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16 December 2016

New study estimates 1,455 tonnes of plastic float in the Mediterranean

Researchers have issued a study that estimates that a rough total of 1,455 tonnes of floating plastic is present across the Mediterranean Sea. The team of researchers highlights that the issue is likely to worsen if the global production keeps on increasing, and waste-management systems do not respond to this problem. They call on raising awareness on the relevance of plastic waste reduction.

Researchers gathered floating plastics using trawl nets and found that micro-plastics with a surface area of around 1 square millimetre (mm2) were the most abundant size of plastic particles found. Micro-plastics are harmful to marine animals, and they can also negative impacts on fishing, aquaculture and tourism.

Due to currents and other specificities of the Mediterranean Sea, four potential areas of plastic accumulation have been identified: the Otranto Strait, the northern coast of Sicily, the Ionian Islands and the Menorca Channel.

To know more about the study, visit here. For further information on the positive impacts of bio-based products and their sustainability, as well as on biodegradability check the InnProBio factsheets.

9 December 2016

Neobuild Innovation Centre, a building using 100% bio-based paint

The Neobuild Innovation Centre – Living Lab of construction technology solutions is the highlighted October case of BUILD-UP, the European Portal for Energy Efficiency in Buildings. The building incorporates a number of innovative processes and materials in its construction, amongst those, bio-based and recycled materials.

The building, located in Luxembourg, uses solid wood, cellulose, cement particle board, stone aggregates, wooden cladding and 100% bio-based paint. Alongside the environmental aspect, health and comfort are the two other key aspects of the building. The idea is that all users can enjoy a bright and functional space that uses materials that naturally regulate humidity in the rooms and have suitable ventilation. The bio-based paint has also contributed to this health and comfort aspect.

The Neobuild Innovation Centre is also considered a smart building, as it has over 1,500 sensors with multiple functions to monitor it. It anticipates on the Net Zero Energy buildings of 2020.

For more information, visit here

2 December 2016

Winners of the Procura+ Awards announced

Procurers from Denmark, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands took home the 2016 Procura+ Awards at a ceremony in Malmö (Sweden) on Wednesday, 30th November. The awards recognise the most outstanding procurement activities carried out in Europe in three categories. The award ceremony was held as part of the Sustainable City Development conference, an international event exploring how cities can work towards implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The City of Copenhagen (Denmark) beat off competition in the category "Sustainable procurement of the year" for its procurement of healthy, sustainable, biodiverse and appetising food. The city aims to ensure that 90 percent of all food procured by the municipality should be organic. Transport for London was awarded “Innovation procurement of the year”. The British capital’s public transport operator sought to reduce the whole life-cycle cost associated with lighting the expansive London Underground network. Rijkswaterstaat (RWS), the body within the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment responsible for infrastructure facilities, was recognised in the category "Tender procedure of the year". RWS used an innovative contract to procure the works and services necessary to widen the A6 motorway.

“I would like to congratulate each award winner for their fantastic achievement. Each organisation has demonstrated how procurement can be used as a valuable tool to achieve strategic sustainability aims,” said Åsa Karlsson Björkmarker, Deputy Mayor, Växjö. The Procura+ Awards are held as part of ICLEI Europe’s Procura+ Network, a network of public authorities at the forefront of sustainable and innovation procurement in Europe.

For more information, read the Press Release.