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Recyclage

Gelatex: this leather-like fabric is actually made of low value waste from the livestock industry

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.

El Dorado of Chemical Recycling, State of play and policy challenges

Zero Waste Europe

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Author: 
Zero Waste Europe
Publication Date: 
08/2019
Country: 
EU

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Over the last few years the concept of chemical recycling has been promoted by industry as a potential solution to help curb plastic pollution and waste management as a whole. This Zero Waste Europe report looks into the knowledge available as well as the state of implementation of such technologies in the European context.

Mechanical recycling is a mature industrial process, well established and expanding in Europe. Plastics cannot however be endlessly recycled mechanically without reducing their properties and quality. Besides, not all plastic types can be mechanically recycled. These limits set challenges for plastics recycling and show the need for significant improvements in the end-of-life management of plastics.

Since decades, innovators test gasification and pyrolysis for alternatives to waste to energy incineration with very limited results due to the energy balance and the environmental impact. In general, more information is needed about the environmental performance of chemical recycling technologies, as this industry is in its infancy and most plants are mere pilots. The roll-out of such technologies at industrial scale can only be expected from 2025-2030, an important factor when planning the transition to a Circular Economy and wider decarbonisation.

The right policy framework must accommodate chemical recycling as complementary to mechanical recycling while ensuring that carbon stays in the plastic, thus not being released into the environment. Therefore, allowing plastic to fuels to be considered chemical recycling risks creating a loophole in EU Climate and Circular Economy legislation.

18 Sep 2019 to 20 Sep 2019

The 3rd international PLATE conference (Product Lifetimes and the Environment) will  address product lifetimes in the context of sustainability, and is hosted by TU Berlin and Fraunhofer IZM from 18 to 20 September 2019

30 Jan 2020 to 01 Feb 2020

ChangeNOW - the world's largest gathering of solutions for the planet - returns to Paris for its 3rd edition from 30 January to 1 February 2020, with more than 1,000 solutions and several inspiring circular economy keynotes.

11 Sep 2019 to 12 Sep 2019

RWM, the UK's largest waste and recycling industry show, returns to Birmingham 11 to 12 October 2019

RePack's reusable and returnable packaging combines end-of-life guarantee with social economy

RePack products

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EU

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RePack is the easiest way to implement circular economy in eCommerce. Using reusable and returnable RePack packaging service means sustainability in every package.

The reusable RePack bags are and made of durable and recycled materials and come in three adjustable sizes. They replace single-use packaging as the customer chooses RePack as the mean of package for delivery.

Wolkat - a family business closing the loop on textile recycling

Wolkat collects, sorts, recycles and re-develops textile.

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Netherlands

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Wolkat is an international group of seven innovative textile recycling companies. Wolkat is offering a circular solution for textiles. Collected textile is transformed in-house to new products through sorting, recycling, spinning and weaving. All collected textile is transformed into a final product with hardly any water or any dye, leaving only 4-5 % waste from all textiles. 

Votechnik's automated recycling machine meets demand for depolluting waste electronics

Votechnik Machine

Votechnik has created a unique state-of-the-art recycling technology, the ALR 4000 machine, which safely removes hazardous waste materials from LCD flatscreen panels and monitors through a fully automated process.

30 Jul 2019
kustaa saksi archipelago europa building circular economy

During its Presidency of the Council of the European Union in late 2019, Finland will highlight the EU’s role in leading the transition to a climate neutral Europe with a versatile selection of Finnish artists’ work and a number of exhibitions that will give the public a new view on sustainable development and the circular economy.

Karun upcycles harmful waste into high quality sunglasses

Karun sunglasses and fishing nets

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Italy, Sweden, Other (Chile)

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Karün is a Swedish-Chilean company producing sunglass frames entirely from discarded fishing nets and jeans, collected in Patagonia.

Creating a Digital Roadmap for a Circular Economy

Creating a Digital Roadmap for a Circular Economy

EPC publication

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.

This publication:

  • 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.

19 Sep 2019
ERC

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Paris
Country: 
France

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EuRIC – the European Recycling Industries’ Confederation – and FEDEREC kindly invite you to the 3rd edition of the European Recycling Conference (ERC) on 19 September 2019 at the unique location of the Air and Space Museum in Paris.

Eyewear made of recycled and oil-free materials

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Netherlands

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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.

PVC Upcycling - reclaiming PVC, copper and aluminium from decommissioned electric cables

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 Danube goes Circular - Transnational Strategy to Accelerate Transition Towards a Circular Economy in the Danube Region

The Danube goes Circular - Transnational Strategy to Accelerate Transition Towards a Circular Economy in the Danube Region

Publication Date: 
05/2019
Country: 
Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Other (Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina)

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One of the Interreg DTP MOVECO (Mobilizing Institutional Learning for Better Exploitation of Research and Innovation for the Circular Economy) project results is the Transnational Strategy to accelerate transition towards a circular economy in the Danube region.

Be transnational – reducing disparities within the Danube Region can only happen through cooperation, capacity building and knowledge exchange across borders. This holds also true for the implementation of the circular economy to make the Danube Region, as a resource poor region, less dependent on imported primary resources.

MOVECO identified key challenges with regard to the transition towards a circular economy and offers recommendations for progress. The strategy further provides the reader with many good practice examples and possibilities to raise awareness for circular economy.

Regular updates on the MOVECO project can be found on this page.

LaverVert: recycling wood ash for an all-natural laundry detergent

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Belgium

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LaverVert is an organic detergent whose ingredients are 100% natural, with a circular cleaning agent. It is produced with wood ash recycled from industrial pellet stoves, reviving a traditional practice to use wood ash for its ability to bind with fats in creating an all-natural soap.

The Fair Plastic Alliance: give plastic a second life - and people a better one

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Italy, Other (Nigeria, South Africa)

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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.

Greenrail: innovative & eco-sustainable railway sleepers

Greenrail track

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Italy

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Greenrail sleepers consist of an outer cover made of a blend of ELTs and recycled plastic, and an inner core of pre-stressed, reinforced concrete.

ENEA Platform for Industrial Symbiosis

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.

12 Jun 2019 to 13 Jun 2019
Baltic forum
The Forum will explore the strong linkage between the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea region and the growing challenges.

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