waste - into perfectly circular building materials.
The EU is currently engaged in two transformations that could change our economy and society for the better: circular economy and digital transformation. If managed well, and in unison, they could help the EU address one of its greatest challenges: to build a sustainable, green economy that is competitive on the global stage.
The publication by the European Policy Centre (EPC) builds on the EPC Task Force on the Digital Roadmap for Circular Economy findings to make recommendations for the EU institutions for the next five years.
The TF explored the linkages between digitalisation and the circular economy, the opportunities created by data and digitally-enabled solutions, and the challenges associated with harnessing their full potential for the transition to a circular economy.