This draft report has been developed as part of LDnet’s cooperation with HAWK Göttingen University under Erasmus+. It outlines the main concepts and policy position, presents 20 local examples examples of circular economy experiences in urban, rural and maritime contexts, and discusses the links between the circular and the sharing economy, and the circular economy as a community led local approach. The report has been prepared by Yasin Akkoub and is accompanied by an extensive bibliography. LDnet will continue exploring these issues and further contributions are welcome.
Circular economy for a sustainable future
By adopting the circular economy package in December 2015, the EU committed itself to the transition towards a sustainable, effective and resource saving economy. Goals like reducing landfills and increasing reuse and recycling are important aspects of this package. Furthermore, the development of a sustainable future with energy savings, reduced greenhouse gases and the maximum use of products is also of importance to the circular economy package. The importance of this topic can be seen by the investments the EU and the member states are providing for the circular economy. The European Structural & Investment Funds (ESIF) provide € 5.5 billion and the Horizon 2020 (an EU programme for research and innovation) provides € 650 million. That level of support reveals the favourable role the circular economy will play in the near future. The following point defines the circular economy to help understand the topic.
The circular economy is designed to keep resources in the loop of processing without throwing them away after their use. The goal of this method is that the resources can be used for as long as possible without decreasing their quality. In that way, natural resources can be preserved and the yields of these resources can be increased. The outcome is a more sustainable and much more effective use of resources compared to the so far linear economy. To improve the effectiveness of the circular economy the loops are distinguished between technological and biological cycles. Both cycles should be approached differently as only technical or produced material should re-enter in the technical cycle and biologic material like biologic waste should re-enter in the biological cycle. In that way, the different products can be processed much more efficiently, otherwise the different product types would interfere with each other in further processing steps.
The circular economy actually begins with the production of the products. The goal is to produce products by using fewer resources than in conventional production systems. These fewer resources should contain recycled, renewable and non-hazardous materials as well as long life materials. Ideally the materials are already chosen or processed so that they can be used in future products or in other new life cycles. Thereby the material will avoid an end of life cycle and it will be reused again in other products. This special design is called Eco-Design. To have an impression of how far this Eco-Design and therefore the circular economy is already implemented, the following examples from the rural, urban and maritime areas illustrate the actual state of play:
The demand for bio products is increasing. Most of these agricultural products are produced in rural areas. Despite being organic, the products do not necessarily have to be circular. But by combining the circular economy and the bio economy, a company could be more sustainable and profitable in the long term. Price volatilities and an increasing waste of resources could be avoided in agriculture and also in other areas where the circular economy is being introduced. Some very innovative and important actors have already begun establishing circular and green economies, which are focusing on agricultural issues. The European innovative partnership for agriculture (EIP AGRI) is facilitating a network of innovative tools and methods regarding the circular economy. They are concentrating in research, networking, teaching and understanding of the circular economy in the rural sector. Examples of rural circular economy include the following:
- Besolutions in “Oberndorf an der Oste“ in Germany:
In Oberndorf, which is situated between Hamburg and Bremerhaven, a village development project started off in 2010. The inhabitants of the village can participate in the process by meeting once a month in a forum, whereby the focus lies in renewable energies. With help from the company “besolutions” in 2012 the creation of a model making use of the manure in this area, was established. As Germany has a big milk producing sector, a lot of manure is available from the cows. This manure is separated and the solid part is send to a bio plant to generate bio gas for energy. By doing so, no additional corn has to be purchased to generate bio gas and the rivers are not polluted by the manure. The heat produced by the bio plant is used for two purposes. Firstly, to dry the digestate to produce pelleted fertilizer and to send them to low-nutrition areas. Secondly, the rest of the heat is used to farm the African catfish “clarias gariepinus”, which loves warm waters and narrow areas and is very resistant to disease. The fish feels comfortable in a dense environment and produces as much meat as he gets to eat. Therefore, the fish is also from an economic point of view an asset. The wastewater from the pond is filtered in a purification plant. For the future, it is planned to use this waste as fertilizer for vegetables and even banana trees in a greenhouse. This and other projects could be realised by creating a citizen corporation “ostewert AG”. That means the citizens of the area are also included in the development process. For further information: http://www.besolutions.gmbh/landwirtschaft-ernaehrung/
- Creating value from tomato waste:
Local farmers and agri-processors in Malta worked together to achieve an added value from tomato waste. Tomatoes which are not seen appropriate for further processing a normally discarded as waste. These rejected tomatoes can be used for tomato vinegar. The rural development programme (RDP) supported the project. Producers and processors jointly tested the tomato vinegar. In a laboratory, they tested a method to prolong the fermentation level to avoid spoiling the tomatoes. By purchasing specialised equipment additionally to the ones already available, they could do trial runs and testing of different processing approaches. Market research and a feasibility study to check the economic viability of the product, helped to find new markets. An overall marketing strategy also helped to create a new packaging for the product. Eventually the product found itself in a high-quality niche. The project demonstrated the high quality of tomato vinegar and created an additional income for farmers and producers. By doing so, the project also preserved jobs and kept the agricultural land in a good environmental condition. The good cooperation between the farmers and agri-processors and the thereby developed trust between the actors of the food supply chain is a proof for the successful local approach on rural development. For further information: https://enrd.ec.europa.eu/sites/enrd/files/publi-eafrd-brochure-04-en_2017.pdf (p.10)
- Community led eco village in Sweden with a closed loop system:
Close to the city of Visby on the Swedish island of Gotland, an ecovillage project started on an old farm property for people to live closer to the nature and in a more sustainable way. The area is far enough away to test new infrastructure models and close enough to still be able to use public transport and waste collection. EAFRD funds (LEADER) helped to build the infrastructure for this project. The project itself was inspired from ideas from diverse sources, from local school children to professional architects. Seven big sun traps, four ponds and different other landscaping measures like planting trees and using equipment like solar cookers are included to create a natural and sustainable environment and lifestyle. The community consists of 15-20 people and they regularly meet to make decisions together. By doing so the community plans decisions on a long-term basis. Food is obtained from the permaculture garden or from local farmers and wholesalers. It is ensured to have at least one common meal a day. For 2017-2018 the project also includes a closed loop system. Energy is gained by the biogas plant. The by-product of this energy is used as fertilizer to grow plants without soil by using the “aeroponics” technique, whereby no soil is used for the plants but only the nutrition from the previous step in combination with water transformed into mist. Thereby the plants take the water and nutrition by the roots without needing soil. These fresh greens are then used in the geodesic dome greenhouse, which uses low impact energy for heating, ventilation, energy supply and insulation. Besides that, it collects rain water for irrigation. In this way, the food can be operated and used all year around. The waste of the food is then used again for the biogas plant to generate energy and produce fertilizer, resulting in a closed loop system. For further information: http://www.suderbyn.se/closed-loop.html and https://enrd.ec.europa.eu/sites/enrd/files/publi-eafrd-brochure-04-en_2017.pdf (p.25)
There are also other community based eco villages which are concentrating on permaculture and sustainable living methods.
- ReGen Village:
A village which is planned to be fully regenerative
and sustainable by design.
The first 25 pilot homes should be established in 18 months.
For further information: http://www.effekt.dk/regenvillages/
- REMEB- reusing waste water:
Membranes for wastewater clean the water to use it for irrigation in an area with limited water resources. For further information: http://www.remeb-h2020.com/
- Resource efficient local dairy farm in Romania:
A local dairy farm in Romania created an onsite biogas facility with EAFRD support and produces energy for the farm. It also generated local employment. For further information: https://enrd.ec.europa.eu/sites/enrd/files/publi-eafrd-brochure-04-en_2017.pdf (p.18)
- Residual wood as sustainable energy form:
In East Flanders, Belgium, the Cooperation for Agricultural Landscape Association initiated a project with support from EAFRD to process residual wood to wood chips for fuel. For further information: https://enrd.ec.europa.eu/sites/enrd/files/publi-eafrd-brochure-04-en_2017.pdf (p.17)
The number of people living in urban areas is increasing. In many countries, young people leave their villages and move to bigger cities. This favourable position of cities over rural areas leads to a rise in population and demands in the cities. Because of that, an increasing amount of waste and energy is likely. Continuing with the linear economy, a tremendous rise of resources and raw material is needed to meet the demands of urban population. By applying the circular economy, this waste of resources could be avoided and further added value could be gained by returning the resources to the loop. The following examples show urban circular economy models in different fields:
- Bio methane fuel buses:
Bio methane buses are operating in Linköping, Sweden to provide public and sustainable transport to its citizen. The city is situated in the east of Sweden in the middle of agricultural plains. After Sweden delayed the plan of extending the natural gas grid from the south up to the centre of the country, Linköping decided to build their own bio gas plants. Therefore, a cooperation of the city of Linköping, the local abattoir (Swedish meats AB) and the farmers’ association (Lantbrukets Ekonomi AB) created the Linköping Biogas AB in 1995. Since 1996 the company installed their own bio gas plant which is operated by Svensk Biogas since 2005. The plant treats organic waste like animal manure, waste from food industries and from households. The outcomes are biomethane and bio fertilizer. The biomethane is transported via pipelines and trucks to different bio gas stations, where buses but also trucks and cars can be fuelled with biogas. The bio fertilizer is used for the agriculture in this area. Since 2002 all diesel buses have been replaced by biomethane buses which makes the whole bus network in Linköping free of fossil fuels. Additionally, the company converted a train from diesel to biomethane based fuel. The train is operating the railway service from Linköping to Västervik and can drive a range of 600km. The conversion to a bio gas model is much cheaper than converting the train and railway to an electric one.
The example of the Linköping bio gas plant shows the effectiveness of a locally community led approach in building up sustainable and circular business models, as the start for this project was community led by the city, the local abattoir and the farmers’ association. For further information: http://www.seai.ie/Renewables/Bioenergy/100_biogas_for_urban_transport_in_Linkoeping_IEA_Bio_Task_37.pdf and http://www.iea-biogas.net/files/daten-redaktion/download/linkoping_final.pdf
- Rubberised Concrete Noise Barriers (RUCONBAR):
The Croatian company RUCONBAR based in Zagreb, focuses on recycling old tyres. Tyres turned into powder, which is used to build noise barriers. The noise barriers contain up to 40% of the recycled tyres. By doing so they benefit threefold:
- Preventing recyclable materials ending up in landfills.
- No landscape degradation, because no natural resources will have to be exploited for a noise barrier. Instead the use of recycled tyres is used.
- A noise barrier which prevents noise from highways or trains which could disturb the inhabitants.
To achieve this, the company established two subsidiaries, one for recycle processing and the other for production of concrete materials. Both are SMEs, hence promoting the local economy by creating labour. It was anticipated that 30 new employees will be hired by the first of the SMEs. Labour was also expected to be created in the other factory, where the barrier is made with cement and they hope to hire up to 60 new employees. New and less developed EU member states and neighbouring countries could benefit from this model, as they have more unmanaged waste tyres and less noise mitigation infrastructure. The company RUCONBAR founded in 2009, as a result of a project from the EU Eco-Innovation programme. In 2013 the company was among the most efficient on the market. The project was born in the Zagreb university, where the EU Eco-Innovation programme funded half of the project costs, €500 000. Lower production costs, 10-18% less than those of of competitor companies, make the product attractive. This product generated labour in SMEs and is therefore of importance for the local economy and people. For further information: https://ec.europa.eu/environment/eco-innovation/projects/en/projects/ruconbar http://www.ruconbar.com/about-the-product/
- De ceuvel:
An old shipyard near Amsterdam is being reused as a sustainable workplace. Engineers secured a 10-year lease in 2012 to use this site, which is situated on polluted soil. Old houseboats are put on the site and the offices are equipped with clean technologies. Additionally, phyto-remediating plants are planted around the houseboats, which are cleaning the polluted soil. The ground is used as an engineering playground for circular and sustainable solutions of waste and energy. Now it is a café, a workplace, a podium and also a place for rent. For further information: http://deceuvel.nl/en/
- City Hall Venlo:
The city Venlo in Netherlands has a City Hall which is dedicated to the circular economy (‘Cradle to Cradle’). The building is built and used effectively, so the materials and products of the building can be reused and have an added value by not being discarded afterwards. Energy is gained by solar panels and the rain water is used as effectively as possible to irrigate the green facade of the building or to use grey (used) water to flush the toilets. For further information: http://www.c2c-centre.com/sites/default/files/Case%20Study%20City%20Hall%20Venlo_Final_1.pdf and http://www.stadskantoorvenlo.nl/themes/stadskantoor_theme/includes/pdf/hoe_werkt_het_stadskantoor_en.pdf
This product produces mushrooms from coffee ground. 0.2% of the coffee beans used for coffee end up in the cup. The rest is normally discarded. But it could be used as a breeding ground for the oyster mushroom. It is perfectly fitting for these fungi. “De Growkit” comes with a bucket made of recycled plastic. Therefore, it can be used numerous times. Other material than plastic would be eaten by the fungi. The fungi spawns have to be mixed with the coffee grounds in the bucket. 20% of the leftovers can be used for a new fungi production and the rest can be discarded as bio waste. It works with a broad variety of coffees, espresso, Senseo pads or normal filter coffee. It can be purchased online and would be an asset for individuals in local, urban or other areas. For further information: http://www.mushrooms-at-home.com/growkit/
In this project the reuse of water, which was used in textile colour industries will be purified and used again for the same process, to avoid wasting virgin water. For further information: http://www.euronews.com/2017/03/20/dyed-without-waste-developing-a-process-to-save-water-in-the-textile-industry
Today the maritime sector is particularly hit by environmental problems. Because of the intensive use of plastic and the unawareness of this misuse, the level of marine litter, mostly containing plastics and fishing nets, is rising. There are already approaches to clean the oceans from marine litter but they are not very effective as the ocean is too big to just clean it from the litter. Also, a modern approach like the “ocean clean-up programme” can be controversially discussed in its effectiveness, as the programme tackles the symptoms (marine litter already present in the ocean) and not the source of the problem, the tremendous use and waste of plastic. The solution for a sustainable and effective approach is the circular economy. The resources which would have been lost in the ocean could be reintegrated in the production cycle. By applying this method, the pollution problem would be fought against its causes and not just against its effects. Nevertheless, the cleaning programmes are also important and should not be underestimated in the fight of marine litter. Therefore, a combination of both would generate the most positive outcomes. In this way, less litter would be polluting the beaches and oceans and, instead, it would be turned into resources again, which would promote the local economy through the implementation of a circular economy model. Most of the following examples are focusing on the recycling of fishing nets through different approaches:
The Norwegian company Nofir collects discarded equipment from fishing and fish farming in Europe and around Turkey. The collected litter is processed and recycled in Lithuania and Turkey. By doing so the company prevents the abundance of discarded fishing nets in the ocean and helps to clean it. The fishing nets are recycled and can be used for clothes, furniture, carpets or baskets for the supermarket. The company is looking for fish farmers, fishermen and companies who are planning to get rid of their discarded fishing equipment. The company was established in 2008 with the goal of establishing a nationwide collection system for discarded fishing equipment. A joint venture between a fishing net producer and a waste management company formed the company Nofir. The company got support from EU funds in 2012 as part of the Eco Innovation Project, because it helped to improve the environment with innovative ideas. Because of the EU support the company managed to expand to Europe with more countries participating in their project. As the plastic will be reused, the need for fossil resources like oil will be decreased and CO2 emissions will be avoided. Nofir Is also a partner of “Circular Ocean”, which recycles old fishing nets and marine litter to new products. It also offers a free access online network for innovative and practical ideas of how to recycle marine litter, whereby coastal areas with a low population can get ideas how to tackle the marine litter problem. For further information: http://nofir.no/about-us/
This Italian company “Econyl” also concentrates on collecting and recycling fishing nets to produce yarn for carpets or other textiles. The company produces the specific “Nylon 6” feedstock from the collected fishing nets. 100% of this material can be used for new yarn. The end product is caprolactam which is unlike the textiles gained by plastic bottles, which cannot be recycled anymore after the plastic has been recycled to a textile product. €20 million were invested by the company in four years to improve the process. For further information: http://www.econyl.com/ and http://www.triplepundit.com/2014/09/econyl-nylon-recycling/
The company “Interface” and the “Zoological Society of London” (ZSL) started the business “Net-Works” in 2012. Interface wanted to have a positive effect on the community and environment by sourcing materials the right way. ZSL wanted to implement a conservation model which directly affects the community positively. The outcome was Net-Works. Net-Works plans to empower local people in coastal regions of developing countries to collect fishing nets, which are then sold to a global supply chain to recycle the nets to yarn. By removing the fishing nets, the environment and sea life also profits from this programme. The company focuses on the local well-being instead of revenue concentration. Local community banks, which are run by community members, are set up by the company. In this way, the banks give access to affordable credit, financing and possibilities to save money from the sale of nets. They also organize different events, like coastal clean ups or help for environmental funds to finance local conservation programmes. By doing so the bank generates local revenues which it can use for further programmes concerning fishing nets and local economic promotion. For further information: http://net-works.com/ https://www.circulairondernemen.nl/uploads/acfd888ff06f6f70612362bfa19ec500.pdf (p.18)
The Danish company Plastix invented a new method to effectively recycle fishing net, trawls, ropes and even taifun steel into high quality plastics or metals. Taifun steel is weaved steel encased in plastic and is known as a difficult material to recycle. Nevertheless, the recycling is achieved based on an induction heating method the company has invented. The EU funded this method with its RETRAWL project under the EU Eco Innovation initiative. The project was funded from 2014 to 2016 and was quite successful because of the high-quality end products it produced by recycling. By recycling the fishing nets, the company supports a decrease in virgin material input and therefore participates in closing the loop of maritime products and helps to tackle the maritime litter problem. Plastix is working with several partners in the EU to expand its recycling method especially to the Spanish market. For further information: https://ec.europa.eu/environment/eco-innovation/projects/en/projects/retrawl2 and http://plastixglobal.com/ and http://www.efd-induction.com/en/InductionNews/Pressreleases/Recyling.aspx
Net Recycling Scotland project is a marine litter collection project in Scotland which is overseen by the North Sea local authorities body Kimo. The goal is to collect fishing nets in and around Scotland and send them to Lithuania for recycling. Most of the fishing nets are caught in Peterhead, Macduff, Ullapool and Scrabster. Before arriving in Lithuania, a lot of the nets are already recycled into plastic in Denmark. The products will be processed to plastic pellets in the end. To tackle marine litter problems Kimo also established a fishing for litter scheme in which 18 harbours and over 200 fishing vessels are participating. To encourage skippers to land the caught litter, the initiators of this project made it possible to remove legal barriers at participating harbours. Therefore, the litter won’t be thrown back in the ocean rather than be landed at the harbour. For further information: https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/north-east/1199641/net-recycling-scheme-huge-success-over-north-east-harbours/?utm_content=buffera68a2&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer
This company invented a mobile container with algae. Used fish water will be put inside the container, which contains the algae. The algae start to purify the water by taking out nutrition like nitrogen and phosphorous. This nutrition is used by the algae to grow. Afterwards the water can be reused. The algae can be used for fish feed, fertilizer or bio fuel. Both products profit from each other and create a circuit. The container is mobile and can therefore be a local product everywhere. For further information: https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/dec/14/us-fishermen-turn-billion-dollar-seafood-waste-into-profitable-products
- Fish leather:
This is a project in Finland and France to use the fish skin for leather instead of throwing it away. The CLLD approach helps the community to promote the multiple use of fish skin, raise awareness of this topic and train the fishermen in the production of fish skin for leather products. For further information: https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/fpfis/cms/farnet/tanning-fish-skin-flag-%C3%B6sterbotten-fi
The link between circular and sharing economy
In the sharing economy, the user of a product tries to maximise the use of it or of other commodities. This is achieved through renting, lending, swapping and giving. A car user for example won’t need his car the whole time, actually most cars are staying unused for about 90% of the time. Instead of buying new cars and increasing the number of cars on the street, the community could profit from the 90% unused cars by sharing them. To unlock this unused potential of commodities the technology can help foster this sharing economy by providing internet or mobile platforms for sharing or renting. This model can be used for a huge variety of commodities, housings, services, spaces or even skills and labour. The sharing economy can also be part of a circular economy, or even complement it for better results and effectiveness. It helps the environment by reducing virgin material inputs and through the reuse of already existing resources, like the circular economy does. Also by offering local services for repair or recycling, the link between circular economy and sharing economy becomes more visible. The following example is a mix between circular and sharing economy through community led initiatives:
- Temporary use as a tool for urban regeneration:
In Bremen, an agency for temporary use “ZwischenZeitZentrale” (ZZZ) offers possibilities for shared spaces and temporary use. The private economic development agencies, property owners and cultural organisations are interested in the temporary use of buildings as they hope to gain an added value of utilizing already existing homes and buildings which are not used anymore. All parties would benefit from this model, i.e. owners of the buildings would profit from the renovation and preservation of these buildings, the users would profit from the possibility of using spaces like offices which are not too expensive, residents close to the abandoned area would profit of new live and neighbours, merchants could take advantage of the increased number of people to sell their products and designers get new working possibilities to design the offices or buildings. The project was invented in Bremen, Germany in cooperation of the municipality Bremen and the Non-government organisation ZZZ. The ZZZ cooperates with at least 50 vacant properties, which are scaling from small shops (30sqm) up to whole industrial sites (4500sqm). Due to the structural change in Bremen in the 1980s and 90s and the loss of labour especially in the harbour industry, the city has a lot of vacant spaces. These vacant spaces are planned to be used for financial resources and for accessible space for entrepreneurs and for students to keep them in the city after graduation. The project was funded by the federal state by 50% and the department of economy, building and finances for the other 50% (€350 000 for the whole). This typically sharing economy method can also be circular. As no new buildings have to be built, no virgin resources used and already existing resources (buildings in this case) are reused for new opportunities, the ZZZ supports also a circular economy. For further information: http://tutur.eu/?page_id=7
By combining the sharing and circular economy new jobs could be established. In this respect, the reverse sector could be helpful. For the circular economy to work the used products have to be sent back to the producer so that he can reintegrate the resources in the loop. A reverse sector as a service would create incentives to participate in the circular economy. This service could be made even more effective by combining the service as part of the sharing economy. For example, shared cars could transport the products back to the producer. Therefore, no new cars have to be purchased by the company and no additional CO2 would be emitted. Ideally the service cars would be driving with alternative fuels like bio gas or with an electric engine. That means the sharing economy complements the circular economy and vice versa.
Circular economy as a community led local approach
For the circular economy to flourish it is important that not only big companies are promoting and using this concept. Their goal of continual economic growth could end up in another rebound effect. This means, that products get cheaper because of a more efficient way to produce them. Therefore, more customers will buy a product and an increase in demand for that product will follow, which means more production again. A way to overcome this situation would be through a circular economy which could be carried by all people and not just a concentration of a few companies. Thus, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and community led initiatives play an important role in the implementation of the circular economy. The incentive to gain revenues that are not depending on a big company, can foster new investments and models of the circular economy among communities. These communities could build up a network, connecting different actors whereby they could profit from each other. Most examples which are shown in the rural, urban or maritime contexts could be established because they are based on a community led local approach (Besolutions, Net-Works, Fish leather) or are practical local solutions in terms of employment (RUCONBAR) or environment (SabrTech). Networks of local producers and companies (Creating value from tomato waste, Bio methane fuel buses in Linköping) were successful in establishing circular economy methods. These community led circular economies are contributing to a sustainable and ecological living. Therefore, the circular economy also focuses on a CO2 neutral community.
A local community and climate change study of the “European Association for Information on Local Development (AEIDL)”, points out four aspects of a positive effect from a locally approach which help to change the perception of pro-environmental behaviour:
- The projects of the community are tailored to their specific needs and capabilities, whereby the community profits from these tailored projects and is therefore more ambitious in implementing them.
- Community based projects are also much more trusted by the community as the advantages of the outcomes are more visible for the community.
- These projects also help to engage and activate people in the community who are only moderately interested in this topic of the “environment”. By directly affecting the community the projects become more attractive to the community and therefore more interest for the topic is created.
- That means that the actions have a meaningful scale for the people in the community. It is big enough to make a difference in daily life but still small enough to be visible by the community.
These four points can also be transferred to projects concerned to a community led local circular economy, as they have the same goals of improving the live as well as the economy of the community.
CLLD circular economy is on the rise
A local and therefore short value chain would be of much more profit for the local farmers than multinational enterprises or supermarket intermediaries would be. As waste and production would be processed in the area, the added value would also be retained in this local area. The raised awareness and lessons learned by the inhabitants in local areas from the circular economy would likely promote this concept even further. A domino effect is possible and bordering areas also start to implement local circular economy methods to increase the value of their area. By being independent from multinational enterprises the local approach would continue to grow and be more stable to international market competition and volatilities. There are already many practices relating to local circular economy which are similar to the previous examples. Countries like Portugal also started to invest money and resources to promote the circular economy. The “Centro Bio: Bio-industries, Biorefineries and Bioproducts” project is cooperating with farmers, entrepreneurs etc. to establish circular economy models in rural areas and train scientists end entrepreneurs for this specific topic. The EU supports the project with €2 640 000 from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). This indicates a growing popularity among local areas to implement circular economy systems to promote their area and to be suited for a sustainable future.