Earth Day: EU sets course to circular economy as SCI showcases sustainable technologies

22 April 2024 | Muriel Cozier

‘Developing the EU’s single market to support circularity would create new business opportunities, jobs and security for all Europeans.’

Moving to advance the circular economy, the European Commission has established two initiatives: the EU Circular Economy Resource Centre and the SWITCH to Circular Economy in East and Southern Africa (SWITCH-2-CE in ESA) Programme. The initiatives were made public at the World Circular Economy Forum (WCEF), held in Brussels, Belgium, 15-18 April.

Backed by €15 million in funding, the Circular Economy Resource Centre will focus on sharing policy and best practice with partner countries to foster uptake of circular economy policies and business models. The SWITCH-2-CE in ESA initiative has €40 million in funding and will focus on capacity building, policy support, and improved access to finance, particularly targeting packaging and plastic waste as well as electronics and e-waste value chains.

This development comes as the European Commission warned that ambitious European policies and implementation of circularity were crucial to ensure the EU’s economic prosperity, including low-income countries. ‘Developing the EU’s single market to support circularity would create new business opportunities, jobs and security for all Europeans. This would strengthen the EU’s strategic autonomy. It would also send a powerful signal of a predictable investment environment,’ said Atte Jääskeläinen, president of the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra.

The EU’s announcement, with its focus on plastic waste, came just ahead of Earth Day 2024. The theme of the annual observance, which began in 1970, is Planet vs Plastics, with a call for widespread awareness on the health risks of plastics, a rapid phase out of all single use plastics, a push for a strong UN Treaty on Plastics Pollution, and demands for an end to fast fashion.

Marking Earth Day, SCI has released a virtual collection of papers, from across its journals, which are focused on circularity and sustainability. The SCI Virtual Collection: Advancements in Sustainable Technologies, is guest edited by Professor Mercedes Maroto-Valer, Editor-in-Chief of SCI journal Greenhouse Gases: Science and Technology.

‘The Advancements in Sustainable Technologies collection illustrates the complexity of the global sustainability landscape and I hope it becomes a useful reference to researchers and practitioners working on sustainability as we support Earth Day for a healthier planet and brighter future,’ said Maroto-Valer.

Papers on commercialisation strategies for polyethylene furanoate (PEF) and polyhydroxy alkanoates (PHA) and the influence of extraction of extraction methods on photosynthesis of metallic nanoparticles and their impact on crop growth and protection, showcase the innovative work that has been taking place around the world to combat a range of issues, including plastic pollution, and the move toward a circular and more sustainable future.

Show me news from
All themes
All categories
All years
search by