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Circular Economy Workshops

The workshops below demonstrate NIST's leadership connecting stakeholders—from government and industry to academia, the financial sector, and international stakeholders—to identify and solve the challenges and opportunities to transitioning into a circular economy.

Upcoming Workshops

Facilitating a Circular Economy for Food and Biomass

Biomass/Food Waste

NIST Food Waste Reduction and Recovery Workshop

NIST's Circular Economy Program is hosting a workshop to determine how NIST can serve the food/organic waste community in their efforts to reduce and repurpose the waste. Specifically, the workshop aims to understand the state of food waste recovery, including for energy and nutrient recovery. Ultimately, it seeks to identify-industry wide challenges to overcoming barriers, particularly in the areas of data, measurement science, reference materials, and standards.

    Past Workshops

    recycling textiles
    Credit: Supakorn Limteerayos/Shutterstock

    Textiles Standards

    Identifying Standards Needs to Facilitate a Circular Economy for Textiles

    The workshop brought together relevant stakeholders (e.g., textile industry professionals, sorters/graders, recyclers, sustainability professionals) to identify standards needed to facilitate circularity for textiles--like more harmonized input specifications for recycling processes, harmonized terminology, needs for textile sorting, digital identifiers, and circular design. This is a collaboration between NIST, ASTM International, and the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC).

    • October 17-19, 2023
    • Report coming soon


    Plastic pellets

    Plastics (Data Harmonization)

    Data and Harmonization for Plastics

    Efforts are underway at the federal, state, local, and international levels to better manage plastic products and packaging. This collaboration between NIST, EPA, USDA, NOAA, DoE, and others discusses the gaps in data across the polymers/plastics value chain, ways that plastics data are being collected and used, data evaluation methods, and what an infrastructure to support data-driven solutions to plastic management might look like.
    Circular Concrete
    Credit: Kelsea Schumacher


    Construction Materials

    Fostering a Circular Economy and Carbon Sequestration for Construction Materials

    Industry leaders are simultaneously under pressure to reduce/reuse construction waste and produce concrete with a lower embodied carbon. In this workshop, industry stakeholders discuss measurement science and standards needs to create a more circular economy for building materials, with a focus on concrete.



    Fostering a Circular Economy for Manufacturing Materials

    NIST collaborated with ASTM International on a workshop with stakeholders from the manufacturing industry, governments, and academia to identify standards needed to create a circular economy for the manufacturing industry. The resulting report includes a standards roadmap.

    Facilitating a Circular Economy for Textiles


    Facilitating a Circular Economy for Textiles

    Textiles are one of the fastest growing waste streams in the world, but recovery rates for the material are low. In this workshop, stakeholders across the textiles industry discuss the needs and opportunities for creating a circular economy for textiles.

    Mass Balance Square

    Mass Balance Accounting

    Assessment of Mass Balance Accounting Methods for Polymers

    This workshop and resulting technical report assesses the existing mass balance methodologies, standards, and certification systems that are applicable to the supply chain sustainability of polymers. Mass balance is vital for traceability in a circular economy, and is especially relevant for plastics recycling.

    high tech waste square
    Credit: andreahuyoff/Pixabay

    Electronic Waste

    Circular Economy in the High-Tech World

    Electronics are complex and have multiple components, making them a challenge for a circular economy. NIST and industry stakeholders assess the technical and economic barriers to keeping electronics, batteries, and solar panels in the economy and out of unwanted sinks.


    Created March 16, 2023, Updated November 13, 2023