Circular Economy: An economic model designed to minimize waste and maximize the use of resources by keeping them in use for as long as possible, extracting their maximum value and then recovering and regenerating materials at the end of their life.
Closed-loop system: A system where resources are reused and recycled, keeping materials in use and out of waste streams.
Cradle to Cradle: A design concept in which products and materials are designed to be reused, recycled or composted at the end of their life, without losing their value or becoming waste.
Life cycle assessment (LCA): A method used to evaluate the environmental impacts of a product or service over its entire life cycle, from raw material extraction to disposal.
Remanufacturing: A process where used products are disassembled, cleaned, repaired, and reassembled to a quality standard equivalent to that of a new product.
Repairability: The ability of a product to be repaired and maintained, extending its lifespan and reducing the need for replacement.
Reuse: The process of using a product or material again for its original purpose or for a different purpose.
Recycling: The process of converting waste materials into new products or materials.
Upcycling: The process of transforming waste or low-value materials into new products of higher value.
Waste-to-energy: The process of converting waste materials into usable energy, such as heat or electricity, through various methods including incineration and gasification.
A Circular Economy is a model of production and consumption, which involves sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing, and recycling existing materials and products for as long as possible.
Textiles are on average have the fourth highest negative impact on the environment and climate change. Shifting to a circular textile production will allow for textiles to be in use longer and reduce their negative impact. The three main aspects to target when it comes to circular textile production is durability, repairability, and recyclability.
Plastic is one of the most used materials in our daily lives, thus leading to very high consumption. The two main aspects of plastic usage the EU is trying to combat are plastic pollution and marine litter.
https://environment.ec.europa.eu/strategy/circular-economy-action-plan_en - This page features the EU's Circular Economy Action Plan which outlines various initiatives and policy measures designed to reduce waste and promote the reuse, recycling, and sustainable production of goods and materials. The plan focuses on several key areas, including product design, waste management, and resource efficiency, and includes targets for reducing waste and increasing the use of recycled materials in the EU economy. It also provides resources and information on the EU's broader environmental and sustainability efforts, including initiatives related to climate change, biodiversity, and the circular bioeconomy.
https://www.eea.europa.eu/media/infographics#c5=&b_start=0 - A collection of infographics created by the European Environment Agency (EEA) on various environmental topics. The infographics cover a range of subjects, including air and water quality, climate change, biodiversity, and sustainable development
https://www.plasticsrecyclers.eu/about/ - The Plastics Recyclers Europe (PRE) is an association that represents the European plastics recycling industry. The organization works to promote the circular economy for plastics by advocating for policies and initiatives that support sustainable plastic waste management and recycling practices.
https://plasticseurope.org/ - Plastics Europe website is an organization that is committed to supporting a circular economy for plastics, and works to ensure that plastics are used and managed in a way that is environmentally and socially responsible.
https://environment.ec.europa.eu/topics/plastics_en - This page provides information about the EU's efforts to address plastic waste and promote more sustainable use of plastics. It also covers a range of topics related to plastics, including the environmental impact of plastics, plastic waste management, and the circular economy for plastics. It also provides information about the EU's policies and initiatives related to plastics, including the Single Use Plastics Directive, the Circular Plastics Alliance, and the Plastics Strategy.
The Consumer Rights Directive is comprised of consumer rules on a national scale that need to be given to consumers before purchasing goods, services, or digital content. In March 2022, the Commission proposed to amend the Consumer Rights Directive to require companies to provide additional information to consumers including:
Durability: Consumers must be informed about the guaranteed durability of products. If the producer of a consumer good offers a commercial guarantee of durability of more than two years, the seller must provide this information to the consumer. For energy-using goods, the seller must also inform consumers when no information on a commercial guarantee of durability was provided by the producer.
Repairs and updates: The seller must also provide relevant information on repairs, such as the reparability score (where applicable), or other relevant repair information made available by the producer such as the availability of spare parts or a repair manual. For smart devices and digital content and services, the consumer must be also informed about software updates provided by the producer.
The Unfair Commercial Practices Directive (UCPD) is a directive that protects consumers from false claims made by companies. The Commission also proposed to amend this directive by stating new practices companies must abide by including: