Reinventing Plastics – Closing the Circle

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The European Commission is organising the conference “Reinventing plastics – Closing the circle” to discuss the challenges and opportunities of the new strategy for plastics that is under development.

At EU level more than 1.4 million people work in the plastics industry, which is worth over EUR 350 billion each year, but opportunities are being missed because of low recycling rates and a high reliance on virgin materials. The coming plastics strategy will aim to improve framework conditions for investment and innovation, and help the industry become more circular and resource-efficient, bringing more jobs and further growth.

Introduction and objectives

Plastic is an important material for our economy. However, its growing production brings with it a series of challenges related to their production, use, and end-of-life that need to be addressed.

In its ‘EU action plan for the Circular Economy’ (COM (2015) 614 final), the European Commission set out a commitment to develop a plastics strategy due to be adopted in late 2017 through a Commission Communication. This strategy intends to support and complement the existing acquis and tackle the interrelated problems of fossil feedstock dependence, recycling and reuse and plastics leakage into the environment. The strategy is being informed by a number of technical studies and a wide variety of stakeholder engagement activities.

This conference is an important opportunity to explore issues and potential solutions to be proposed in the plastics strategy.

The conference provides an opportunity to:

  • Set the plastics strategy within the broader context of EU actions to ‘modernise’ the economy and contribute to jobs and growth. The conference will introduce the main subjects of the strategy, with the aim of building support for the strategy and promoting understanding of the potential role of the Commission in delivering action.
  • Engage with stakeholders on the plastics strategy and obtain high level feedback.

Who should attend?

The event is expected to be attended by representatives of:

  • European Institutions e.g. the European Commission, European Parliament, European Environmental Agency
  • Public authorities: e.g. Member States’ environment and industry ministries, regional and municipal authorities
  • Industry representative organisations and individual firms
  • Social enterprise groups
  • Civil society organisations campaigning on environmental issues
  • The research community The conference will be held in English. The maximum capacity of the venue is 270 participants.

A full programme can be found here.

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