World Circular Economy Forum 2019: renewing the economy, as we know it

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On 3-5 June 2019, the third edition of the World Circular Economy Forum (WCEF) will take place in Helsinki, Finland.

Over two thousand circular economy thinkers, strategists and experts will gather to discuss how to scale up the transition to the next era of the circular economy.

The WCEF will focus on innovative solutions for the renewal of the world’s economy.

How can we implement circular economy solutions as efficiently as possible? How can their positive outcomes be distributed fairly? How can businesses seize new advantages through the circular economy?

These are just a few of the questions that will be discussed at the WCEF.

As part of its continuous effort to transform Europe's economy into a more sustainable one and to implement the ambitious Circular Economy Action Plan, the European Commission has been funding break-through projects that aim at developing disruptive and inspiring circular economy innovations.

EU funding programmes such as Horizon 2020 and the LIFE programme support the transition to a circular economy.

Furthermore, all 54 actions under the Circular Economy Action Plan launched in 2015 have now been delivered or are being implemented.

At the WCEF the European Commission will showcase some of the most inspiring projects that are working towards the transition to a circular economy.

Projects funded by the Horizon 2020 SC5 programme:

CIRC-PACK aims to transform plastic packaging waste into a resource. The project will develop more sustainable, bio-based and recyclable plastics used for the manufacture of a wide range of products: trays, bottles, coffee capsules, jars, car parts, pallets, and new types of multi-layer and multi-material packaging.

ReCiPSS (Resource-efficient Circular Product-Service Systems) is composed of two industrial large-scale demonstrators out of the Automotive and White Goods industry. To successfully implement the demonstrators, ReCiPSS will develop further circular tools and ICT platforms. These will allow data exchange for both cases: usage tracking or remote monitoring purposes in case of white goods as well as value chain collaboration in case of automotive parts.

URBANREC will implement an eco-innovative and integral bulky waste management system and demonstrate its effectiveness in different EU regions. It will develop new approaches for the valorisation of urban bulky waste into high added value recycled products.

The objective of ZERO BRINE is to prove that minerals, such as magnesium, and clean water can be recuperated from industrial processes for reuse in other industries. The project advances new circular economy business model solutions to reduce industrial saline wastewater streams, thus ‘closing the loop’ and improving the environmental impacts of production.

FiberEUse consists in a large scale demonstration of new circular economy value-chains based on the reuse of end-of-life fiber reinforced composites. The project aims at integrating different innovation actions through a holistic approach to enhance profitability of composite recycling and reuse in value-added products.

The PolyCE project is based on a consortium of 20 expert organisations. The project has taken on the challenge of addressing the circular management of plastic waste. Over the next years, PolyCE will aim at significantly reducing the use of virgin plastics and enhancing the use of recycled plastics in new electronics applications.

C-SERVEES aims to boost a resource-efficient circular economy in the electrical and electronic (E&E) sector through the development, testing, validation and transfer of new circular economic business models (CEBMs) based on systemic eco-innovative services.

The CarE-Service project aims at demonstrating Innovative Circular Economy Business Models based on advanced mobility services exploiting hybrid and electric vehicles. Such business models will entail re-use, remanufacturing and recycling of components and materials of hybrid and electric vehicles for applications in the automotive sector as well as in other sectors.

The Water2Return consortium is launching several questionnaires to engage relevant stakeholders. The aim is to build a community of relevant people around Water2REturn Circular Economy approach with the purpose of facilitating discussion and fostering dialogue on cross-cutting challenges identified by the project.

The overall objective of PAPERCHAIN is to deploy five novel circular economy models centred in the valorisation of the waste streams generated by the paper and pulp industry. The waste streams would act as secondary raw material for a number of resource intensive sectors: construction sector, mining sector and chemical industry.

The FISSAC project involves stakeholders at all levels of the construction and demolition value chain. The project’s goal is to develop a methodology and a software platform to facilitate information exchange that can support industrial symbiosis networks and replicate pilot schemes at local and regional levels.

CIRCUSOL wants to unleash the full potential of circular business models, in particular Product-Service Systems (PSS), to deliver benefits for the environment, the economy and the users. By doing that, CIRCUSOL aims to establish solar power as a spearhead sector and to demonstrate a new path driven by service-based businesses towards a circular economy in Europe.

BAMB is creating new ways to increase the value of building materials. Dynamically and flexibly designed buildings can be incorporated into a circular economy where materials in buildings sustain their value. That will lead to waste reduction and the use of fewer virgin resources.

CREAToR focuses on process development and demonstration to remove hazardous materials from waste streams using continuous purification technologies. The strong industrial/recycler presence in the consortium will ensure the market relevance of the developments and the rapid commercialisation of the results within 1-2 years after the end of the project.

CIRCULAR FLOORING aims to enable circular use of plasticized PVC (PVC-P) from waste flooring by developing recycling processes that eliminate plasticizers including hazardous phthalic acid esters. The results will be obtained thanks to the production of high quality recycled PVC and re-use of recycled polymers and additives in new flooring applications.

The REACT project will address the management of waste acrylic textiles coming from outdoor awnings and furnishing. The project’s end goal is to set recommendations on the design and manufacturing of materials for recyclability and on the recycling process for standardization of the whole process, that would be applied on other sectors.

REMADYL aims at recycling so-called ‘old PVC’, i.e. PVC additivated with hazardous legacy substances. This ‘old PVC’ constitutes most of current hard (e.g. window frames, tubes) and soft (e.g. flooring or cables) PVC post-consumer waste. REMADYL will demonstrate the circular use of PVC for window profiles and waterproofing sheets, providing a flagship example for the circular economy.

The overall objective of NONTOX is to increase the recycling rates of plastics waste containing hazardous substances by developing and optimising recycling processes to produce safe and high quality secondary plastic materials and by optimising the overall process economics by integration.

PLAST2bCLEANED’s aim is to develop a recycling process for WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) plastics in a technically feasible, environmentally sound and economically viable manner. By doing so, PLAST2bCLEANED will close three loops: (1) polymer, (2) bromine, and (3) antimony trioxide.

Projects funded by the LIFE programme:

The project aims at developing an energy autonomous brine treatment system for the complete elimination of brine. The project resulted in high water recovery (>90%) and production of dry salt with market prospects, adding one more valuable output to the entire system. The implementation of SOLBRINE contributed significantly to the development of full-scale brine elimination systems.

CEPLAFIB aims to orchestrate a new circular economy in which recycled postconsumer plastic will be reinforced with reclaimed pulp fibres, obtained from wasted newsprint paper, to improve their performance and to stabilize the recycling flows for their direct use in mass application sectors.

The RECYSITE consortium proposes a new approach to composites world by the validation of new fully recyclable biocomposites obtained from natural resources in two different sectors: transportation (refrigerated swap body) and construction (modular façade wall). By doing so, the transferability of the project’s results will be demonstrated.   


Projects funded by the EIC – SME Instrument:

The project SOMAPI resulted into, an on-line department store where pre-owned Items can be purchased in a cost-efficient and easy-to-use way. The Items that are no longer needed are sent to's fulfillment center where they are sorted, photographed, packed and stored.

Home of Cool
Home of Cool™ is a novel electronic and environment-friendly limited space cooler that does not use a compressor or a chemical refrigerant. Its target markets are POS (Point of Sales) and POP (Point of Purchase) vending cooler suppliers for big brands of food and beverage industries.

The ALS2.0 project will develop an innovative chemical-less separation technology for the refining of gold and other precious metals. The final goal of the project is to eliminate the obsolete chemicals and electrochemical processes used in gold prerefining since 1883. 

The FlexPack2Circle aims at transferring flexible packaging waste (FlexPack) into the circular economy. The project is coordinated by SAPERATEC, a German company that has developed a completely new way to separate composite materials and thus to recover clean and valuable secondary raw materials.


Do you want to learn more about the World Circular Economy Forum 2019? Visit the event's website
Do you want to discover the other projects dealing with Circular Economy? Visit EASME Data Hubs

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