Explore Circular Stories

Browse through case stories from our partners and learn more about circular economy, the newest publications, inspiring initiatives, and ways to take action.  

There are also stories about ongoing competitions hosted by our partners, and open calls for proposals which provides opportunities to take part in the circular economy.     

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Pioneer Stories

The Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners is the Managing Partner of the NextGen Consortium, which seeks to find a global recoverable solution for the fiber, hot and cold, to-go cup system. With over 250 billion cups produced a year, there is a lot of opportunity for improving the recoverability of materials at end-of-life. Nearly 500 innovative ideas were submitted to the NextGen Cup Challenge.

NEXTGEN TO-GO 
CUP CHALLENGE

The Center for the Circular Economy and EON Group are looking to revolutionize the fashion industry through a global industry-wide initiative - Connect Fashion. This introduces the standard for Digital Identity, and a framework for how the Internet of Things will power end-to-end connectivity across fashion, advancing the circular economy, transparency and a more sustainable future!

THE CIRCULAR FUTURE

OF FASHION

China’s “National Sword” policy took effect in 2018, establishing bans and strict quality standards to restrict imported recyclable materials. The market shift will have fundamental and long-lasting impact on the circular economy ecosystem, not only in China, but also in the rest of the world. With strong support from China’s government, this change has created a major new opportunity for global brands to participate in and benefit from circular economy trends. Through the China Program at Closed Loop Partners, we’re building bridges between Chinese companies and trade associations and U.S. investment opportunities and investors in the circular economy space.

BRIDGE BUILDING:

CIRCULAR ECONOMY IN CHINA AND THE US

As a leading company in NYC’s private waste and recycling industry, Cooper Recycling’s objectives fall squarely within the sustainability sphere; Cooper Recycling is at the forefront of New York’s Circular Economy. As the first stage in the recycling loop, they employ the most advanced techniques to harness value from debris while minimizing environmental and economic costs.  To advance these goals, demand for transparency in recycling and recovery rates amongst academics, policymakers and industry representatives has grown in recent years. Therefore, to avoid dubious claims and statistics and maintain an integrity that can be relied upon, Cooper Recycling successfully achieved verification from the Recycling Certification Institute (RCI) in 2015, becoming the only certified facility of its kind in New York.

COOPER'S RECYCLING CERTIFICATION

Circularity City will be an engine for urban transformation and growth in the Central Denmark Region. Together, we will develop new urban solutions where resources and materials are designed for disassembly and embedded in closed loops making it possible to regenerate and reuse them again and again.

CIRCULARITY CITY

SHAPING OUR

URBAN FUTURE

As major engines of economic growth, cities have the tools, knowledge, and ability to drive the circular economy agenda forward and unlock economic, environmental, and social benefits. Soon to be published through a partnership between Arup and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Circular Economy in Cities will be an online suite of resources providing a global reference for city leaders to learn how to implement circular economy in their city. To find out more, this publication provides a preview of this content.

TOOLS, KNOWLEDGE & ABILITYCIRCULAR ECONOMY IN CITIES

Developed in a partnership between Arup and Stopwaste, the publication “Circular Economy in Built Environment: Opportunities for Local Government Leadership” provides a framework for applying circular economy principles at the community, neighborhood, and building scales. It identifies goals and strategies at each scale, along with real-world examples for many of these to demonstrate how they can be achieved in practice.

CIRCULAR ECONOMY IN BUILT ENVIRONMENT: LOCAL GOVERNMENT LEADERSHIP

ING surveyed over 300 U.S. executives and found that nearly four in five firms have a strategic intent to implement a circular economy framework or have already put one in place. The survey presents what U.S. business leaders see as the challenges and opportunities of implementing circular practices within their business models – read more from the press release and report findings below.
 

OPPORTUNITY AND DISRUPTION PUBLICATION

Partner Stories

Circular flows of materials in cities promises job creation, operational savings, less waste and lower carbon emissions, but how does it work in practice? How can a city municipality catalyze a transition from a linear economy of make, use, dispose, to a circular economy? C40 have researched 40 in-depth case studies from cities around the world, demonstrating how municipalities can advance towards zero waste economies. 

MUNICIPALITY-LED
CIRCULAR ECONOMY
CASE STUDIES

A Moroccan  women’s collective elevates its economic standing by adapting traditional skills to consumer waste. Paris-based designer Faiza Hajji got the idea to launch her successful company Ifassen while cycling around a valley covered in plastic bags. Merging her passion for sustainability and her love of traditional Moroccan skills, she revolutionized a community of women on the spot, growing a fashionable repertoire of design models and gaining them financial independence and joy in the bargain.

MADE OUT OF WHAT:
A MOROCCAN
WOMEN'S COLLECTIVE

What does the ideal world look like? Well for the founder of the Bushwick Generator Emerick Patterson, an ideal world is a decentralized world – a world without a middleman, where communities operate through public consensus; where they can monetize their behavior based upon an agreed upon value, and where that value is earned by way of reputation. It is a radical idea but glimpses of this share economy has already been seen in the massive success of businesses such as Uber, Fon, Airbnb and TaskRabbit. And the idea of a share economy can provide fruitfull insights to radically new approaches to the circular economy.
 

BLUEPRINT FOR THE FUTURE OF URBAN TECH

The donateNYC Partnership program, initiated by NYC Department of Sanitation, has had a huge positive impact on waste diversion in NYC. In the last year alone, donateNYC’s nonprofit reuse Partners diverted over with over 98 million pounds of goods from landfill through donations and reuse, which has reduced greenhouse gases as much as keeping 37,000 cars off the road for one year.

DONATE-NYC

PARTNERSHIPS

MERA - The Association for Sustainable Manufacturing - is a network of sustainable manufacturers, suppliers, universities, and professional services firms which promotes the economic, environmental, and product performance benefits of remanufacturing and similar forms of sustainable manufacturing. Sustainable manufacturing is the standardized process of producing high-quality goods – a second time – by reusing materials and conserving embodied energy in existing products. It is “manufacturing with re-use” – the tried-and-true process of an environmentally-friendly industry that has been around for decades. Going forward, sustainable manufacturing will play a vital role in the circular economy.

SUSTAINABLE MANUFACTURING

The Circular Economy Network is a collaborative community founded in NYC in 2017 to advance regenerative systems through interactive forums exploring business, research, policy, design, and technology. Circular Economy Network meetings feature enlightening presentations by diverse professionals from the circular economy community followed by lively discussions. Anyone with a passion for education and collaboration is welcome!

EXPLORE NYC'S 
CIRCULAR ECONOMY
NETWORK

P4G, an initiative funding innovative public-private partnerships to advance green growth, is supporting circular economy partnerships in Asia and Africa. P4G is engaged in circular economy project around the globe, including the Global Smart Green Logistics Innovation Partnership, which is working with Alibaba to reduce plastic and packaging waste in China, and the Sustainable Special Economic Zone partnership (SSEZ), which is creating zones for  SDG attainment and economic growth.
 

PARTNERSHIPS FOR GREEN GROWTH AND GLOBAL GOALS

Earth Matter NY is a non-profit whose mission is to reduce the organic waste misdirected into landfills by encouraging neighbor participation and leadership in composting. Since 2010, Earth Matter NY has been an integral part of Governors Island’s  Zero Waste Island initiative. They compost all organics generated on the Island, manage recycling and organics diversion at most Governors Island events, and educate visitors, participants and vendors on source separation. At their Compost Learning Center, visitors can experience how everyone is part of ‘the cycle’ with hands-on compost and farm related activities. Visitors enjoy interacting with chickens, goats and worms who all help illustrate how the waste of one, is food for another. In 2018, Earth Matter composted 700 tons of organics, generated by NYC residents and Governors Island.

CLOSING THE LOOP

ON GOVERNORS ISLAND

Public Realm Refuse and Recycling Solutions RFEI is now live and accepting responses until May 31, 2019. The NYC Department of Sanitation, in partnership with NYC Department of Transportation, is seeking creative solutions for containerized refuse and recycling that will:

  • increase waste diversion, including by reduction, reuse, and recycling

  • reduce the volume of consolidated material set out on City sidewalks

  • reduce vehicle miles traveled and greenhouse gas emissions associated with waste collection

  • improve the cleanliness of City streets and sidewalks

PUBLIC REALM REFUSE AND RECYCLING SOLUTIONS RFEI

A prize of $500,000 is being offered to the individual or team that comes up with the best idea and business plan to repurpose New York City's recyclable trash and locally manufacture a product to sell into the NYC market. The winning entry will demonstrate the most efficient, sustainable and environmentally aware way to implement the entire process of sourcing and converting the recycled waste for use. The competition is made possible by manufacturing entrepreneur Chris Graff. Application deadline is June 1st 2019. 

NYC CURB-TO-MARKET CHALLENGE

The Manhattan Solid Waste Management Board (SWAB) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that is dedicated to increasing recycling, reducing solid waste, and advancing solid waste policy in New York City. They advise the Manhattan Borough President, City Council, City Administration and others on policies and programs regarding the development, promotion and operation of the City’s waste prevention, reuse and recycling programs. Speak your mind and join the movement. Meetings are held monthly, they are free and open to the public.

TAKE PART IN THE WORK OF THE MANHATTAN SWAB

If you are looking for innovative insights on how to turn your business circular! In a partnership with Unilever, Forum For The Future have developed The Circular Economy Business Model Toolkit. A toolkit identifying 10 circular business model archetypes including modularity and local loops, all distilled from long-term research into circular economy trends.

TOOLKIT: TURNING BUSINESSES CIRCULAR

AgTech X members NexLoop, a biomimetic design company specializing in passive water capture systems to enhance sustainable food production, have won Make It In Brooklyn’s “Innovator of the Year” award. NexLoop, have created an AquaWeb, a modular building facade system, which passively collects water from atmospheric sources, such as rain and fog, similar to how a spider web collects water from the air. 

CLOSING THE WATER CYCLE

From their Hudson Valley brewery, Toast are leading a craft beer revolution against food waste. Using a recipe revived from ancient brewing practices, Toast takes yesterday's unsold loaves from local bakeries and turns it into award-winning craft beers. As a certified B Corporation, Toast Ale also pours all profits into food sustainability charities around the world.

BEERS BATTLING
FOOD WASTE

In the West Axis or “Westas” area of Amsterdam there are four logistic hubs close together. These include Schiphol Airport, the Port of Amsterdam, Dataport MAS-IX and Greenport Aalsmeer. Together they function as an international ‘turntable’ for passengers, goods, flowers and data. Pioneering initiatives in this region is taking place as Amsterdam is going circular. Amongst others; heat generated by the data center is vented into greenhouses, saving both cooling costs for the data center and heating costs for the greenhouses; while the Port of Amsterdam is transitioning from a polluting source to an energy-generating source as a gateway for the global reuse of materials.
 

AMSTERDAM GOING CIRCULAR

The RISN Incubator at Arizona State University invites startups and early stage business ventures creating solutions for waste diversion, minimization, and reuse/recycling innovations to participate in its diverse business development and accelerator program. Application deadline is 1st February 2019. 

THE RISN INCUBATOR

The Danish government wishes with this strategy to pave the way for the Danish business community driving the circular transition. It also wishes to create such framework conditions that support the realization of economic and environmental benefits of the circular economy in a joint effort among enterprises, consumers, and public institutions. It is the objective to promote circular economy, including better use and recycling of resources and the prevention of waste.

NATIONAL DANISH STRATEGY FOR CIRCULAR ECONOMY

Single-use plastic creates major waste in our city and across our planet. The NYC Mayor's Office of Sustainability launched BRING IT, a multi-channel campaign empowering young New Yorkers to reduce plastic waste from the start. It began with a groundbreaking public-private partnership to give every high school student in New York City a reusable water bottle. That's 320,000 students making strides toward a zero waste NYC.

THE BRING-IT MOVEMENT

FOR NYC STUDENTS

This publication is the outcome of a yearlong exchange of knowledge and experience between Denmark and New York, initiated by State of Green. The purpose is to contribute to this exchange of ideas on circular economy and, through practical examples, illustrate how Danish and New York stakeholders are providing solutions that help progress the transition towards a circular economy.

TRANSATLANTIC

SOLUTION SHARING

The State of the Circular Economy in America delivers the first United States focused scan of the Circular Economy landscape. By providing an analysis of 202 United States based Circular Economy initiatives, this report offers concrete examples of Circular Economy solutions, as well as demonstrates the diverse array of stakeholders and industries that are already participating in the creation of the Circular Economy here in America. The report is brought to you by Circular CoLab.

THE STATE OF THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY IN THE US

Do you have a Circular Economy start-up or research project? You can now apply to win a Circular Economy Club mentoring session with Prof. Michael Braungart, the co-creator of Cradle2Cradle. The Circular Economy Club believe it is crucial to connect experts on the circular economy with students, young professionals, and startups who are trying to embed circular economy in their projects. For that reason, Circular Economy Club has launched the Mentors program. Circular Economy Club Mentors are experts in multiple fields including circular fashion, construction, cities, energy, cradle to cradle, biomimicry, industrial symbiosis, business models, policy-making and many more.

WIN A CIRCULAR

ECONOMY MENTOR SESSION

UNIDO engages with circular economy as part of its mandate for inclusive sustainable industrial development, as circular economy enables industries to combine environmental protection with economic development. One example is the facilitation of establishing eco-industrial parks in Viet Nam which promote resource efficiency and circular economy, contributing to sustainable cities. In collaboration with Vietnamese authorities, UNIDO identifies and facilitates opportunities for industrial symbiosis while separate industries gain competitive advantage through physical exchange of materials, energy, water and by-products. This project has improved resource efficiency, competitiveness and profitability while minimizing greenhouse gas emissions, waste and creating new employment opportunities, improved worker’s health and quality of life of communities.
 

ECO-INDUSTRIAL PARKS

IN VIET NAM

Renewable Matter is the international magazine that explores the circular economy, bioeconomy and future-proof strategies. Each issue of the magazine features four startups making the world more circular and sustainable and pushing the boundaries of the modern economy. From RePack to CupClub, from Evoware to Instock the selected startups represent the latest technologies around the world, the most innovative materials, new upcycled and recycled products and circular business models. 

THE CIRCULAR

MAGAZINE

Urban Future Lab

370 Jay Street

Brooklyn, NY-11201

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