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On December 6, European Commissioner for the Environment Karmenu Vella and other EU representatives met Romanian government ministers and civil society leaders including ECESP Coordination Group member Dr Elena-Simina Lakatos.
The Polish Circular Hotspot is a public-private platform bringing together national and local government bodies with businesses, entrepreneurs, the scientific community and civil society to jointly develop and apply the concept of a circular economy in Poland.
The hotspot has begun the following activities to develop and implement circular innovations:
organising events (sectoral, regional, national) to analyse specific problems and legislative issues such as workshops on circular procurement for public agencies
assisting with drafting strategies and roadmaps while supporting the establishment of sectoral partnerships for practical circular solutions
networking businesses to exchange knowledge, showcase innovations and connecting Polish entrepreneurs with partners abroad, e.g. through study visits and B2B monitoring sessions with the support of the Dutch, Swedish, German, French and Danish Embassies.
educating those interested in the circular economy concept, for example by organising the national educational campaign ‘Polish Circular Week’
Becoming a member of the Polish Circular Hotspot enables you to work with Polish and foreign partners in building innovative solutions and exchanging best practice across sectors. The hotspot also provides its members with opportunities to shape the debate on emerging circular economy legislation and collaborate in funding projects through partnerships.
Ecopneus is a non-profit consortium company consisting of the largest tyre manufacturers in Italy. It currently handles 70% of the tyres that reach the end of their life-cycles.
Polish Circular Hotspot builds on COP24 to sign cooperation agreement with circular networks across Europe, including ECESP Coordination Group member Circular Change.
L'Institut national de l'Economie circulaire (France) a lancé en 2017 un Groupe de travail sur les systèmes agricoles et agroalimentaires, dont ce Livre Blanc présente les conclusions. Il explore les solutions que les orinicpes d'économie circulaire peuvent apporter pour des systèmes agricoles et agro-alimentaires durables.
Trois thématiques prioritaires ont été sélectionnées (par le Livre blanc):
- Systèmes agricoles et agroalimentaires circulaires: définitions, état des lieux et bonnes pratiques, sensibilisation des parties prenantes (consommateurs, professionnels, décideurs, distributeurs);
- L'écologie territoriale appliquée aux systèmes agricoles et agroalimentaires: les synergies entre les entreprises, le niveau d’application (exploitation agricole, région, etc.), les circuits courts, l’agriculture urbaine et périurbaine;
- Le retour au sol de la matière organique: identification des freins et leviers (acceptation sociétale, réglementation, etc.), compostage, méthanations et autres processus de transformation;
- Valorisation des services rendus (qualité des sols, puit de carbone, approvisionnement durable…).
Orange Fiber has closed the loop for oranges by patenting a technique to squeeze orange peel and citrus waste into cellulose fibre. With growing demand for sustainable fashion, the company is well placed to commence production in 2019, having already prototyped a collection with Salvatore Ferragamo and won the Global Change Awars
On 23 May 2019 EUsalt will organise an interactive open conference on "Circularity with a pinch of salt" as part of its three-day general assembly.
The Pura Production Group is clearly commited to sustainable production. Pura's flagship Blue Right line for hotels and offices is a circular economy front runner: the floor, interior, sanitary and kitchen cleaners are produced without hazardous chemicals, sold in portion-controlled compostable packaging and lead to zero waste after use.
The 4th International Conference on New Business Models will be hosted and supported by the Chair for Corporate Sustainability, ESCP Europe Berlin, in July 2019.
When 68 Dutch architectural firms signed a manifesto for circular construction in 2018, it became apparent that this field is committed and eager to apply circular economy principles in designing and building for sustainable development. Nonetheless there are few available resources on commencing such a process, which is why the BNA (Dutch Association of Architects) commissioned a study on 'Designing Circularity Jointly: Circular Architecture and Construction' in 2018.
The transition to a circular economy is a quest where nobody has the correct and precise information on what inputs are required to reduce carbon emissions, ensure raw materials are processed in a circular loop and the built environment is repurposed at end of life. Designing truly circular buildings requires frameworks and insights. These are summarised in the report's eight key messages:
- circular economy is a shared quest full of complexity, obstacles and uncertainty, which is why openness, trust and courage are crucial;
- architects need more circular assignments to be able to benchmark and share experiences with each other;
- architects should play a greater role in designing buildings that can actually be built, maintained and recycled;
- collaboration across the entire value chain is necessary to map out resource flows and design in a truly circular fashion;
- regulation stimulates either renovation or newbuilds, becoming an obstacle when architects attempt to fuse old structures with new materials, linear raw materials with circular processes, and outdated standards with pioneering ones;
- despite a lot of information being available, architects find it difficult to access sustainable materials that have passed the necessary quality checks;
- the lack of clear guidelines about what is circular in the construction sector limits the adoption of corresponding principles;
- there are no easily accessible and understandable tools to guide practitioners in designing a circular structure.
Remanpath is a workshop that aims to support SMEs in the building industry towards setting up remanufacturing activities in their own business.
Deliver'19 will inspire its visitors with its Urban Mining Collective's showcase of circular methods and products.
Composting is the most natural method to create fertilisers, but not many people use it as it's a slow and complex process. To encourage composting, Compastor Technology has bred a genuine composting worm. When this worm is combined with a compost inoculant, green and organic waste is turned into fertiliser quickly and efficiently while using fully natural ingredients.
Elak is a family-run electronics store in Brussels which has adopted a circular approach to its e-commerce activities from the onset.
Pollutec is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2018: the trade show has established itself as a true showcase of all the equipment, technologies and services for the environment and energy.
Commown is a French cooperative that offers 'Hardware as as Service (HaaS)' for Fairphones and personal computers.
On December 4, MEP Igor Šoltes will host a seminar on the inherent benefits of using public procurement to achieve sustainable development in the European Parliament.
Greece's Governmental Economic Policy Council ensorsed a National Action Plan on Circular Economy in early 2018 to set the country on a path towards the long-term adoption of circular economy principles. This further supports Greece's economic strategy in its key quest to “Green” the economy in a way that creates jobs, especially for women and youth, and supports long-term equitable and inclusive growth based on resource efficiency, promotion of SMEs, innovation and investment in new technologies, and strengthening of the “social economy” potential. The long-term (2030) goals of the National Action Plan on Circular Economy can be summarised as follows:
- moving up the waste hierarchy by focusing on preventing waste and improving recycling
- supporting circular entrepreneurship by promoting “industrial symbiosis” and business clusters
- supporting circular consumption patterns of re-using, re-storing and re-pairing rather than buying new products, especially for electrical and electronic devices
- enhancing multi-stakeholder partnerships across industry, academia, and civil society
- monitoring progress towards a circular economic model through SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound) indicators.
Priority actions for 2018 include:
- lifting barriers to a circular economy through 10+ regulatory and legislative interventions, e.g. integrating circular economy considerations and criteria in the Environmental Impact Assessment and Strategic Impact Assessment requirements for sites and projects as well as in the environmental permitting process or elaborating new legal definitions for wastes, by-products and re-fuse materials after first use intended for re-use, declassification of waste and quality standards for secondary raw materials
- earmarking existing funds to implement the aforementioned interventions and fund demonstration projects
- further enhancing knowledge, understanding, education, awareness and communication
- improving governance structures by setting up an inter-ministerial Executive Secretariat for the Circular Economy to oversee implementation and related Observatory to monitor progress
Prior to this, Greece has already adopted a new Law on Recycling in November 2017 to fully align existing waste legislation with circular economy principles and taken effective measures to reduce the consumtion of single-use plastic bags with a ministerial decision in August 2017 that introduced merchant responsibility and set fees for consumers. With these measures and the actions set out in the National Circular Economy Action Plan, Greece aims to achieve the following by 2020:
- achieve a radical reduction of the per capita produced waste
- increase reuse and recycling of wastes, with a separate collection of recyclable waste and of bio-waste, to reach 50% of total municipal solid waste produced from a 25% where it stands today
- reach a 74% recovery and less than 30% disposal of total municipal solid waste produced from the current 82% disposal
- create around 15,900 new jobs and the increase of the annual turnover of the waste management related businesses.
On the 3rd of December 2018, the Italian Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform (ICESP) will hold its first annual conference. The platform's activities to date will be presented and its future development will be discussed.
100 Italian circular economy stories compiles successful innovations from companies, research institutes and non-profits across 11 sectors throughout Italy. Their stories show the transition towards a circular economy is gaining traction on the ground as a sustainable alternative to the incumbent methods of production.
A circular economy will not happen through policy alone: it requires companies, start-ups, foundations, research centres, universities, consortia and associations to apply the principles of a circular economy to practice. This book features 100 such examples from Italy, including Aquafil's regenerated nylon yarn and Favini's non-virgin papers. The whole collection of stories ranges from across the following 11 sectors:
- Clothing and accessories
- Furniture / Construction
- Industrial automation and other Manufacturing
- Chemistry and Pharmaceutics
- Research & Development
- Electrics and Electronics
- New Materials and Resources
- Enablers and Platforms
- Promotion and Dissemination
These 100 stories clearly demonstrate that change is underway by showing how Italian products are brought to market using increasingly integrated technologies and supply chains which exchange materials and energy. The diffusion of such circular processes will enable more and more companies to free themselves from using costly virgin resources, gradually rendering the whole economy more sustainable.
For reference with the Italian circular economy strategy, please check the 2017 white paper "Towards a model of circular economy in Italy"
Kierrätyskeskus is a growing chain of seven big box re-use stores, selling all possible furniture, household items and craft supplies in the Helsinki area.
WIPAG recycles post-industrial and post-consumer plastic waste from several industries with its main focus on automotive parts. Both composite separation and de-coating process allow for end products with excellent performances.
In December 2018 DG ENV is organising a two-day workshop aimed at SMEs and regional authorities to join forces, boost the transition and bridge the gap in achieving a circular economy.
When Dublin's Ballymun suburb was scheduled for regeneration, a local environmental project redeveloped the neighbourhood's heating plant into a 3D textbook on repair, reuse and refurbish. The Rediscovery Centre, housed in the old boiler house, is now a cutting-edge creative space connecting people, resources and ideas that includes four social enterprises.
The Symbola Foundation, Enel & CSR Europe are organising a conference on “100 Italian Circular Economy Stories” on November 15 in Brussels.
Austria Glas Recycling Gmbh is setting the course for the future: the Austria Glas Agenda 2030, which it has developed together with stakeholders, experts and scholars, defines the orientation of the glass recycling system according to the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
The Austria Glass Agenda 2030 is pioneering work setting new impulses for the implementation of the SDGs. As one of the first companies in Austria, Austria Glas Recycling Gmbh is facing the challenge to implement the SDGs in all its business processes. The Austria Glas Agenda 2030 is the basis for future project developments of the glass recycling system.
In addition, the Austria Glas Agenda 2030 should serve as a role model for other sectors and inspire them to take action for the SDGs.