Circular economy

‘Impossible’ recycling in the real world

In the Netherlands, one recycling plant is doing what many in the industry have labelled “impossible”, by recycling household packaging and making a financial success of it. EURACTIV went north of the Belgian-Dutch border to see the operation in action.

MEPs vote to turn ‘plastic wastelands into fields of gold’

European lawmakers overwhelmingly backed an advisory report on the EU’s landmark plastics strategy on Thursday (13 September). It calls on the European Commission to ban certain types of micro-plastics by 2020.
Climate change 12-09-2018

‘Scientifically right’: Juncker backs deeper carbon cuts in SOTEU speech

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker urged the European Union on Wednesday (12 September) to raise its goals for limiting climate change, but did not mention the forthcoming 2050 strategy. EURACTIV’s partner Climate Home News reports.
04-09-2018

Can we tax our way out of the plastic pollution crisis?

No environmental tax has ever been approved at EU level, given the need for unanimity in the Council. But if a plastic tax were successfully passed, would such a measure really help to set the EU on the path to curbing plastic pollution?
25-07-2018

Commission concerned with Poland’s ‘waste mafia’

In connection with reports of a Polish 'waste mafia' earning money from garbage, the Commission has announced that it would monitor the situation. However, it emphasised that enforcement is the responsibility of the member states. EURACTIV Poland reports.

Make use of recycled plastic mandatory, EU told

Europe's market for recycled plastics will never pick up unless regulators make a decisive move and impose a minimum amount of recycled materials into new products, said a wide coalition of businesses, local authorities and environmental NGOs.
Digital 20-07-2018

The sharing economy: Cure or curse?

From mobility services to recycling applications, the sharing economy holds many promises. Whether to regulate it at European level remains a disputed question, however.

Norway’s crusade against plastic waste, one bottle at a time

A bottle deposit hub on the outskirts of Oslo has had a stream of high-level international visitors. But can its success be replicated worldwide? EURACTIV’s partner The Guardian reports.

Death-knell for microplastics?

MEPs voted on Tuesday (10 July) to amend European Commission plans to cut plastic pollution and suggested a ban on microplastics in cosmetics and other products by 2020.
Agrifood 09-07-2018

Beer-loving Belgium continues shift to wine-making superpower

Climate change is having a massive impact on Europe’s winemakers but the effects are not always negative. Belgium’s industry is on the up thanks to shifting temperature patterns.
05-07-2018

Plastic pollution is solvable without global treaty, says UN environment boss

Plastic pollution and waste has moved more and more into the political and public spotlight over the past year, thanks to large-scale efforts by both the EU and UN. But doubts still remain about whether that is enough to make our economy truly circular.
05-07-2018

Slovakia down in the dumps at €1m EU fine

The European Court of Justice ruled on Wednesday (5 July) that Slovakia has not followed EU rules on landfills and will have to pay a €1 million lump sum fine and penalty payments of €5,000 for every day of delay.
03-07-2018

Thailand: The rich world’s new dumpsite for e-waste

Thailand has become one of the largest dumpsites for electronic waste from developed countries since China’s January ban on the import of plastic waste. EURACTIV’s partner Le Journal de l’environnement reports.

Tackling food waste: turning nemesis into a saviour

The function of food packaging has traditionally been limited to passive protection from external influences, but innovations are quickly changing its role. Packaging is getting active and intelligent, able to monitor and interact with food and environment and maintain food freshness for longer, writes Dr Milka Sokolović.

EU countries call for strict health rules on ‘water contact materials’

An overwhelming majority of member states have voiced support for stricter EU rules on drinking water, saying the same level of safety should apply to products coming in contact with water as for those coming in contact with food.

EU’s proposed tax on burning plastic waste is counter-productive

The CO2 emissions reductions achieved by plastic recycling is very costly when compared to alternatives like wind energy and solar PV, while much energy can be extracted from burning plastic waste, argue Raymond Gradus and Henriëtte Prast.

Why tracking the movement of plastic litter in the oceans is crucial

Five countries at the last G7 summit in Canada signed a Plastics Charter, recognising the need to speed up global action on marine plastics pollution. An IPCC-type framework is now needed to address the issue, writes Dr. Erik van Sebille.
07-06-2018

Waste in the Visegrad Four: Poland leading the way

Despite progress in recent years, local circular economy efforts in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia are still plagued by inefficient management, cheap landfilling and problematic reporting. EURACTIV's network reports.
05-06-2018

Plastic bans among ‘most effective’ ways to beat pollution, says UN

A landmark report by UN environment experts on plastic pollution, published to coincide with World Environment Day (5 June), shows that governments across the world are starting to take action and that bans and levies are starting to take off.
05-06-2018

Circular economy vital to EU’s quest to kill emissions: study

Reusing plastic and metal could help keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius and allow the EU to go emission free by 2050, according to new research on the burgeoning circular economy.

Plastic recycling dilemma in the EU

The EU is in a desperate search for a sustainable circular economy. But critics warn that the imminent adoption of waste recycling targets for 2035 is only a compromise between the very different realities of the 28 countries. EURACTIV Germany reports.
Economy & Jobs 29-05-2018

EU-funded eco market becomes symbol of circular economy in Brussels

L’Abattoir, one of the biggest urban markets in Europe, built in an old slaughterhouse, could well be seen as a symbol of circular economy as it has become a source of income for the poor while promoting sustainable farming on its rooftop.

Commission targets end to throwaway plastic culture

The European Commission presented its long-awaited marine-litter-busting proposal on single-use plastics on Monday (28 May). The first legislative proposal from the Plastics Strategy aims to help the EU clean up the continent's beaches and waterways.

New OECD report shows recycling’s Herculean task

Plastic production is still the go-to option over recycling because of lack of demand, poor collection rates and a fragile market, according to a new report by the OECD, which suggests a number of measures to boost the industry.