Continue Reading... Meet our members | Maria Nikolopoulou: her involvement in the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform and in mainstreaming gender equality across the EESC

Meet our members | Maria Nikolopoulou: her involvement in the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform and in mainstreaming gender equality across the EESC

Maria Nikolopoulou is a member of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) from the Workers’ Group, representing the Spanish trade union Comisiones Obreras. She is currently one of the Vice Presidents of the NAT Bureau and member of the Steering Group of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform. What drives you to be an active and engaged EESC and NAT Section Member? How do you make the link with your work (and your life) back home? I believe that if you want to improve things in life, instead of complaining with your friends and family or debating on social media, you should tell your opinion to those who have the power to take decisions and activate change. And this is precisely the role of the EESC, to give civil society a loud voice, so why not grasp the opportunity?  The core issues of the NAT section, especially the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are very close to my heart and the demands of my trade union. Every single one of the SDGs is what we’ve always fought for. Now we have the opportunity to put the SDGs high on the agenda and to push for their implementation.

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Continue Reading... Pair upcycle plastic waste into benches for public in a Hong Kong town, showing the potential of a circular economy to reduce marine pollution

Pair upcycle plastic waste into benches for public in a Hong Kong town, showing the potential of a circular economy to reduce marine pollution

Old milk containers, juice jugs and toy cups are not the type of products usually associated with high-concept furniture, but two designers in Hong Kong have taken these and other items and upcycled them into stylish pieces of public furniture. Tasked with creating a collection of 12 benches for the town hall in Sha Tin, in Hong Kong’s New Territories, the co-founders and design principals of HIR Studio, Howard Chung and Irene Cheng, turned to the Shing Mun River for inspiration. “The Shing Mun River is the soul of Sha Tin,” says Chung, who grew up in the area. “But even though the river quality has improved over the years it is still quite polluted, so we really wanted to do something to help alleviate the problem of plastic pollution in the water.”

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Continue Reading... Reduce, Reuse, Rethink: The Problem of Recycling – Sustainability

Reduce, Reuse, Rethink: The Problem of Recycling – Sustainability

I was born in the year 2000. Thus, for my entire life, human-caused climate change has been an ever-present, intensifying threat. Throughout my early education, I learned that we all just needed to “do our part” to combat climate change. “Do your part” lessons always culminated in the sentiment that you too could save the cute polar bears by following the motto “reduce, reuse, recycle,” and these were words I took to heart. As an introduction to sustainable practices, this formula isn’t entirely false, but as a greater climate crisis looms on the horizon, we need to rethink our blind faith in this three-step model, particularly recycling. The current practice of recycling (and the industry at large) reflects the flaws of contemporary climate strategy. Assessing the failures of the recycling process can guide us in the direction of a truly sustainable future.

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Continue Reading... ‘Could a basic income support a circular economy?’ summary of the discussion on Basic Income Network Scotland | BIEN — Basic Income Earth Network

‘Could a basic income support a circular economy?’ summary of the discussion on Basic Income Network Scotland | BIEN — Basic Income Earth Network

With the increase in  research on the circular economy system, the basic income and circular economy relationship has also started to be considered. For example, this relationship was examined in the article ‘‘How could a Basic Income support a Circular Economy?’’ published on the Basic Income Network Scotland website on 23 July 2019. In fact, this article is based on the transcript of an interview between Timothea Armor, Basic Income Network Scotland Editor, and Teja Hudson, a zero waste consultant and founder of Zero. The current system of capitalism, free markets, and endless growth, according to Hudson, disappoints us socially. She points out that there are many people who want to make the world a better place, but this disappointment forces them to struggle just to survive. Therefore, she claims that we have lost many bright and creative minds due to preventable social inequalities such as poverty, hunger, disease, gender inequality, persecution, violence and lack of education. Finally, she suggests we need social change, and  these people represent a great untapped potential for that social change.

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Continue Reading... NREL Leads Analysis Of How To Retire PV Modules In Support Of Its Circular Economy Goals 

NREL Leads Analysis Of How To Retire PV Modules In Support Of Its Circular Economy Goals 

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) researchers are leading analyses of recycling, repairing, and reusing solar photovoltaic (PV) installations in support of NREL’s mission to incentivize a circular economy for energy materials.  According to NREL, the increase in the installation of PV systems is leading to environmental and supply chain concerns because the technology relies on imports and mining of raw materials to meet domestic demands.  NREL predicts that, by 2030, decommissioned PV modules could total a million tons of waste in the United States or one percent of the world’s e-waste.  Concerned by these facts, NREL researchers have been leading ongoing analyses of the end-of-life management of PV modules in the current market.  Taylor Curtis, an NREL sustainability analyst, highlights that “[r]epair, reuse, or recovery of this equipment would reduce negative environmental impacts, reduce resource constraints, and stimulate U.S. economic growth.”

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Continue Reading... Forests | Free Full-Text | Exploring Environmental and Economic Costs and Benefits of a Forest-Based Circular Economy: A Literature Review

Forests | Free Full-Text | Exploring Environmental and Economic Costs and Benefits of a Forest-Based Circular Economy: A Literature Review

The role of a forest sector in the transition to a circular economy (CE) is critical. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to summarize the main findings of the most important published articles and to provide insights on the interdisciplinary space at the interface of concepts related to a forest-based CE. Moreover, it attempts to assess the challenges raised from adopting the CE in forest sector. Through a systematic literature review, 69 scientific publications were selected and evaluated by two sights: (i) a descriptive analysis and (ii) a cluster analysis of the keywords related to the forest-based CE. The study highlights the need for additional survey on optimizing the interaction between forest ecosystem services and circular economy. Further discussion is also needed about the relations of the key factors associated with the forest-based circular economy, as they emerged from the cluster analysis and the co-occurrence network map.

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Continue Reading... Calik Denim Joins Ellen MacArthur Jeans Redesign Project –

Calik Denim Joins Ellen MacArthur Jeans Redesign Project –

Calik is doubling down on its circularity goals as the newest addition to the Ellen MacArthur Jeans Redesign project. Launched in 2019, the initiative set out to scale circularity in denim design by setting universal guidelines surrounding durability, material health, recyclability and traceability. Requirements were developed in partnership with representatives from various points in the denim supply chain, including brands, manufacturers, mills, recyclers and academics. After two years, it has garnered support from 94 leading denim organizations, and facilitated the development of more than half a million pairs of circular jeans. Already a champion of circularity, the Turkish denim mill announced that the decision to join the initiative will help drive new innovations from within.

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