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.
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".
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 - 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.