Circular economy

21-11-2018

Race for lithium illustrates EU drive for ‘strategic’ raw materials

The European Union is accelerating plans to develop lithium mining and refining capacity on its territory as part of a concerted EU push to develop a strategic value chain for manufacturing electric car batteries inside Europe.
21-11-2018

Recycling’s powerful waste-fighting arsenal

Two of recycling’s main tools are used to varying degrees across Europe and now the industry and member states are considering how best to leverage them and help create what has been touted as the "internal market for recycling".
20-11-2018

EU’s Sefcovic: Real risk that ‘raw materials become the new oil’

Europeans have to be “very vigilant” that today’s dependency on imported oil and gas is not replaced by dependency on lithium, cobalt, copper and other raw materials that industries need for the green transition, Maroš Šefčovič told EURACTIV in an exclusive interview.
20-11-2018

Injecting responsibility into recycling

Collecting and recycling waste is more important than ever, since EU targets ask more and more from member states. But national capitals face a dilemma about how best to recycle more, as two distinct schemes offer two very different solutions.
19-11-2018

Raw materials ‘megatrends’ point to looming supply risks in Europe

Markets for raw materials have recovered from the 2008 financial crash, fuelled by the continued digital transformation of the economy and the rapid deployment of green technologies. Is the world on track for a repeat of the resource boom seen in the early 21st century?
19-11-2018

The global race for raw materials

The European Union first adopted a raw materials strategy in 2008, at a time when commodity prices were at an all-time high and fears were running high of a global scramble for natural resources. The financial crash that followed conveniently swept the issue under the carpet. But this may have only been temporary.
19-11-2018

Europe’s packaging headache

European Union members will have to recycle at least 70% of packaging by 2030, under new rules brokered earlier this year. But there are complex mechanisms behind the recycling curtain and not all countries are ready yet to keep up with the pace.
19-11-2018

The nitty-gritty of recycling

The EU now has a whole raft of rules, both finalised and pending, geared towards increasing the effectiveness and, perhaps more importantly, profitability of recycling. But beyond the headline targets, how are countries going to stick to the rules?
16-11-2018

Urban mining: In search of Europe’s valuable waste

Each year Europe wastes millions of tonnes of valuable metals by landfilling or exporting them. How can policy measures increase the recovery of these materials?
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15-11-2018

Closing Europe’s raw materials loop: The case for copper

There can be no wind or solar energy, no smart grids and no electric vehicles without copper, aluminium or steel, to name but a few. What Europe must do is enable advanced processing of materials in order to close the loop, writes Dr Katia Lacasse.
14-11-2018

Metals: Friend or foe of the green economy?

The green economy usually brings to mind traditional renewable materials such as wood, biomass, water and earth. Less likely poster children are the big metals that have formed the backbone of the industrial revolution – steel, copper, iron, tin and aluminium.
13-11-2018

Researcher: ‘The greatest bottlenecks can be expected for lithium and cobalt’

As excitement builds about the opportunities of the new green economy, concerns are growing as well. The economic transition will require new grid infrastructure, new distribution models and, perhaps most importantly, more raw materials, says Kornelis Blok.
12-11-2018

Raw power

Vanadium, borate, bismuth, gallium – they may sound like planets from a science fiction movie, but in fact they are some of the most critical elements of the European Union’s economy.  
12-11-2018

Metals in the circular economy

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Metals are essential components in the manufacturing of smart phones, electric car batteries and other green technologies. In this special report, EURACTIV looks at how the EU's circular economy strategy can help secure Europe's supply of critical raw materials in a sustainable way.
Energy 31-10-2018

Swiss researchers chart path to zero-emission cement

The construction sector can cut polluting emissions up to 80% by applying efficiency measures along the whole value chain, according to new research. If combined with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, emissions could even be brought down to zero by 2050, they argue.

Big brands pledge to turn tide on global plastic waste

Big brands - from Coca Cola to Kellogg - pledged on Monday (29 October) to cut all plastic waste from their operations in what the United Nations called the most ambitious effort yet to fight plastic pollution.

MEPs crank up crusade against single-use plastics

MEPs moved on Wednesday (24 October) to ban widely-used, throw-away plastics such as straws, bags and cotton buds, putting the burden on manufacturers to recycle more in an effort to clear up ocean pollution.
22-10-2018

Drinks giants rail against EU bottle cap plan

Multinationals Coca Cola, Danone, Nestlé and PepsiCo want to improve existing recycling systems rather than invest in new bottle designs with attached caps, which is the EU’s preferred way of curbing plastic waste.
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Copper and the Circular Economy
17-10-2018

Copper and the Circular Economy

The life of copper is infinite and has no end phase. Once mined, it can be recycled over and over with no loss of properties.
11-10-2018

EU emphasises ‘ecological limitations’ of new bioeconomy plan

The European Commission unveiled a new bioeconomy strategy on Thursday (11 October), saying it could reduce the EU's dependence on fossil fuels while underlining the ecological limitations of Europe’s farming and forestry sector.
11-10-2018

Fashion industry ‘playing catch-up’ with the circular economy

With reports continuing to reveal the extent of the environmental and social damage caused by fast-fashion, not-for-profit organisation H&M Foundation believes the industry is now on the cusp of a radical sustainability shift towards the circular economy. EURACTIV's media partner edie.net reports.
10-10-2018

Time to shift responsibility on plastics

Plastic pollution is increasingly in the spotlight but Europe could learn a thing or two from one of the cities leading the charge to curb unnecessary waste, writes the governing mayor of Oslo.
Energy 09-10-2018

Renovation of buildings: The fight is over, time to implement

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The vision for decarbonising the European building stock is clear enough: now comes the time for the member states to enforce these commitments.
03-10-2018

How the EU’s Cohesion Fund can support the circular economy

The EU’s next Cohesion Fund for regional development should prioritise investments into waste management systems focused on prevention, re-use, separate collection and recycling – not on incineration, argues Janek Vahk.