This year, the LIFE programme turns 30. There are more than 5 500 LIFE projects – both past and present – across Europe. All LIFE 2022 calls for proposals are expected to be published on the Funding & tender opportunities portal on 17 May 2022.
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The second Circular City Centre (C3) webinar in the morning of 17 May will focus on circular city actions and solutions. A new C3 guidance document on this topic will be presented and cities will share information and experiences about their circular actions and initiatives.
The Interreg MED Green Growth Community will celebrate its final event in person in Brussels on 1 June. The event will highlight the role of businesses and public authorities in the transition towards climate neutrality, sharing the project’s best practices in supporting these actors across the Euro-Mediterranean region.
The final event will also emphasise the importance of cooperation to boost the circular economy by putting forward the Community’s policy recommendations.
The European Commission is currently working on a proposal to revise the GPP criteria for buildings. To participate in the consultation process, you can register as a stakeholder on the website. The deadline for comments is on 10 May 2022.
Resourceful Cities, or developing next-generation urban resource centres to serve as catalysts of the local circular economy
Resourceful Cities is an URBACT Action Planning Network of European cities that want to develop next-generation urban resource centres to accelerate the transition to the circular economy. The idea for this network arose from one of the actions identified by the Urban Agenda Partnership on Circular Economy under its ‘better knowledge’ pillar - namely to promote Urban Resource Centres for waste prevention, re-use and recycling.
Broadly these centres serve as connection points for citizens, new businesses, researchers, and the public sector to co-create new ways of closing local resource loops, while promoting waste prevention, re-use, repair, and recycling. Their precise manifestation will differ from city to city in response to the local context and needs identified.
The EU-funded OLEAF4VALUE project has set up a consortium of highly experienced partners to develop a valorisation system for the olive leaves biomass. The consortium will address all levels of the value chain: raw material, biorefining, post-extraction technologies, market validation and sustainability assessment.
One major issue at the moment is making the EU less reliant on Russia.
This paper from the CEPS Think thank provides insights on Russia’s share among EU sources of key supplies for low-carbon technologies. It looks at prospects for meeting future material demands through circularity for three technologies: lithium-ion batteries, wind turbines and fuel cell electric vehicles.
WaVa / Waste Valorisation is a chemical exchange platform for all professionals which promotes the circular economy among manufacturers. Specifically, it is a co-product marketplace where sellers can sell their waste as a secondary raw material and buyers can buy cheaper, local materials.
Any industrial raw material, waste, by-product or manufacturing co-product can be traded on the WaVa platform. It aims to help people achieve their circular economy objectives and thus reap the economic and environmental benefits.
WaVa is not recognised as a waste disposal facility; it simply connects buyers and sellers. It never actually takes ownership of the product.
There are no fees for registration, selling or buying.
Ireland is at a turning point for the transition to a circular economy (CE). The 2022 Whole of Government Circular Economy Strategy provides the policy framework for the CE in this country, and the forthcoming Circular Economy Bill is expected to strengthen waste and CE legislation.
Nevertheless, with a circularity material use rate of 2% in 2020, Ireland shows significant scope for progress. This report analyses the state of play and challenges of the circular transition in Ireland and provides policy recommendations for CE policy across levels of government. It is the result of a two-year policy dialogue between the OECD, the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications, as well as a broad range of public, private and civil society stakeholders.
The HOOP Network of Cities and Regions seeks to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and mutual learning among cities and regions willing to recover valuable resources from urban bio-waste and wastewater to make bio-based products. By joining the network, they gain information on innovative urban bioeconomy solutions and engage in activities relevant to their specific situation and interests. Participants have direct exchanges with the eight HOOP lighthouse cities and regions, sharing experiences and expertise, and can be invited to the project's events.
The HOOP network is only open to organisations that plan, organise or operate municipal waste management or wastewater treatment activities, for instance local or regional authorities and waste management companies.
Flexible plastic packaging is a growing and challenging segment of the plastic stream that deserves its own strategies and investments. On 5 May, the first webinar will feature perspectives and lessons from four leading organisations that have developed comprehensive roadmaps and plans to step up the recovery of flexible plastics.
The BioSupPack project aims to deliver novel, cost-competitive and versatile bio-based packaging solutions - based on PHA - that demonstrate high-performance for the packaging of food, cosmetics, homecare and beverage products as well as no environmental damage during & after their use.
Low-carbon technologies and Russian imports: how far can recycling reduce the EU's raw materials dependency?
Low-carbon technologies and Russian imports: how far can recycling reduce the EU's raw materials dependency?
Russia is among the larger suppliers of raw materials to the EU. It is the biggest world supplier for palladium, platinum and nickel, and a prominent one for aluminium and copper. The country still holds large untapped reserves of rare-earth elements.
This paper provides an overview of EU import dependency on raw materials and Russia’s share among EU sources of key supplies for low-carbon technologies. It then looks at prospects for meeting future material demands through circularity for three technologies, namely lithium-ion batteries, wind turbines and fuel cell electric vehicles.
The analysis is based on two scenarios with different levels of ambition. They aim to give an indication of the scale of potential benefits that can be achieved through circular approaches.
The Bioschamp project, coordinated by Asochamp, will develop a peat-free casing soil to serve as a carrier for selected bacterial strains that will act as crop biostimulants.
This solution will also be an alternative to pesticides, thus contributing to improve the circularity, productivity, sustainability, and profitability of the European mushroom sector.
The European Food Safety Authority EFSA foresight workshop Circular Future: emerging feed sources, technologies & related risks will take place online on 9-10 June 2022. The event is open to policymakers, practitioners and stakeholders from along the feed value chain, as well as scientists and experts in emerging risk identification, risk assessment and foresight selected from among participants.
What are your plans for May? ACR+ will kick off an entire month dedicated to innovation and circular economy in waste management. Through several events, ACR+ will showcase some of its activities and projects fostering innovative approaches and practices to reach a circular economy.
The Final Conference of the WINPOL project on 25 May will give an overview of the work accomplished over more than four years. It will review the successes achieved at project level and the progress made in the use of intelligent systems and policies in the field of waste management.
The LCA4Regions partners are organising a conference in Brussels on 12 May. This will be an opportunity to share their project's initial outcomes and discuss how to apply life cycle assessment (LCA) to improve policy planning and actively make conscious decisions about resource efficiency and investments, with a focus on the sustainable built environment.
The REthinkWASTE project is organising a webinar on Pay As You Throw and Know As You Throw models on 5 May.
Learn on Friday 3 June how the Level(s) tools can help you implement core indicators to assess and report on the sustainability performance of buildings.
A public hearing on 29 April 2022 is organised to feed into an EESC opinion on the Sustainable products initiative, including Ecodesign Directive. It will bring together speakers and participants from the EU institutions, as well as the organised civil society to discuss the proposed legislative framework.
On Thursday 28 April The European Commission invites you to an online event on the methods for measuring the life cycle performance of products and organisations: the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) and the Organisation Environmental Footprint (OEF).
In the context of a three-year project on “Innovative Business Practices and Economic Models in the Textile Value Chain” (InTEX), UNEP is seeking an Implementing Partner to support its impact assessment work on sustainable economic pathways for sustainable and circular textiles. The deadline for submitting proposals is 16 May 2022.
Research: best criteria for the new EU strategy for sustainable textiles and the Ecodesign directive
This research project lists ecodesign criteria for circular fashion and textiles.
It focused on giving consumer textiles a longer lifespan with optimal reuse potential, making disassembly and recovery possible, and exploring upcycling and high-quality recycling. Extending the life of textile products turned out to have the greatest impact in the short term. Quality seems to be the most impactful ecodesign criterion when it comes to improving the sustainability and circularity of consumer textiles as quickly as possible.
The project defined seven product categories, identifying a set of minimum criteria for each. The report looks at existing labels, standards and regulations and the authors hope it will help expand the Ecodesign Directive by adding a textile category.
Many actors see the EU’s circular economy (CE) as a promising narrative which steps outside dominant end-of-pipe solutions towards an encompassing vision for strategies across the supply chain. However, this study finds that the EU CE Action Plan maintains the status quo narrative instead of suggesting radical changes.
By focusing on stakeholder narratives, this analysis shows that the inertia is primarily due to CE proponents’ self-perception of being in a legitimacy crisis and their strategic arguments that have:
- concealed social conflict and potential trade-offs
- strengthened the agency of ‘status quo’ agents
- excluded alternative voices questioning the proposed CE narrative.
The paper discusses how to develop new environmental narratives outside the status quo.
Policies are focusing on halving food waste to help conserve increasingly strained food resources. However, expanding their scope of action to include dietary changes and complement targets with resource footprints has greater potential to save resources while avoiding trade-offs.
This paper shows that in Germany:
- Healthy, plant-based diets are more effective at reducing land and biomass use than halving food waste
- A combination of more plant-based food consumption and food waste reduction in distribution and consumption is most effective at saving resources
- Focusing exclusively on food waste reduction as a policy target can be detrimental to the overarching goal of saving resources because it deflects attention away from more effective alternatives.