On 31 January – 1 February took place in Brussels a NEW InnoNet workshop - A practical side of innovations for circular economy.
The workshop connected stakeholders in the field of waste management with the aim to present and discuss real innovation cases, experiences and lessons learned on closing material loops, especially for materials recovered from ICT waste, WEEE, ELV and packaging.
Some of the ongoing and upcoming European initiatives presented at the workshop were the following:
EIT Raw materials – initiated by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), aims to connect academic partners with businesses in Europe to collaborate on finding new innovative solutions to secure the supply of raw materials and improve the performance throughout the value chain, from extraction to the creation of products and its final disposal.
Based in Berlin, the network has currently over 120 partners in 22 EU-countries, which benefit from sharing knowledge, information and expertise.
At the event Ignacio Calleja, thematic officer for circular economy and Recyling at EIT Raw Materials, shared the objectives of EIT Raw materials and some project examples of partnerships between research institutions and the private sector. Some of the supported startups can be consulted here.
More information about EIT Raw materials
Rosa Trigo, Tecnology and Innovation Manager at ECOEMBES presented The Circular Lab, a new initiative around the recycling of waste packaging that will see the light in the spring of 2017.
The idea is to bring together all proposals that seek closing loops through innovation in the field of waste packaging. The Circular Lab will be based in La Rioja, Spain and it will turn the region into a great centre for experimentation, as it aims to test at real scale new contributions in the field of:
- Development of the packaging of the future
- Integrated waste management within smart cities
- Responsible consumption
- Development of new techniques and processes that facilitate the recycling of packaging waste by citizens
More information about the Circular Lab
The aim of RREUSE is to reinforce the importance of giving semi-new products a second life. Instead of improving recycling targets, RREUSE advocates for including re-using targets in EU legislation.
The organisation represents social enterprises which are active in reusing, repairing and recycling products and represents approximately 77,000 employees and over 60,000 volunteers and trainees that work at any of their 30 member networks across 18 countries.
Mathieu Rama, policy officer at RREUSE provided an overview of the barriers and challenges of giving products a second life and bringing them back into the market, presented approaches from other countries promoting reuse of products such as Sweden or Austria and suggested recommendations to several EU Directives and the EU Circular Economy Package.
More information about RREUSE
G. Borge, Project Manager at ZICLA proved during the event that the market is ready to integrate recycled products made from old products if the required techniques are used.
Some of the most demanded products include the Zebra system, a product made from post-consumption and post-industrial waste that is used to separate bicycle lines from normal car roads and the Vectorial system, used to improve accessibility and mobility for public bus users.
More information about ZICLA