Circular economy, the new concept for attaining sustainable consumption and production, will not be implemented without multisectoral and international cooperation. INNOWO, Circular Change, INCIEN Czechia, and INCIEN Slovakia are launching the International Circular Week this year to promote circular economy across countries. This International Circular Week will take place from 7 to 13 October 2019, and aims to engage all circular stakeholders in central Europe and beyond.
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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.
The Elephant in the Boardroom: Why Unchecked Consumption is Not an Option in Tomorrow’s Markets is a working paper from the World Resources Institute that can guide discussion within companies about an uncomfortable truth: many of today’s business models are not fit for tomorrow’s resource-strained world.
Normalizing the conversation will set the groundwork for the pursuit of new business models that allow growth within the planet’s limits and generate stakeholder value in new and exciting ways.
This research, part of the CEC4Europe factbook on the circular economy published in September 2018, evaluates 131 projects from the Circular Economy Industry Platform (CEIP) regarding their contribution to circular economy from both a scientific and political perspective.
Content analysis was applied to derive qualitative and quantitative information from company statements on the platform. This was supplemented by qualitative, semi-structured interviews with company representatives on selected projects. Results showed a diverse approach to circularity across the sample projects, thereby partly expanding the sectoral focus of the circular economy package.
The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment unites businesses, governments, and other organisations behind a common vision and targets to address plastic waste and pollution at its source. It is led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in collaboration with the UN Environment Program. Launched in October 2018, the Global Commitment already unites more than 400 organisations in its common vision of a circular economy for plastics, keeping plastics in the economy and out of the ocean. Signatories include:
- close to 200 businesses that are part of the plastic packaging value chain, jointly representing over 20 % of all plastic packaging used globally, including many of the world’s leading consumer packaged goods companies, retailers, and plastic packaging producers
- 16 governments across five continents and across national, regional, and city level
- 26 financial institutions with a combined USD 4.2 trillion worth of assets under management and 6 investors in total committing to invest about USD 275 million
- leading institutions such as WWF, the World Economic Forum, the Consumer Goods Forum, and IUCN
- more than 50 academics, universities, and other educational or research organisations including MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative, Michigan State University, and University College London.
All 400+ organisations have endorsed one common vision of a circular economy for plastics, in which plastics never become waste. As this June 2019 report shows, the number of business signatories has grown from over 100 to nearly 200 in the seven months since the launch.
The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has released a report on tackling plastic waste using circular solutions, with a focus on the opportunities chemical recycling provides. After highlighting the scale of the issue, the report presents different ways of solving the plastic waste issue by comparing the impacts of different waste treatment options and technologies, such as pyrolysis. The report concludes that:
“To tackle the colossal societal and environmental issue of plastic waste, we need proportionally meaningful efforts from the private and public sectors as well as society at large that encompass behaviors and habits. The ultimate solutions will involve a combination of judicious consumption and disposal measures as well as the development of cost-competitive and environmentally friendly alternatives. Most observers would agree, however, that these changes are years away. In the meantime—over the next decade or two—we can implement circular solutions to reuse or repurpose plastic waste in the most efficient way.” (Boston Consulting Group, 2018, p. 24).
ECESP Coordination Group members contributed to this report, including Circular Change and Circle Economy.
Wao shoes are fully ecological shoes made entriely from natural, innovative and sustainable materials.
Join a 1one-hour webinar for a deeper understanding of the circular economy business model patterns identified by the R2π Consortium, to highlight key enablers and tools for implementation at the company level
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
Circular Flanders is conducting in-depth research on how car-sharing can contribute as much as possible to more efficient use of materials and a better environment, and is ready to share the outcome at this workshop in Leuven on 7 November 2019.
Share your preference regarding consumer labelling and sustainable lighting design with the CIRC4Life project! This H2020 project is looking for end-user input in the creation and design of new circular business models, and your opinion counts.
ISATIÓ is a Brussels SME that recovers samples from the textiles industry to create unique designer clothing, with manufacturing all done locally and the supply chain covered entirely by bicycle couriers.
RWM, the UK's largest waste and recycling industry show, returns to Birmingham 11 to 12 October 2019
The textile industry is the second most polluting industry in the world. The Next Closet’s mission is change this and inspire people to invest in quality and reuse what they already have, so second hand can become the number one choice.
During the European Week of Regions and Cities in Brussels, the Urban Agenda Partnership for Circular Economy will host a workshop on 9 October to help develop its “Roadmap for a Circular Urban Resource Management Plan” for cities.
Cradle to Cradle Certified™ is a globally recognized measure of safer, more sustainable products made for the circular economy. An new version, Cradle to Cradle Certified V4, is currently in development, and the institute behind the initiative is hosting free webinars to introduce the new draft of the standard and to highlight its most important features and updates. These webinars will take place on 10, 11 and 12 September.
The 10th European Symposium on Biopolymers (ESBP 2019) will take place in the Rittersaal of the Herzogschloss in Straubing, Germany from 25 – 27 September 2019. ESBP 2019 brings together leading experts from both academia and industry to share knowledge and insights into the challenges and opportunities surrounding biopolymer production from microbes.
ACI’s European Biopolymer Summit will bring together senior executives and experts from among biopolymer manufacturers, chemical companies, major associations, the raw materials sector, technology companies and consultants, in order to discuss the latest challenges and developments within the industry.
MRE 2020 is taking place on 18–20 February 2020 at the Business Design Centre in London to develop the commercial success of UK-generated materials innovation.
It is with deep disappointment that IOM3 has announced that PVC2020, scheduled to take place at The Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC), Scotland (20–23 April 2020), will be postponed until May 2021 following the escalation of Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Looking for inspiration, partners or funding for your circular economy projects? Join Norwegian and international companies, researchers and stakeholders at this conference and B2B matchmaking event in Oslo from 24 to 25 September 2019.
The European Sustainable Cosmetics Summit, due to take place in Paris on 4-6 November, will focus on integrating circular economy principles, from design to packaging and disposal.
The third edition of the European Packaging Conference will bring packaging experts from all over the world together in discovering new trends, innovations, strategies and challenges in packaging.
The Comissão de Coordenação e Desenvolvimento Regional do Centro (CCDRC) together with the University of Coimbra (UC) are hosting an Autumn Course on Circular Economy.
On 9 May 2019, the National Institute for Circular Economy (INEC) and Orée, the two main circular economy organisations in France, presented their collaborative research on the political dynamics of circular economy in Europe and the civil society networks that drive this circular transition.
On 10 October 2019, the Interreg Project REPLACE (REgional PoLicy Actions for Circular Economy) and European Economic and Social Committee will host a side event of the European Week of Regions and Cities on how regional authorities can make use of the SCREEN framework in their circular economy policy instruments.
With Sika's adhesive, conveyor belts can be repaired on-site to save resources and increase longevity
Sika has developed a high-performance elastomer for the clean repair of the rubber substrate of conveyor belts and industrial rubber elements. This "liquid rubber" enables on-site repair and lengthens the product life of used belts.
Are you active in the collaborative (sharing) and circular economy? Fill in the Collaborative X Circular survey to share your knowledge and support an EU-wide mapping exercise.