Library

The library contains a wealth of information on the circular economy for use by policy makers and analysts conducting impact assessments. For more information on impact assessments and the EU's Better Regulation Agenda, please click here.

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    Circular economy in Europe: Developing the knowledge base

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Almut Reichel, Mieke De Schoenmakere, Jeroen Gillabel

    Source: 

    EEA

    Year: 

    2016

    This report seeks to help policy makers to better understand the circular economy, by focusing on four of its dimensions; the main enabling factors and transition challenges, indicators for measuring progress and contextual issues. One of the main conclusions regarding the monitoring of progress is that for now the focus is on developments in resource efficiency and waste management, which covers a part, but not the whole, of the circular economy. More data is needed on eco-design, the sharing economy, and repair and reuse. Furthermore, social indicators, industrial symbiosis indicators...

    Growth within: A circular economy vision for a competitive Europe

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Ellen MacArthur et al.

    Source: 

    Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the McKinsey Center for Business and Environment (sponsered by Stiftungsfonds für Umweltökonomie)

    Year: 

    2015

    This report seeks to answer five questions:

    1. Is Europe’s current resource model effective?
    2. Will the technology revolution solve Europe’s resource issues?
    3. What would a circular economy in Europe look like?
    4. What economic outcomes could a circular model achieve in Europe?
    5. If Europe decided to shift towards a circular model, how could policy-makers and business leaders accelerate the transition?

    Three of Europe’s most resource-intensive basic needs are discussed; food, mobility and the built environment, all together comprising 60% of...

    Environmental taxation and EU environmental policies

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Stefan Speck, Susanna Paleari

    Source: 

    EEA

    Year: 

    2016

    "This report does three things. It provides an overview of market-based instruments (MBIs) established by EU environmental legislation. Then it explains the established definitions and rationales for the application of environmental taxes and discusses their current design and application in EEA member countries. It concludes with overall findings and some reflections on the potential for long-term tax-shifting programmes in the context of policy targets as well as technlogical innovation and demographic changes." (p. 6)

    Resource Efficiency: Potential and Economic Implications

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Paul Ekins, Nick Hughes et al.

    Source: 

    International Resource Panel

    Year: 

    2017

    "This report examines the potential for increasing resource efficiency in industrialized countries, including the G7, emerging economies and developing countries. It focuses on the use of natural resources and the environment, including energy, land, water, raw materials: biotic and abiotic, marine and freshwater, oceanic and terrestrial. The evidence base includes the recent and ongoing work of the International Resource Panel, as well as that of a number of international organizations that have addressed this issue. The report also seeks to identify transboundary effects and discusses...

    Circular by design: Products in the circular economy

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Mieke De Schoenmakere, Jeroen Gillabel

    Source: 

    EEA

    Year: 

    2017

    "This report explores the circular economy from a product perspective, applying a systemic approach and transition theory. Drivers of product design and usage are discussed in the context of emerging consumption trends and business models. For governance to be effective, it has to address the product life-cycle and the societal context determining it. Indicators and assessment tools will be needed to fill the current data and knowledge gaps." (p. 6)

    Lead Action 21: Environmental and social responsibility for the 21st century

    Type of evidence: 

    Source: 

    International Lead Assocation

    Year: 

    2015

    Lead enjoys one of the highest recycling rates of all materials in common use today. This is a result of its fundamental properties, good design and the ways in which it is used, which make lead-based products easily identifiable and economic to collect and recycle. As a result, over half of the lead produced and used each year throughout the world has been used before in other products. What is more, because lead is a naturally occurring element, the quality of the recycled lead is identical to that of primary metal from mining. The use of lead has evolved over the years, with a...

    Achieving 'Growth Within'

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Jocelyn Blériot et al.

    Source: 

    Ellen MacArthur Foundation, SYSTEMIQ

    Year: 

    2017

    "An additional €320 billion of circular economy investment opportunities is available to investors in the European Union (EU) until 2025 that can be unlocked through modest action by policy makers or industry. This investment would put the EU on the path to seize the economic, societal, and environmental benefits of the transition to a circular economy and mitigate the mounting risks that reside in conventional industrial assets in an era of rapid change." (p. 10)

    The Circular Economy: A review of definitions, processes and impacts

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Vasileios Rizos, Katja Tuokko, Arno Behrens

    Source: 

    CEPS

    Year: 

    2017

    Transforming the linear economy, which has remained the dominant model since the onset of the Industrial Revolution, into a circular one is by no means an easy task. Such a radical change entails a major transformation of our current production and consumption patterns, which in turn will have a significant impact on the economy, the environment and society. Understanding these impacts is crucial for researchers as well as for policy-makers engaged in designing future policies in the field. This requires developing an in-depth knowledge of the concept of the circular economy, its processes...

    ECOBULK

    Type of evidence: 

    Year: 

    2017

    "ECOBULK through a large scale demonstration effort will contribute to “closing the loop” of composite products in the automotive, furniture and building sectors by promoting greater re-use, upgrade, refurbishment and recycle of products, parts, and materials. It will bring opportunities for both the environment and the economy by offering business opportunities along the entire new defined supply and value chains. ECOBULK approach will be based on identifying and promoting commonalities in processes, technologies, products and services ensuring replicability and transferability to other...

    Integration of Advanced Biofuels in the Circular Economy: Identifying major innovation options

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    René van Ree

    Source: 

    IEA Bioenergy

    Year: 

    2016

    Discusses ideal bioeconomy using biofuel and bioenergy, with an analysis of fuel projects, commercial status of various biofuel technologies, cascading use of biomass, and market values of different products

    The effect of bioenergy expansion: Food, energy, and environment

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    J. Popp, Z.Lakner, M.Harangi-Rákos, M.Fári

    Source: 

    Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews

    Year: 

    2014

    "The increasing prices and environmental impacts of fossil fuels have made the production of biofuels to reach unprecedented volumes over the last 15 years. Given the increasing land requirement for biofuel production, the assessment of the impacts that extensive biofuel production may cause to food supply and to the environment has considerable importance. Agriculture faces some major inter-connected challenges in delivering food security at a time of increasing pressures from population growth, changing consumption patterns and dietary preferences, and post-harvest losses. At the same...

    Biofuels in the long-run global energy supply mix for transportation

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Govinda R. Timilsina

    Source: 

    Philosophical Transaction od the Royal Society A

    Year: 

    2014

    "Various policy instruments along with increasing oil prices have contributed to a sixfold increase in global biofuels production over the last decade (2000–2010). This rapid growth has proved controversial, however, and has raised concerns over potential conflicts with global food security and climate change mitigation. To address these concerns, policy support is now focused on advanced or second-generation biofuels instead of crop-based first-generation biofuels. This policy shift, together with the global financial crisis, has slowed the growth of biofuels production, which has...

    Bioenergy and europes quest for a circular economy

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Lisa Benedetti

    Source: 

    Eubioenergy

    Year: 

    2015

    "Europe is on the move to become a ‘circular economy’ which is more competitive and resource efficient. The goal is a more circular flow of materials and energy so that Europeans use and consume in a way that creates minimal waste and puts less pressure on natural resources on this continent and other parts of the world. Sounds like a common sense plan…right? Yes, but one important question arises. Why isn’t the Commission including different types of biomass (biological material) as part of the circular economy equation?" (...

    Sustainable alternatives for land-based biofuels in the European Union: Assessment of options and development of a policy strategy

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Bettina Kampman, Anouk van Grinsven, Harry Croezen

    Source: 

    CE Delft

    Year: 

    2012

    Discusses sustainable biofuels, alternatives to land-based biofuels, how to meet the RED and FQD targets sustainability, and developing scenarios for 202 with respect to the EU.

    The Litte Book of Biofuels

    Type of evidence: 

    Source: 

    BirdLife International, European Environmental Bureau (EEB), Transport & Environment (T&E)

    Year: 

    2014

    "With the launch of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) in 2009, Europe’s demand for biofuels has skyrocketed. To meet this new demand, the global production of biofuels has also increased significantly. In fact, did you know that every car in Europe uses a blend of biofuels? That’s how common this product has become. Biofuels use vegetable oils, cereals, sugars and waste fats – mainly extracted from rapeseed, soy, palm trees, corn and wheat – to create energy. Because biofuels are derived from plant products, any increase or decrease in their use has a direct impact on agriculture...

    Synopsis

    Type of evidence: 

    Source: 

    National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bio-products

    Year: 

    2014

    "The National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts (NAABB), an algal biofuels research consortium, was formed to specifically address the objectives set forth by the U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (DOE-EERE), Office of Biomass Programs (now called the Bioenergy Technologies Office, BETO), under the funding opportunity announcement DE-FOA-0000123, “Development of Algal/Advanced Biofuels Consortia”. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provided the funds for this effort. In this announcement DOE sought consortia that would “...

    Waste-to-Energy Workshop Summary

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Energetics Incorporated

    Source: 

    US Department of Energy

    Year: 

    2015

    "This report is based on the proceedings of the Waste-to-Energy (WTE) Workshop held by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) on November 5, 2014, in Arlington, VA. The workshop gathered stakeholders from industry, academia, national laboratories, and government to discuss the issues and potential for research, development, and demonstration activities to pave the way for large-scale production of cost-competitive, renewable fuels from wet waste biomass resources. The ideas provided here represent a snapshot of the perspectives and ideas generated by the...

    2015 Bioenergy Market Report

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Ethan Warner, Kristi Moriarty, John Lewis, Anelia Milbrandt, Amy Schwab

    Source: 

    US Department of Energy

    Year: 

    2017

    "This report provides a status of the markets and technology development involved in growing a domestic bioenergy economy. It compiles and integrates information to provide a snapshot of the current state and historical trends influencing the development of bioenergy markets. This information is intended for policy-makers as well as technology developers and investors tracking bioenergy developments. It also highlights some of the key energy and regulatory drivers of bioenergy markets. This report is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO...

    Come fry with me: China uses waste cooking oil from restaurants to fuel commercial airline flight

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Tracy You

    Source: 

    Daily Mail

    Year: 

    2015

    "Hainan Airlines completed China's first commercial flight using biofuel. Waste cooking oil is used as the raw material to mix with normal jet fuel. The Boeing 737-800 flew around 100 pas-sengers from Shanghai to Bejiing. A handful of countries pos-sesses the ability to create its own biofuel. Waste oil is major health problem in China as it is collected from gutters and sold back to restaurants" (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/...

    MefCO2

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Ángel Sánchez Díaz, Rocío Pacios Blein

    Source: 

    Spire2030

    Year: 

    2014

    "Methanol represents one of the most common and widespread platform chemicals and precursors for further synthesis, and is traditionally produced from synthesis gas, obtained by the reforming of natural gas. This methanol synthesis process operates in a stable, high-throughput manner and demands low carbon dioxide/carbon monoxide ratios in feed. The current project is to encompass flexible (in operation and feed) methanol synthesis with high carbon dioxide concentration-streams as an input, the latter originating from thermal power stations using fossil fuels. The technology is also...

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