What is the role of plastics in a circular economy? Why is innovation so important for the transition towards a resource efficient Europe? What is full life cycle thinking?
These and other equally challenging questions were on the agenda of the event "Innovation with plastics for a circular and resource efficient Europe”, organized by PlasticsEurope. The event took place on September 18 in Brussels and gathered more than 100 attendees, including policy and decision makers, representatives from the plastics manufacturing, converting and recycling industry, NGOs, media, science and academia to discuss the role of plastics in a resource efficient circular economy.
The new president of PlasticsEurope, Daniele Ferrari said: "The European plastics industry enables our society to enjoy a higher quality of life while fostering innovation, facilitating resource efficiency and climate protection. The upcoming Strategy on Plastics is a unique opportunity for Europe to recognize such a role and help our industry contribute even further to address global challenges”.
"We need urgently to adopt a more sustainable, more resource-efficient and more climate-resilient economic model ", said Ado Lõhmus, deputy secretary general at the Environmental Management Department of Estonia, speaking as representative of the Estonian EU Council Presidency. "To this aim, we need innovative smart solutions and initiatives that employ new business models and reduce environmental impacts of production and consumption. Action-oriented Estonian presidency facilitates these discussions under eco-innovation priority topic”.
Charlina Vitcheva, deputy director-general at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, stated that "Innovation plays a key role in fostering economic growth and prosperity in Europe. It is a building block that contributes to a sustainable and competitive Europe. For innovation to happen, we need the cooperation of all stakeholders in order to move towards a circular and resource efficient economy”.
The conference served as a platform to discuss PlasticsEurope’s views on the plastics strategy, which was the subject of the upcoming EC conference on September 26. The event hosted the presentation of the second European Plastics Innovation Awards (Epia), organised in collaboration with the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE), during which 10 companies were awarded with 11 prizes.