Today, most electrical/electronic equipment (EEE) is not designed for recycling, let alone for circulation. Plastics in these products account for 20% of material use, and through better design, significant environmental and financial savings could be made. Technological solutions and circular design opportunities already exist, but they have not yet been implemented. Some challenges, such as ease of disassembly, could be resolved through better communication and by sharing learnings across the value chain. Instead of WEEE, we should focus on developing CEEE: Circular Electrical and Electronic Equipment. The case examples of this report show how different stages of the lifecycle can be designed so that circular plastic becomes possible and makes business sense. It is time to take a leap in material flow management and scale up these circular solutions across the industry.
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Plastiques, polymères et caoutchouc
Discover the final results of the three-year long URBANREC project by joining project partners on 6 November in Brussels for a morning session of policy dialogue in the European Parliament.
Karün is a Swedish-Chilean company producing sunglass frames entirely from discarded fishing nets and jeans, collected in Patagonia.
The EU faces multiple challenges (climate crisis, environmental disasters, a lack of competitiveness, falling behind in the digital race, etc.) that it will need to address if it is to ensure long-term sustainable prosperity for European citizens. At the same time, there are two ongoing transitions – the creation of a circular economy and the digital transformation – that could provide the means to address these challenges, if they are managed well.
As the EU and national policymakers are making significant efforts to promote a circular economy on the one hand and a digital economy on the other, Annika Hedberg and Stefan Šipka, together with Johan Bjerkem, argue that it is time to align the agendas as a means to achieve greater sustainability and competitiveness.
- demonstrates what digitalisation means in the context of a circular economy;
- considers what a greater focus on sustainability would mean for the digital transition;
- examines the role of the EU policy framework, tools and initiatives in steering a (digital) transition towards a (digital) circular economy and makes recommendations for EU institutions for the next five year.
It suggests that the EU must:
- think systemically, define a vision and act;
- provide an adequate governance framework and economic incentives for a (digital) transition to a (digital) circular economy;
- encourage collaboration across European society and economy as well as globally, and empower its citizens to contribute to the transition.
This Discussion Paper builds on the findings of the EPC’s "Digital Roadmap for a Circular Economy" project of 2017-19 and paves the way for a more extensive final study, scheduled to be published in the late autumn of 2019.
The project has been supported by Aalto University and the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) (members of Helsinki EU Office), Central Denmark region, Climate-KIC, the Estonian Ministry of the Environment, Estonian Environment Investment Centre, HP, Orgalim, the province of Limburg, UL, Fondazione Cariplo and Cariplo Factory.
Founded in 2012 with the objective of creating high-quality eyewear from oil-free or recycled materials, producing Dick Moby sunglasses and eyeglasses follows a circular approach: lowering environmental compared to similar fashion accessories.
REDEL is an energy provider in Italy. Its activities comprise decommissioning outdated energy installations. The PVC Upcycling project aims to initiate a circular model for reclaiming resources by:
- de-manufacturing: recovering the PVC of electric cables coming from decommissioned energy plants;
- re-manufacturing: recycling of the same PVC in products.
The 2019 edition of the International Stewardship forum is co-organized in Paris by DASTRI and the GlobalPSC with the following objectives:
- sharing the experience of different countries regarding the implementation and development of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and Product Stewardship (PS) schemes
- thinking about how to create value beyond the end-of-life management of products
- initiating a prospective reflection on the future of these EPR schemes.
The call for interest to become a club member of the Consumer Insight Action Panel on circular economy is now open – express your interest today!
The Consumer Insight Action Panel is a two-year initiative jointly set up by the CSCP and Sitra as part of their contribution to the ECESP.
Its objective is to translate consumer needs and behavioural knowledge into impact-oriented activities, initiatives and recommendations to support policy makers, business and civil society in enabling consumer-relevant circular economy strategies.
The European Plastics Converters Association, together with the German association for plastic packaging Industrievereinigung Kunststoff-verpackungen, is organizing its annual conference under the theme A Circular Future with Plastics on the 13-14 June 2019 in Berlin.
The Fair Plastic Alliance believes that plastic waste management based on a not-for-private-profit business model is a powerful solution to generate a positive impact on the environment and on the society as a whole, in both developed and developing countries. It is a multi-stakeholder network spreading social responsibility in plastic waste management.
We are pleased to invite you to the ECP4 2019 Annual Conference, which will be held on the 21st May 2019 in Alessandria (Italy) and will be focused on “Research And Innovation For Plastics In A Circular Economy”.
On 16 May, ICLEI Europe and the PlastiCircle project will join forces to host the special conference ‘Circular Cities – Innovating to tackle plastic waste’. More than 100 stakeholders from across Europe will gather at Scotland House in Brussels (Belgium) to assess European Union policies on the circular economy for plastics, the role of cities in tackling plastic waste, and the industry innovations driving circularity in Europe’s urban areas.
R-PVC Hub is an innovative web platform, connected to the site of PVC Forum Italia, that offers the possibility for the exchange of recycled PVC, putting in contact offers and demands. The heart of the service is an online platform on which manufacturing companies, processors and recyclers can find new business opportunities.
Enea has designed the first Italian industrial symbiosis platform, as a tool to facilitate the process.
The ENEA methodology is based on a "horizontal" network approach, with the aim of creating synergies and closing the loop between supply and demand for various resources.
The Platform is based on:
- an expert structure that identifies possible solutions of industrial symbiosis
- a complex information structure, also georeferenced, which describes the territory, its structures, the interlocutors and available resources
- a network that connects different interlocutors
- a web interface.
Among other activities and services, Symbiosis is able to send to to each company individual reports containing information on potential matches of interest. It is also developing operating manuals for industrial symbiosis.
plastship, successfully launched in May 2019, is a German digital startup that has created a trading and service platform for buyers and sellers of regrinds, re-granulates and recyclates.
A 600.000 EUR funding programme to support innovators in Ireland to develop and demonstrate consumer and business solutions that will stimulate the circular economy is now open for applications.
Mater-Biotech - the first world industrial plant for the production of bio-butanediol from renewable sources
Inaugurated in 2016, Mater-Biotech is the first world industrial plant for the production of 1.4 bio-butanediol (BDO) directly from sugars, paving the way for the production of new chemical intermediates from renewable sources. The plant was designed to reuse the by-products for its energy needs, thus optimizing the life cycle of the entire process.
Novamont produces biopolymer products that are 100 % biodegradable and compostable from its MATER-BI® material for catering, agriculture and packaging.
Recovinyl is an initiative by the European PVC value-chain aimed at facilitating PVC waste collection and recycling under the Voluntary Commitments of Vinyl 2010 and VinylPlus®.
Recovinyl’s target is to stimulate and certify the recycling of 800,000 tonnes of PVC waste by 2020 as one of the challenges set in the VinylPlus Voluntary Commitment.
WREP (Waste REcycling Project) 2018 was a pilot project by the Italian PVC forum designed to improve the collection and recycling of polyvynil chloride in Venice. This pilot forms part of a wider, 3-year project to increase recycling of post-use PVC, and focused on the demolition and recycling sectors in particular.
Compaction of EPS reduces its storage and transport costs, reducing pre-recycling burden for the industry
Compaction of expanded polystyrene reduces its storage and transportation costs before being sent for recycling. A compaction plant, owned by AIPE, is given for free to member firms to use.
On March 27, the European Parliament voted to adopt the Single-Use Plastics Directive, thus banning single-use plastic cutlery, cotton buds, straws and stirrers to be banned by 2021, setting a 90% collection target for plastic bottles by 2029 and introducing more stringent application of the “polluter pays” principle.