Integrating circular economy and bioeconomy would improve sustainability in Europe

Europe uses natural resources unsustainably and the European Union has put in place policies on circular economy and bioeconomy in response. A new European Environment Agency (EEA) report argues that implementing these two concepts in tandem, by applying specific design principles within a systemic approach, would improve resource efficiency and reduce environmental pressures.

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Product reuse and longer lifespans hold untapped potential to cut waste in Europe

Reuse of products can reduce material demand and prevent waste, which are important aspects of EU waste policy and essential for achieving a circular economy. However, current approaches to promote reuse in Member States are diverse and rely mostly on voluntary arrangements, according to a European Environment Agency report, published today. While reuse is an established market model for some products, such as cars, similar practices are still in their infancy for most other product groups.

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New data collected by citizens: Cigarette butts and filters the most common pieces of litter on Europe’s beaches

The European Environment Agency (EEA) has released new data about litter found on Europe’s beaches. Based on nearly 700,000 collected items, disposable plastics are the biggest contributor to marine litter, with cigarette butts and filters being the most commonly found individual items. The new data has been collected by volunteers using the EEA’s Marine LitterWatch mobile app.

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Video competition: Share your green actions

How did you get to work or school today? By car, bicycle or public transport? Every day we make decisions that can impact the environment. Some of our daily decisions are conscious efforts to live in a cleaner and healthier environment. The video competition ‘I LIVE GREEN’, organised by the European Environment Agency (EEA) and its partner network, invites all Europeans to show their creativity and to share their actions to help the environment. The best videos will receive a cash prize.

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Critical gaps remain in Europe’s environmental performance despite improvements

The European Union (EU) is making stronger progress towards a resource-efficient, low-carbon economy than in protecting biodiversity, natural capital and people’s health. An annual European Environment Agency (EEA) environmental indicator report analyses whether the EU is achieving by 2020 a selected set of environmental objectives.

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Better mix of measures including pricing and awareness campaigns key to improving sustainable water use

In the face of challenges like drought and growing demand in many European Union countries, managing water supplies will require a better mix of pricing and non-pricing measures to ensure efficient household water use, according to a new European Environment Agency briefing published today.

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Smarter products and services key to resource-efficient, circular economy

Making products like mobile phones and other consumer goods last longer and easier to repair and reuse will be key to the shift towards a more resource-efficient circular economy. A European Environment Agency (EEA) report published today stresses that ‘circular’ business models cannot rely on smarter product design alone, but will also require the development of related support services and recycling infrastructure.

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European hazardous waste management improving, but its prevention needs attention

Despite improvements in hazardous waste management, more measures would be required to prevent the build-up of hazardous waste across Europe, according to a European Environment Agency (EEA) report released today. The report reviews the application of waste prevention programmes across European countries regarding waste types that are considered to be most dangerous to human health and the environment.

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Less household waste going to landfill in Europe

European countries are improving their methods to prevent household trash and other municipal waste from ending up in landfill sites. Recycling rates, in particular, have increased considerably across Europe over the past decade, due in part to European environmental policies, according to a new European Environment Agency (EEA) assessment published today.

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Resource efficiency in Europe: benefits of doing more with less

Many European countries are realising the economic benefits of making more efficient use of material resources like metals, fossil fuels and minerals. But more action is needed to underpin this trend in resource efficiency with stronger policies on energy, material resources, waste management and on circular economy. These are the findings from a new European Environment Agency (EEA) assessment published today.

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Renewables increasingly curbing reliance on fossil fuels

The use of fossil fuels across the European Union continues to decline due in part to increased consumption of renewable energy sources like wind, solar and biomass, according to a report published today by the European Environment Agency (EEA). The report, which assesses progress on the use of renewable energy, found that clean energy technologies are an important driving force in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and in creating employment in Europe.

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Circular economy to have considerable benefits, but challenges remain

The environmental benefits of adopting a circular economy in Europe could be considerable – reducing waste, and minimising the continent’s heavy dependence on imports of raw materials. A new report published today by the European Environment Agency (EEA) draws attention to both the benefits and challenges of such an economic transition. The report also describes possible ways to measure progress and highlights the areas where more attention is required from research and policy in order to turn the concept into reality.

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Resource-efficient cities: vital step towards urban sustainability in Europe

Cities increasingly require and use natural resources and energy to sustain daily life and activities of the urban population. Their impacts are felt across the globe. But cities can also be designed and changed in ways to offer opportunities to reduce resource needs and environmental impacts. Three new reports by the European Environment Agency (EEA) take a closer look at what a resource-efficient city is and what cities can do to enhance urban sustainability while improving the well-being of their residents.

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Waste prevention: where do European countries stand?

Every year Europeans generate more than two billions of tonnes of waste, which does not only cause environmental problems but also represents an economic loss. Waste prevention lies at the centre of the European Union’s policies on waste and Member States have a legal obligation to adopt and implement waste prevention programmes. A new report by the European Environment Agency (EEA) reviews 27 national and regional waste prevention programmes adopted by the end of 2014.

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Waste prevention: decoupling waste generation from economic growth

Preventing waste is a top priority of waste policy in the European Union with potential economic and environmental benefits. A new European Environment Agency (EEA) report reviews the state of play in the EU Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

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Production and consumption systems need fundamental rethink

Production and consumption systems in the European Union have large, global impacts on the environment. More sustainable ways of satisfying our needs are emerging, but they need more support, according to a new assessment.

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Magic or recycling?

Magic or recycling?

07 Aug 2014

Transforming a bottle into a jacket may sound like magic, but it may be easier than you think. A new video from the European Environment Agency (EEA) shows some of the ingenious ways a plastic water bottle can be reused or recycled.

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The 'green economy' can encourage jobs and innovation - study

Europe can create jobs and encourage innovation by using resources much more efficiently, according to a new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA) which describes a range of policies with proven environmental and economic benefits.

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Signals 2014: Our well-being depends on a resource-efficient, circular economy

How do we create a performing economy that creates jobs and ensures our well-being, yet respects the limits of our planet? This question is considered in the latest edition of Signals, an annual publication from the European Environment Agency (EEA).

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Towards better tools for decision-making – EEA indicators and accounts

Effective environmental policy should be based on robust information on trends. The European Environment Agency (EEA) has published two reports today which demonstrate how indicators and environmental accounting support policy and decision making.

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