Yuman Village is a temple of the circular economy located in Brussels. It offers a unique 'one stop shopping' experience that encourages the emergence of new circular economy models, creates local jobs and reduces the number of trips needed to buy sustainable and local products.
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In Limbo is a platform (digital website and physical warehouse) facilitating the reuse of materials within the social and cultural sectors and schools in Brussels.
It encourages exchange and mutual aid within these sectors, as well as boosting recycling, reducing landfill costs and enabling organisations with limited resources to obtain reusable materials. Following the principles of circularity and sharing, all partners are invited to give and receive materials for free.
In Limbo is open only to registered partners which must be formal or informal non-profit associations or collectives, specifically social, cultural and artistic organisations, schools and temporary projects in Brussels. However, In Limbo accepts donations from all types of organisations.
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The auum-S, a machine designed for workplaces, cleans, dries and disinfects glasses in 10 seconds with only 2 cl of water and no chemicals.
The French National Institute for Circular Economy (INEC) has published its Programme Ecole circulaire (in FR), whose objective is to use schools - a place familiar to all - as showcases for the circular economy. It contains a series of good practices (for public and private actors, youth) - over 40 territorial initiatives and 50 operational solutions - on the following themes:
- school buildings (construction, renovation)
- energy supply
- inner/outer spatial planning
- school cleaning (products and apparel, staff training)
- food loop (local and sustainable food, waste, water fountains)
- logistics (mobility, deliveries)
- student awareness (waste management, recycling, exchange).
The French management consulting firm Gate C helps clients map the benefits and capture the value of the circular economy.
Given the need to take biodiversity more into account in circular economy projects, this study aims to stress the links between the two and to clarify the role played by the circular economy in preserving ecosystems.
Several guiding circular economy principles contribute to reducing the impacts of our activities on ecosystems, such as non-toxicity, optimisation of resource management, promotion of renewable resources and looping of flows. The study also highlights the fact that each lever for implementing the circular economy can and should factor in biodiversity: land-use planning, normative framework, innovation, awareness raising and training, and economic support.
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.
This model reinforces Wallonia's objective of renewing its industry and will ensure that the region is better able to cope with future crises.
The strategy will achieve this by fully integrating the alterations and adaptations required by climate change, and by making Wallonia more independent in terms of resources and global supply chains.
Wallonia’s vision is based on the following guidelines:
- Moving towards a carbon-neutral economy;
- Moving towards a resilient and inclusive economy;
- Stimulating innovation as a catalyst with emphasis on the digital transition and nature-based solutions.
Particular attention is paid to the six value chains: Construction, Plastics, Food, Water, Textiles and Metallurgy
The circular economy is an alternative to the dominant economic model, which causes considerable damage to the environment as it is based on the linear use of resources.
The development of the circular economy has been hindered by a number of economic, technological and regulatory constraints.
EpE's natural resources commission has spent three years identifying what makes circular economy initiatives successful. An analysis of 27 circular economy initiatives carried out by companies shows that partnerships are one key to overcoming these constraints. A closer examination of these partnerships sheds light on various forms of governance.
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.
For the past 16 years, Ecodair has been refurbishing professional computer equipment for resale (with warranty) at low cost.
The Italian company Menichetti produces organic glues and adhesives intended for sustainable packaging. The raw material is obtained from leather and tanning industry by-products.
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.
The cooperative company Tradecowall manages construction and demolition waste in the Belgian Walloon region and comprises a network of companies working with inert waste recycling centres in the region.
SCALITE® is a material produced by SCALE and is made completely from fish scales, a by-product of the fishing industry. The material is manufactured in stone-like blocks which are suited to many applications in interior design and decoration for the hospitality and retail sectors, offices and homes.
RECYCLO is a multi-stakeholder cooperative society (SCRL). It provides consultancy, training and business development, with the objective of raising awareness about urban waste.
It offers a collection service tailored to urban constraints and catering for professionals. It helps them to reduce the quantity of waste produced and to sort it more effectively. Its projects are conducted by means of partnerships with private and public initiatives, and tackle issues such as recycling smartphones, biomaterials, putting orange peels to use and creating a compost site in Brussels.
Czech company Brens, which produces rail tracks, tram and railway lines, has turned to production processes using recycled materials.
In May 2019, the Belgium-based fruit and vegetable cutting business Allgro set up its own water plant. The facility turns wastewater into drinking water, thereby slashing the food company’s mains water consumption.
Peecycle aims to reduce the production and import of fertilisers from all over the world while making more efficient use of an inexhaustible source of minerals which is currently viewed as waste: urine!
The Ressourcerie Namuroise in Belgium provides collection and processing services for bulky household waste, while also helping people with scant marketable skills to break into the labour market. In 2017, the cooperative established a partnership with Namur's waste management authority, which enabled municipalities to outsource the collection of bulky items with a view to their reuse.
In 2019, Carrefour Belgium introduced a range of reusable and recyclable carrier bags made from marine waste. The retailer collaborated with Seaqual, an organisation that cleans up the oceans and seabed, to source the plastics needed.
France Barter is a B2B platform allowing companies to save money by replacing purchases with exchanges. This marketplace, created in 2015, facilitates multilateral exchanges via its own unit of exchange: the "Barter euro". The barter system allows companies to pool and optimise the use of unused assets, such as human time, machine time, storage space, surplus stock, etc.
Companies register the assets they offer and their purchasing needs, then the platform's support team helps identify under-exploited assets and structure offers. The platform thus helps companies avoid unnecessary purchases, saving money while cutting resource use.
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
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.
Fjällräven is giving wool waste a second life by using it for innovative purposes, like padding in jackets or backplate in backpacks.
RecyOuest is a green economy start-up that recycles contaminated filamentary thermoplastics such as agricultural nets and twines.