Circular materials

01-04-2021

A circular economy for textiles to design out waste and pollution

Europe has an opportunity to use the textiles strategy, due to be published this year, to build on its history of textile manufacturing and switch to a more sustainable industry, benefitting citizens and the environment, writes Valérie Boiten.
24-03-2021

Recover today, lead for 2030: A future-fit industrial strategy for Europe

The current political debate on industrial policy lacks an honest acknowledgement of how much is already decided – from EU recovery budgets to the 2030 climate targets, write Sandrine Dixson-Declève and Janez Potočnik. Sandrine Dixson-Declève is the president of The...
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The goal is clear, let’s discuss the how

Moving to a sustainable and circular economy is the goal of decision makers, civil society and forward-looking companies like Covestro, but how do we get there? Here, Lynette Chung, Chief Sustainability Officer at Covestro, discusses what sustainability means to the...
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Circular economy 04-12-2020

End of life Recycling of WEEE Plastics containing Brominated Flame Retardants

Brominated flame retardants (BFRs) are used in plastics materials in electrical and electronic products to aid fire safety by reducing their propensity for ignition. This not only means a contribution to saving lives, but also products and property, thus preventing...
Circular economy 19-11-2020

Waste incineration across Europe and the UK: profit at the expense of climate

The EU and the UK must bring waste incineration plants within the scope of emissions trading schemes (ETS) if they are to achieve net zero-emissions and comply with the Paris Agreement, writes Georgia Elliott-Smith.
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The importance of local governments in the transition to a Circular Economy: the example of Fryslân and Leeuwarden

When the European Commission launched its new Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP) last March, the world was a different place. Now, as Covid-19 is badly damaging the European economy, calls for a green recovery have become even stronger, boosting the...
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Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability hand in hand with the Industrial Strategy

The EU Green Deal claims that it is a “new growth strategy that aims to transform the EU into a fair and prosperous society, with a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy where there are no net emissions of greenhouse gases...

Call it by its name: Synthetic gas and oil from old plastics is not ‘recycling’, it’s ‘recovery’

The term “chemical recycling” should only be used for plastic waste reconverted into new plastics. If those plastics are transformed into fuels or petrochemical products, the process should be called “recovery” instead, write Shanar Tabrizi and Fanny Rateau.
Circular economy 21-09-2020

Resilience: The missing link in the new Circular Economy Action Plan

EU member states need to integrate resilience into their national recovery plans in order to be eligible for recovery support, write Joke Dufourment, Natalia Papu and Yasmina Lembachar.
Circular economy 26-05-2020

EU recovery fund is a chance to accelerate the circular economy

The EU recovery fund can be used to unlock an estimated €1.8 trillion opportunity by 2030 by making better use of materials and reducing waste, write Patrick Schröder and David McGinty.
Agrifood 05-05-2020

The running clock of the bioeconomy

There will soon come a time when the coronavirus will be nothing more but a bad memory in our lives and in our society. The conservation of our environment and our sustainable production of energy and food will continue to be key challenges for the future of the planet, writes Luis Planas.
Circular economy 24-02-2020

Last year the EU slashed single-use plastics. Now it needs to do the same for all other resources

Last year the EU passed ambitious new laws to reduce the consumption of single-use plastics. That same thinking now needs to be applied to the economy as a whole, argues Meadhbh Bolger, saying Europe can get started by setting targets in its upcoming Circular Economy Action Plan.
Circular economy 02-12-2019

EU Waste Regulation – Blazing a trail for circular consumer packaging?

Consumers appreciate recyclates in packaging as long as it doesn’t affect the quality, functionality and price of the product. But how do companies remain competitive in view of added costs for high-quality recycling and the low price of virgin plastics? Michael Laermann tries to find the answer.
Circular economy 04-11-2019

Climate action needs better products

The EU has recently paved the way for longer-lasting products. Now we must enshrine this ambition into our future European Green Deal, write Jean-Pierre Schweitzer and Melissa Zill.

Circling round

The European Commission should impose more stringent measures on producers to protect the environment and consumers. Making producers responsible for their products throughout their whole life cycle benefits us all, writes Oliver Loebel.

Chemical recycling of plastic: Waste no more?

Plastics recycling is as much of a challenge as an opportunity for the circular economy. Michael Laermann looks at chemical recycling and whether it can make the plastics value chain more circular whilst providing a profitable new industry branch.
Circular economy 30-01-2019

Circular economy must remain a priority for Europe beyond the 2019 elections

The Circular Economy Package and Plastics Strategy have set a high-level framework to improve the resource efficiency of the European economy. But to be effective, this framework must remain a policy priority for the next European Commission and Parliament, writes Nick Molho.
Circular economy 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.
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Circular economy 26-09-2018

Bottles becoming bottles: Let’s go full circle!

The time has come for the European Parliament’s last opportunity to take concrete action before handing over the reins to the EU’s successors: making it mandatory to produce plastic bottles with at least 25% of recycled plastics by 2025.

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.
Circular economy 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.
Circular economy 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.

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.