The global Circular Economy Club (CEC) initiative has launched an open-source database providing free access to more than 3,000 ‘circular’ green innovations in products and services.
The database shows what is already being done to advance towards a circular economy in more than 100 cities and 60 countries.
A circular economy is one where raw materials are kept in use for as long as possible by designing out waste and promoting reuse, refurbishment and recycling.
Best practice examples
Nearly two thirds of the initiatives in the database are based in Europe - 372 of which are in the UK. Turning waste into a usable resource, extending the life of products and designing for disassembly are the most common strategies.
For example, Recofloor, a vinyl flooring take-back scheme headquartered in Stockport, collects offcuts for the production of new flooring or reprocessing into traffic management products.
Other UK-based examples include initiatives tackling food waste, remanufacturing of high value products, eco-friendly packaging, lease business models and incorporating recycled materials.
More than 2,100 participants have contributed to the database to date and new additions can be submitted on the CEC website.
Legislative measures to encourage circular products and services will begin to become the norm in forthcoming years, with the EU’s long-awaited Circular Economy Package set to come into law this year.
A Circular Design Guide developed by NGO the Ellen MacArthur Foundation is also available online to help businesses get started with circular innovation.