Circular economy

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’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.
27-04-2018

Plastic-to-fuel, only fuelling fantasy

In light of the challenges that countries are facing due to China’s new standards on plastic recyclables imports, some controversial disposal methods have been getting increased attention, despite the myriad of concerns surrounding them, write Claire Arkin and Janek Vahk.
25-04-2018

Time for an eco-design revolution on carpets and mattresses

A lot more must be done to incentivise everyday product recyclability, writes Ward Mosmuller. Bulky products that are not recycled today – like carpets, mattresses and furniture – would be a good place to start, he argues.
20-04-2018

Circular bio-economy supports growth and mitigates climate change impact

A European strategy for bio-economy should take the structural differences of different member states into account while also promoting and reinforcing a common vision for the sector, write Carina Håkansson and Mårten Larsson.
Energy 09-04-2018

Renewables law could lock EU into costly burning technologies

The EU Council’s position on the recast Renewable Energy Directive (REDII), if adopted, could lock EU member states into expensive and polluting waste-to-energy technologies that contradict the circular economy and climate objectives, writes Janek Vahk.
Promoted content
03-04-2018

Dumping garbage overseas is not the right way to go

During the recent meeting of the World Trade Organisation Council for Trade in Goods, some representatives raised concerns about China’s ban on “foreign garbage” import. Some even asked China to halt its implementation. Zhang Ming explains China's position.

There’s no escape from the ‘economics of enough’

If we want to reduce the use of natural resources and energy in absolute terms, a sufficiency strategy is needed to complement the eco-efficiency and circular economy approaches, write Riccardo Mastini and Leida Rijnhout.
Economy & Jobs 08-03-2018

EU Bioeconomy 2.0– Cultivating a home grown success

Barely six years old, the EU’s Bioeonomy Strategy, currently under revision, is slowly but surely propagating green shoots of sustainable economic recovery in innumerable and unexpected ways, writes Joanna Dupont.
07-03-2018

Is deep-sea mining worth the risk?

There is no evidence that deep-sea mining will reduce our dependency on land-based mining. We need to end business as usual and act to reduce the demand for these raw materials by making the transition towards a circular economy, write a group of Greens/EFA MEPs.
08-02-2018

We need more durable and reparable products to build a circular economy

The time is right for EU policy-makers to take measures to ensure products placed on the market are designed to last and be repaired, write Stéphane Arditi and Chloé Fayole.

How Europe can make its water sector energy neutral

The new EU Drinking Water Directive could be the tool to reduce water losses, cut energy consumption and deliver better quality of water, writes Mads Warming.
06-02-2018

Circular economy? Not without the internal market!

Without oversight, the implementation of the circular economy package entails a huge risk of Member States going into different directions and introducing barriers to the internal market, warns Virginia Janssens.
17-01-2018

Plastics Strategy: EU must heed example of best practices

Now that the European Commission has finally published its Plastics Strategy, the EU institutions should take inspiration from the best practices out there to make the upcoming legislation on single-use plastics work for citizens, the planet and the economy.

11-01-2018

Why the EU’s renewable energy proposal subverts the circular economy

To date, the Renewable Energy Directive has been a key obstacle to achieving waste policy objectives. If the EU is serious about the transition towards a circular economy, it is crucial that incentive schemes for renewables encourage separate collection and recycling, writes Janek Vahk.
19-12-2017

Plastics: The invisible oil spill

Plastic is everywhere, polluting our waters, choking marine wildlife, and even in our food and water. It is a problem of global proportions but an ambitious EU Plastics Strategy can create vital momentum, writes Pierre-Yves Cousteau.
14-12-2017

Europe must look beyond the Circular Economy Package

The EU’s Circular Economy Package is delivering some important progress on supporting business resource efficiency. But the circular economy will need to remain top of the agenda for many years to come if the EU is to see a step change in resource productivity, argues Nick Molho.
01-12-2017

Upgrade the plastic, don’t ban or tax it

A tax or ban on plastics won't solve pollution problems, but it would deprive the world od a cheap and valuable material. The solution is to make it biodegradable and recyclable, writes Michael Stephen.
21-11-2017

Microplastics, macro problems

Tackling the visible impact of plastic pollution is one thing. But if we’re serious about finding a long-term solution, revealing the invisible impact is imperative, writes the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Jocelyn Blériot, calling for a ban on oxo-degradable plastics that are still widely used in carrier bags.
08-11-2017

Putting words into action: Join forces to drive circular economy

Is the European Commission doing enough on the circular economy? Björn-Erik Lönn and Sören Enholm explain that buyers play an important role in creating it, so we have to make sure consumers and purchasers are empowered to make sustainable choices.
02-11-2017

China is no longer the EU’s plastic dumping ground: What’s next?

What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? With EU production of plastic waste showing no sign of slowing down and China – the world’s biggest importer of plastic waste – set to ban imports, we’re about to find out, argues Meadhbh Bolger.    
25-10-2017

Circular economy success needs more than ambitious policies

Voluntary agreements are hardly a new concept but industry action on this front can drive real progress, particularly when it comes to the circular economy, writes MEP Martina Dlabajová.
Promoted content
16-10-2017

Renewable Energy Directive: Keep molasses for food and feed

The European Parliament ENVI Committee will vote on whether molasses is a feedstock for “advanced” biofuels on 23 October. Since molasses is a food and feed material used for yeast, bread, beer, confectionery and animal feed, it should not be seen as a raw material for “advanced” biofuels, according to several European food and feed associations.