A new research hub led by the University of Exeter will spearhead national efforts to create a sustainable, circular economy where fewer resources are used and more waste materials reused – delivering huge benefits to the environment and UK economy. The National Interdisciplinary Circular Economy Hub is supported with £3.5 million from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). It will work with the five circular economy centres that were recently announced to explore how reusing waste materials in a wide range of industries, including textiles, construction, chemical and metals, could boost the UK economy as well as deliver massive environmental benefits. The circular economy hub will provide national leadership to facilitate the exchange of knowledge across the five centres and with the UK’s wider research and innovation landscape.
SWANA announces David Biderman, SWANA CEO and Executive Director, has been elected as Chair of the Department of Commerce’s Environmental Technologies Trade Advisory Committee’s (ETTAC) Waste Management and Circular Economy Subcommittee. “I am honored to have been selected by the other members of this important federal advisory committee to chair the new Waste Management and Circular Economy subcommittee,” said Biderman. “The nexus between proper waste management, the Circular Economy, climate change, and marine litter is well-established, and ETTAC will provide timely and actionable advice to the Commerce Department that seeks to protect the environment, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and benefit American companies. The environmental challenges associated with solid waste are significant global issues, and SWANA is well-positioned to lead in this area.”
In an interesting twist on the idea of mobile ecommerce, musicMagpie has created a service where consumers can rent mobile phones from its ecommerce store. The solution, called ‘Powered by DivideBuy’ – and powered by lending technology company of the same name – is the first consumer hire option of its kind offered by the retailer. The solution works alongside all other credit options and in the same way as they would with a standard finance option, customers will be able to check their suitability for a rent prior to making a purchase.
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. Joke Dufourmont is the circular jobs initiative lead at Circle Economy, an Amsterdam-based not-for-profit organisation. Natalia Papu is a researcher and analyst at Circle Economy, and Yasmina Lembachar is the digital communications lead at Circle Economy. The new Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP) paves a promising road towards circular value chains and the mainstreaming of renewable, regenerative and cyclable resources.
Recycling, an activity once associated with empty milk cartons and hippies, is getting a corporate makeover. Last week, tire giant Continental announced that it will use reprocessed polyester taken from recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles in its tire production starting in 2022. The raw materials for the polyester — a type of plastic — traditionally used in tire manufacturing is derived from crude oil and natural gas. Making a complete set of vehicle tires will make use of more than 60 recycled PET bottles. In lab and road testing, tires made with polyester fibers obtained from bottles performed as well as tires made with traditional fibers.
Opening the event is Dr Walter Stahel who, many of you will already know, is credited with coining the term ‘circular economy’ in a paper published in 1982. His keynote speech will provide a new vision for realising the full value of our natural resources. Circular recently caught up with Dr Stahel for an exclusive interview, where he revealed the origins of his ideas about the circular economy. ‘The circular economy has always existed,’ he said. ‘It’s as old as humankind, but this was a circular economy of scarcity – and it still is in poorer regions, where everything is repaired or reused. But, in industrialised countries, we live in a society of abundance. To motivate people, to make things last, we need to educate them – we need to change them, their lifestyle, their behaviour, their beliefs.’
Promoting the shift from the linear economy towards a circular economy and fostering transparency in the processes, raising awareness and reducing costs are the goals of CircularChain, the cooperation ecosystem that Ecoembes and Minsait are developing in order to build the blockchain platform for the circular economy in Spain. It’s a project that has posed a major challenge in terms of technological innovation and it will have a considerable impact on environmental sustainability. This network of distributed records will help public authorities, local entities, operators, recyclers and other organizations to securely share and control all the data in the system and speed up all the transactions related to the waste selection process.
A World Trade Organisation (WTO) and Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) document has suggested that export of recycled materials can help boost the economies of developing nations. However, it recognises suitable controls are required to prevent materials going to countries that do not have sufficient infrastructure to handle them. Sustainable Trade, Circular Economy and Aid for Trade An Issues Paper for the 2020-2022 Monitoring and Evaluation Exercise looks at how the circular economy can provide investment in Aid for Trade programmes in developing countries.