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The RE Platform

Interactive Library

This Interactive Library aims to facilitate information exchange between stakeholders interested in resource efficiency. A solid and comprehensive information base is needed to create the required integrated policy approach.

Stakeholders are invited to share their resource efficiency related views, findings and reports and/or to browse through the Library.

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The waste dump of our planet – a look at marine litter

What we throw into the trash bin might end up into the sea. Our understanding is growing on this global issue, which has impacts on marine wildlife but also human health and the economy. Watch this video to find out more.

<Report> Comparative analysis of policy mixes addressing natural resources

Deliverable D3.2 of the EU funded FP7 project DYNAMIX, April 2014

This report provides a comparative analysis of 15 policy mixes addressing different natural resources on which ex-post evaluations have been delivered in the context of the DYNAMIX research project. It also includes lighter analysis of other examples of policy mixes, to supplement the 15 case studies, as a means of drawing on wider real-world experience and thus allowing a wider set of thematic areas to be covered and lessons from broader set of instrument mixes to feed into the comparative analysis.

The report has been prepared by IEEP and partners as part of a European Commission funded research project – DYNAMIX, DYNAmic policy MIXes for absolute decoupling of environmental impact of EU resource use from economic growth – that aims to develop policy mixes to help the EU to reduce substantially its resource use and their environmental impacts while ensuring the prosperity and well-being of its citizens.

Our review suggests that effective policy mixes:
– focus on a specific resource or sector.
– achieve transformation because they match the type and level of ‘lock-in’ in the sector.
– are informed by a clear understanding of limits and thresholds.
– address global impacts of resource use, particularly imports from overseas.
– have clear targets and address all phases of the policy cycle, including built-in monitoring, review and response mechanisms.
– struck the right balance between effectiveness and acceptance.
– have predictable effect, thereby increasing efficiency.
– include information instruments to increase awareness, but do not use them in isolation, because information alone fails to deliver the scale of change required for decoupling.

Link to 'Comparative analysis of policy mixes addressing natural resources'
Link to 'DYNAMIX project'

<Video> The bioeconomy starts here!

European Commission

The Bioeconomy offers Europe a unique opportunity to address complex inter-connected challenges, while achieving economic growth. It can assist Europe in making the transition to a more resource efficient society that relies more strongly on renewable biological resources to satisfy consumers’ needs, industry demand and tackle climate change. This short introductory video outlines the main features of the bioeconomy.

European Sustainable Phosphorous Platform (ESPP)

ESPP

Phosphorus is a non-renewable resource, non-substitutable for food production, essential for agriculture and directly linked to food security, as well as being important in a range of other industrial and technical uses. The world’s mineral phosphate resources are finite, but there is debate about their extent and extractability and about their geographical concentration. However, with ongoing international pressure on raw materials and food production, the need for phosphorus stewardship will endure. At the same time, phosphorus losses pose major environmental issues. Phosphorus is the principal substance contributing to eutrophication and surface water quality failure in much of Europe, whilst Europe’s population eats around twice as much phosphorus as is required for good health.

ESPP ensures knowledge sharing, experience transfer and networking for opportunities in the field of phosphorus management, facilitates discussion between the market, stakeholders and regulators, addresses regulatory obstacles, contributes to policy proposals, circulates information by newsletters, website, conferences and publications, promotes Platform Members’ activities, and contributes to define a long-term vision for phosphorus sustainability in Europe.

Link to 'European Sustainable Phosphorous Platform (ESPP)'

<Report> Nowcasting of and target setting for resource efficiency indicators

Ecorys, March 2013

This study was commissioned by DG Environment to assess the potential for nowcasting and early estimate of resource efficiency indicators. it assessed 66 indicators, selected from the topics and annexes of the Roadmap for a Resource Efficient Europe (RERM) and other sources. The assessment included a detailed classification of the indicator, and assessment of the indicators potential for nowcasting and an assessment of the relevance and suitability of the indicator to environmental sustainability thresholds and target setting. Finally, early estimates and nowcasts were also carried out for a selection of material flow indicators.

By advancing the timeliness of indicators and identifying potential operational environmental sustainability thresholds (ESTs), this study also contributes to the beyond GDP Roadmap outlined in the 2009 European Commission Communication “GDP and beyond: Measuring progress in a changing world”. In this communication the Commission commits itself to “…develop more inclusive indicators that provide a more reliable knowledge base for better public debate and policy-making. The Commission intends to cooperate with stakeholders and partners to develop indicators that are internationally recognised and implemented.” The beyond GDP Roadmap identifies five key actions to improve our indicators of progress in ways that meet citizens’ concerns and make the most of new technical and political developments.

Link to 'Nowcasting of and target setting for resource efficiency indicators'

<Video> Towards a resource efficient Europe – EPR for packaging waste

EurActiv, March 2014

The European Commission is reviewing European Waste legislation in line with the EU Resource Efficiency objectives. This review includes a revision of the waste management targets and Extended producer Responsibility (EPR) as one key policy tool to achieve existing and higher recycling and recovery targets for packaging waste.

This stakeholder conference will draw success factors of EPR for packaging waste with the aim to clarify EPR and the role of obliged industry and other key stakeholders working together towards more transparent and cost-effective EPR schemes.

<Report> Remanufacturing: towards a resource efficient economy

All-Party Parliamentary Sustainable Resource Group, March 2014

Remanufacturing presents a huge financial and environmental opportunity for the UK. Estimates suggest that the value of remanufacturing in the UK is £2.4 billion, with the potential to increase to £5.6 billion alongside the creation of thousands of skilled jobs. Further, the remanufacturing of products results in reduced greenhouse gas emissions, material use and water consumption when compared to the manufacture of new products. Remanufacturing can be considered one element of the wider ‘circular economy’, where products and components are designed, made and reused. However due to the opportunity that remanufacturing presents to the UK’s economy it will be the sole focus of this paper.

There is no universally accepted definition of remanufacturing and there are widespread market and regulatory barriers which impede its uptake. This briefing paper identifies the opportunities and challenges relating to remanufacturing and makes recommendations to Government as to how it can overcome these.

Link to 'Remanufacturing: towards a resource efficient economy'

<Video> Beverage Carton Recycling in Europe

ACE - The Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment, March 2014

Beverage cartons are made of paper covered with thin layers of plastic and aluminium. All three of these material components can be recycled or recovered for energy. In most European countries, beverage cartons are collected from households or from collection points nearby. Over 20 paper mills recycle beverage cartons in Europe. Currently about 40% of beverage cartons are recycled in paper mills in Europe. Recycling beverage cartons saves resources and avoids carbon emissions from landfills. It drives innovation in recycling technologies and sustains jobs in Europe.

Link to 'Beverage Carton Recycling in Europe'

<Report> Waste – Europe’s Untapped Resource – An Assessment of Advanced Biofuels from Wastes & Residues

ICCT, IEEP, ECF, NNFCC, February 2104

This report highlights a number of key findings:

• If all the wastes and residues that are sustainably available in the European Union were converted only to biofuels, this could supply 16 per cent of road transport fuel in 2030. (Technical potential).
• If advanced biofuels from wastes and residues are sourced sustainably, they can deliver GHG savings well in excess of 60 per cent, even when taking a full lifecycle approach.
• Safeguards would be needed to ensure this resource is developed sustainably, including sustainable land management practices that maintain carbon balances and safeguard biodiversity, water resources and soil functionality.
• If this resource were utilized to its full technical potential, up to €15 billion of additional revenues would flow into the rural economy annually and up to 300,000 additional jobs would be created by 2030.
• While some combinations of feedstock and technology will require short-term incentives, others are close to being competitive and require little more than policy certainty.

Link to 'Waste – Europe’s Untapped Resource – An Assessment of Advanced Biofuels from Wastes & Residues'

<Report> What does the Circular Economy mean to Small and Medium sized businesses in Europe?

FUSIONObservatory, February 2014
FUSION project: co-funded by Interreg 2 Seas

The FUSION Observatory has recently completed a survey of 286 companies in France, Belgium and the UK to hear their views on the circular economy. All of the companies questioned have shown a previous interest or are involved in the green economy and the majority of them are SMEs. More than 50% of those questioned had heard of the term and nearly 10% were thinking about it in the context of their business. They have ideas on how they could maximise the benefits of a circular economy and how it could be made more relevant to their companies.

Link to 'What does the Circular Economy mean to Small and Medium sized businesses in Europe?'
Link to 'http://bsk-cic.co.uk/fusion-observatory'