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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    Some pervasive challenges to sustainability by design of electronic products - a conceptual discussion

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Rafael Laurenti, Rajib Sinha, Jagdeep Singh, Björn Frostell

    Source: 

    Year: 

    2015

    "Sustainability should encompass responsibility for unintended environmental consequences of modern developments. This study examined some pervasive challenges to sustainability by design of electronic products, namely: (i) product and consumption redundancies; (i) embodied environmental and social impacts occurring distant in time and space from the point of consumption; and (iii) production and consumption dynamics. This analysis identified essential developments in certain areas that can assist design practice in preventing unintended environmental consequences. These were: (1)...

    Crossing the threshold: municipal waste policy and household waste generation

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Harriet Bulkeley, Nicky Gregson

    Source: 

    Year: 

    2009

    "This paper connects research on home-based consumption with research on waste policy and governance. We argue that, in order to meet the enhanced goals of waste reduction specified in Waste Strategy for England 2007, UK municipal waste policy needs a far closer engagement with the household, the primary unit of consumption. Opening-up the ‘black box’ of the household, we show why the potential for achieving enhanced rates of materials diversion through recycling is limited in certain neighbourhoods. We demonstrate the potential for furthering waste reduction through the intensification of...

    Designing an environmentally conscious tire closed-loop supply chain network with multiple recovery options using interactive fuzzy goal programming

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Kemal Subulan, A. Serdar Tasan, Adil Baykasoglu

    Year: 

    2015

    "Significant environmental problems have been caused by the growth in the volume of used tires each year. In addition, remanufacturing and recycling options related to the end of life for tires are crucial issues at present because of difficulties related to the degradation of these scrap tires in the environment and the economic benefits of material and energy recovery. Thus, effective collection, storage, recycling, and appropriate disposal methods are required for used tires without damaging the environment by designing an efficient closed-loop supply chain network. Based on this...

    The econonomics of tire remanufacturing

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Geraldo Ferrer

    Source: 

    Year: 

    1996

    "The world market for tires is described to identify the current material flow from raw materials to tires and the used tire disposal problem. Then, I describe the value-adding operations in the tire production process and in the tire retreading process. Once retreading is identified as the only recovery alternative that maximizes tire utilization, I explain why heat generation is the only recovery alternative, when retreading is not technically feasible. The economic values of heat generation in electric plants and in cement kilns are discussed. The paper culminates with the case of...

    Towards Sustainable Plastic Recycling in India - Experiences from the field

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Arthur Haarman

    Year: 

    2015

    "This report was prepared for the project "Managing hazardous additives in plastic reycycling in India". This project is part of the Sustainable Recycling Industries programme (SRI), funded by the Swiss State Secretariat of Economic Affairs (SECO) and jointly implemented by the Institute for Materials Science & Technology (Empa), the World Resources Forum (WRF) and ecoinvent." (p. 1)

    The opportunities to business of improving resource efficiency

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Bio Intelligence Service, AMEC

    Year: 

    2013

    "This study forms part of the Commission's on-going analysis of the opportunities to be gained from improving resource efficiency and how best to help business realise the potential economic, as well as environmental and social benefit." (Executive Summary)

    The Role of Additive Manufacturing in Improving Resource Efficiency and Sustainability

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Mélanie Despeisse, Simon Ford

    Year: 

    2015

    "Additive manufacturing is heralded as a revolutionary process technology. While it has yet to cause a dramatic transformation of the manufacturing system, there are early signs of how the characteristics of this novel production process can improve resource efficiency and other sustainability aspects. In this paper, we draw on examples from a wide range of products and industries to understand the role of additive manufacturing in sustainable industrial systems. We identify four main areas in which the adoption of additive manufacturing is leading to improved resource efficiency: (1)...

    Achieving carbon emission reduction through industrial & urban symbiosis

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Huijuan Dong, Satoshi Ohnishi, Tsuyoshi Fujita, Yong Geng, Minoru Fujii, Liang Dong

    Year: 

    2014

    "Industry and fossil fuel combustion are the main sources for urban carbon emissions. Most studies focus on energy consumption emission reduction and energy efficiency improvement. Material saving is also important for carbon emission reduction from a lifecycle perspective. IS (Industrial symbiosis) and UrS (urban symbiosis) have been effective since both of them encourage byproduct exchange. However, quantitative carbon emission reduction evaluation on applying them is still lacking. Consequently, the purpose of this paper is to fill such a gap through a case study in Kawasaki Eco-town,...

    Industrial Symbiosis in Kalundborg, Denmark: A Quantative Assessment of Economic and Environmental Aspects

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Noel Brings Jacobsen

    Year: 

    2006

    "As a subdiscipline of industrial ecology, industrial symbiosis is concerned with resource optimization among colocated companies. The industrial symbiosis complex in Kalundborg, Denmark is the seminal example of industrial symbiosis in the industrial ecology literature. In spite of this, there has been no in-depth quantitative analysis enabling more comprehensive understanding of economic and environmental performances connected to this case. In this article some of the central industrial symbiotic exchanges, involving water and steam, in Kalundborg are analyzed, using detailed economic...

    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...

    Enabling closed resource loops in electronics: understanding consumer disposal behaviour using insights from diffusion models

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Deepali Sinha Khetriwal, Ivana First

    Year: 

    2012

    "The paper explores consumer disposal behaviour, especially in the context of durable electronic products. The purpose of the research is to understand why, how and when consumers dispose of their durable products. The research aims to provide policy makers, waste managers and product marketers new insights on consumer disposal behaviour that will help improve policy, encourage better resource management and incentivise product designs that maximise environmental and social benefits. We apply knowledge from the extensive literature on diffusion modelling to develop and test our hypothesis...

    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)

    Intelligent Assets: Unlocking the circular economy potential

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    World Economic Forum, Ellen MacArthur Foundation

    Source: 

    Ellen MacArthur Foundation

    Year: 

    2016

    "This report illustrates opportunities for innovation and creativity across a spectrum of
    industries and sectors: it looks at how we manufacture and use electronics and advanced
    equipment, how we create our energy infrastructure, how we build and transform our
    buildings, and how we produce food. It assesses how smart cities might evolve to become
    a focal point for the transitions to follow. There are profit opportunities for companies to
    play for but perhaps more importantly, there’s an opportunity for society to redefine its
    relationship with resources...

    The New Plastics Economy: Catalysing action

    Type of evidence: 

    Source: 

    Ellen MacArthur Foundation

    Year: 

    2017

    "Launched at the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting in Davos in January 2017, this new research presents three strategies to increase reuse and recycling of plastic packaging to 70%, from today's recycling rate of just 14%. The report provides a clear action plan, endorsed by over 40 industry leaders, for the global plastics industry to design better packaging, increase recycling rates, and introduce new models for making better use of packaging." (https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation....

    The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the future of plastics

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    World Economic Forum, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, McKinsey & Company

    Source: 

    Year: 

    2016

    "The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the future of plastics provides, for the first time, a vision of a global economy in which plastics never become waste, and outlines concrete steps towards achieving the systematic shift needed." (https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/publications/the-new-plastics-e...)

    Towards the Circular Economy Vol. 1: an economic and business rationale for an accelerated transition

    Type of evidence: 

    Source: 

    Ellen MacArthur Foundation

    Year: 

    2012

    "Using product case studies and economic-wide analysis, this report details the potential for significant benefits across the EU. It argues that a subset of the EU manufacturing sector could realise net materials cost savings worth up to $ 630 billion p.a. towards 2025 - stimulating economic activity in areas of product development, remanufacturing and refurbishment." (https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/publications/...

    Towards the Circular Economy Vol. 2: opportunities for the consumer goods sector

    Type of evidence: 

    Source: 

    Ellen MacArthur Foundation

    Year: 

    2013

    "The report focuses on fast-moving consumer goods, which currently accounts for about 60 per cent of total consumer spending, 35 per cent of material inputs into the economy, and 75 per cent of municipal waste. Importantly, the consumer goods sector absorbs more than 90 per cent of our agricultural output - possibly our most embattled resource in the future." (https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/publications/towards-the-circul...)

    Towards the Circular Economy Vol. 3: Accelerating the scale-up across global supply chains

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    World Economic Forum, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, McKinsey & Company

    Source: 

    Ellen MacArthur Foundation

    Year: 

    2014

    "Towards the Circular Economy vol.3: accelerating the scale-up across global supply chains, finds that over US$1 trillion a year could be generated by 2025 for the global economy and 100,000 new jobs created for the next five years if companies focused on encouraging the build-up of circular supply chains to increase the rate of recycling, reuse, and remanufacture. This would maximize the value of materials when products approach the end of their use." (...

    Employment and the circular economy job creation through resource efficiency in London

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Peter Mitchell

    Year: 

    2015

    "Several city leagues confirm that London is the best big city to live in, to work in, and to visit – renowned for its culture, diversity, innovation and leading position in sectors such as finance and professional services. But it also has a vibrant green economy, with exceptional skills in renewable energy, carbon finance and sustainable building technologies. Indeed, a 2013 report concluded that London’s Low Carbon Environmental Goods and Services1 sector now contributes over £25.4bn to the economy, with strong growth of over 5% year on year. Three possible plausible futures to 2030 for...

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