Circular Economy / 10.10.2018

The market for coffee capsules is growing.  The Consumtion grew from 800 tonnes in 2005 up to 20,000 tonnes only ten years later. While environmental activists see in coffee capsules a symbol for system failure, this article describes how coffee capsules could become a model for Circular Economy. But the transitioning process is quite complex. In this article, which was published in the Entsorga-Magazin, we are explaining the difficult situation. Dr. Frank Ziebeil, FZ-Recycling GmbH & Co. KG, Expert on recycling technology is co-author. Entsorga4-2018-Systemversagen oder Modell für Circular Economy [caption...

Circular Economy / 07.10.2018

Up-cycling is legally binding in Germany An explanation : The treatment of waste must safeguard humans and our environment. Taking precautions and sustainability are legally binding. The level of substitution of material or energy is the measure for success.  This is what the German Circular Economy legislation (Kreislaufwirtschaftsgesetz (KrWG) defines. Especially treatment in the form of cascades are emphasised to be of high value. This means that the material use shall be bigger in the beginnen of the treatment cascade, alway following resource optimisation processes. What does recycling mean? The definition of recycling  in...

Circular Economy / 12.09.2018

The Circular Economy needs the same rules. Therefore a synchronisation of legislation is necessary. The EU commission has already started a participation process. The problem to be solved is based in the huge complexity: more than 3,300 materials or substances are known. Out of these about 2,000 are registered in the European data base REACH. Besides these materials are offered as compounds, which are multi-material products, such as plastic-metal compounds we find in electronic devices, windows, furniture or else. But the goal of circular economy is a better...

Circular Economy / 01.08.2018

Carbon is bad for the climate; that’s now common knowledge. But there is also “good” carbon, which makes it possible for us to store CO2and helps us to cool the climate down. The ‘Fachverband Pflanzenkohle’ [Specialist Association for Vegetable Carbon] now intends to provide information and support for “good” carbon. Dr Susanne Vester, Chairperson of the Fachverband Pflanzenkohle, explained to me everything that the “good” vegetable carbon is capable of and how it is produced:   “Vegetable carbon has many properties! It is used as an additive in skin cream, feed,...

Circular Economy / 24.07.2018

thinkstep and Thinking Circular have joined forces to offer workshops and solutions to guide businesses in implementing Circular Economy as a means of reaching their Sustainable Development Goals. Currently listed on the UN Sustainable Development Goals Help Desk to assist businesses, on August 1 (3pm-4pm CET) thinkstep and Thinking Circular will hold a joint webinar entitled Circular Economy Policies – Tackling Your Strategy. Global challenges and new legislation are forcing companies to rethink their material resource strategies. Now businesses need integrative concepts for supply chains and materials flows (design...

Circular Economy, highlights / 08.06.2018

80% of the world’s phosphorus is found in natural mines in just four countries on the planet. Only a handful of companies in the world produce phosphorus. Europe and Germany in particular is the most dependent on imports, specifically by 95%. Neither deposits nor production capacities can be considered to be secure. In addition, phosphorus thins out and virtually disappears on the earth, as it is repeatedly dispersed. This is because 90% of the phosphorus mined as phosphate ore is used in food manufacturing. However, out of the...

Circular Economy, highlights, Tools / 04.06.2018

Classical economists such as Adam Smith described consumption as the end of economic activity, thereby defining our throwaway society. One of the main theses of the physiocrats was that it must be possible to master nature in order to create the foundation for economic activity. The basic concept of the Circular Economy does not share these theses. It is only by understanding nature that we will be able to carry out economic activity in the long term in such a way that we are even able to survive...

Circular Economy, recycling / 17.05.2018

A delicious, warm pizza, just ordered from the pizza place around the corner and delivered to the office within 30 minutes. The product, delivered in what appears to be an ecologically sound recyclable cardboard box, eases our guilty conscience as regards our carbon footprint. Our mouths water until we ask ourselves where the box has actually come from and whether the pizza actually absorbs the heavy metals from the box like a sponge. Heavy metal pizza instead of salami pizza? Professor Braungart, chemist and forefather of Greenpeace’s chemistry department,...

Circular Economy, general, Tools / 09.05.2018

You can meet me in Munich at IFAT, the world’s leading trade fair for environmental technologies! Hall A3, stand 127/226 with our network partner, Ecoliance Hall A4, stand 115/214 with our network partner, Ecoliance Get in touch and we can arrange an individual appointment! Furthermore, I will be taking part in the ITAD panel discussion at 15:30 on 17.05.18. The topic of discussion will be whether or not the provisions of the Circular Economy Package represent genuine progress. You can already read about my thoughts on the issue in this blog article: Professor Braungart...

Circular Economy, general, power, processes / 09.05.2018

According to information from the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, around 60 million people across the globe are registered as refugees. They are fleeing from war, violence and land theft to secure raw material supply. Among their number are those people who have been robbed of their livelihood due to ecological crises such as droughts or flooding. The precise combination of poverty, exploitation, violence, environmental disasters and lack of opportunities causes people to flee. At the same time, obsessive consumerism rages in our societies and continues to grow. We are...