The overall goal of SCALE-UP is to support regional multi-actor partnerships, consisting of private businesses, governments and policymakers, civil society organisations, and researchers in identifying and scaling-up innovative and sustainable bio-based value chains that build on regional resources. Through its approach, SCALE-UP will adapt, implement and evaluate tools to help regional actors to overcome the apparent bottlenecks towards fully exploiting bioeconomy potentials in their region.
In the context of the political goal of strengthening the reuse of used goods, the project aims at supporting and executing re-use measures in Berlin in order to foster structures and actors in Berlin that bring the used goods market out of its niche. To do so, the project draws on the practical experience of initial pilot tests in 2018, networking activities since 2019 and the opening of the Re-Use Superstore in 2020.
In view of a strong waste management sector with good separate waste collection rates and high recycling rates of over 80 %, Germany is generally well positioned to increase the use of recyclates. So far, however, this potential has only been partially exploited. Against this background, Ecologic Institute, together with the Policy Assessment Research Group of the Freie Universität Berlin, identifies and describes barriers to the use of recyclates and policy instruments to overcome these barriers. Options for action are shown on the basis of selected practical examples.
In light of recent experiences in energy markets, Western democracies, and the EU in particular, are exploring new supply chains and strategies to reduce their commodity dependence on China. Ecologic Institute provided an overview of the main options the EU currently has to counter the pressure of growing dependencies.
Single-use plastics (SUPs) consumption is booming worldwide, with Asia being no exception. On the contrary: Asia is experiencing increasing levels of SUP consumption due to rapid economic growth, urbanization, and changing consumption and production patterns including the increase of E-commerce and rising sales of processed and packaged food. Last but not least, a "sachet economy" has been established with small portions of products (e.g., instant coffee, shampoo) being sold for convenience and to target especially the large population groups with lower purchasing power.
In this project, Ecologic Institute reviewed and analyzed 17 inspiring examples of how companies and researchers put the circular economy into practice: from the recycling of construction materials and metals, the improvement of sorting and recycling plastics, to new business models that help turn waste into raw materials or keep materials longer in the loop through services.
Many strong economies have developed strategies to foster the circular economy. But what do we know about how these plans impact developing and emerging countries? Do the strategies itself take the effects on developing and emerging countries into account? Which risks and opportunities arise from a shift to a circular economy in industrialised countries to developing and emerging countries? This project analysed some of these effects. The project's key recommendations and highlights are published in the project report.
In its last coalition agreement (2016-2021), the State of Berlin committed itself to the "Zero Waste" model in order to transform its waste management towards a circular economy. Re-using goods takes centre stage in this transformation. In the context of the political goal of strengthening the reuse of used goods, the project aims at supporting and executing re-use measures in Berlin in order to foster structures and actors in Berlin that bring the used goods market out of its niche. The Ecologic Institute supports the project for the Berlin Senate Administration by designing and conducting three virtual expert dialogues in Berlin.
The transition towards sustainability entails addressing systemic and interrelated resource challenges. Via the project "Assessment of resource nexus-related challenges and opportunities in the context of the European Green Deal", Ecologic Institute supports the European Environment Agency (EEA) in its objective to foster a better understanding on these topics for the European policy community and stakeholders. The project serves as background to an EEA briefing on the topic.
Ecomodulation of fees can play a crucial role in incentivising upstream design changes by reducing the fees for products or packaging designed for circular economy. Products or packaging with circular design (e.g., a minimum percentage of recycled content, high reparability index, reduction in weight of material, shift from low to easily recyclable material(s)) could benefit from reduced fees, while those with design barriers, which are also often exported to developing countries for end-of-life treatment, could incur higher fees. Thus, ecomodulation of fees can play a vital role in prioritizing design for as waste prevention, reusability, reparability and recyclability. Against this background, this project run by Ecologic Institute focuses on the product streams batteries, plastic/packaging, textiles and waste electric and electronic equipment (WEEE).
In current environmental policy debates on resource conservation, the Netherlands are often cited as a good-practice example because of these absolute reduction targets. In this project, Susanne Langsdorf and Laurens Duin explored the Dutch targets and the vision for a circular economy. They shed light on the development, structure and implementation of the Dutch Circular Economy Program and related policy processes, including the established monitoring program.
Thuringia is one of the first German states to draft its own resource conservation strategy. This requires a solid data basis on the resource flows of the state. In the ThüRess project, Ecologic Institute and the Institute of Economic Structures Research (GWS) are developing this database as well as measures for such a resource conservation strategy.
In this project, Climact and Ecologic Institute analysed the impact assessment for the new EU climate target proposed by the Commission in September 2020. After examining policy options and modelling results, they were compared with recent studies, in particular with Climact's modelling results for 2030. A policy brief highlights key points where the Commission differs from other studies and identifies climate change potentials that deserve more attention in future analyses.