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Date : Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Fostering the Transition towards a Circular Economy in Europe: Turning Waste into a Resource

Energy, Environment and Climate
Date: Tuesday, 27 February 2018 09:15 - 16:30

Venue: Thon Hotel Brussels City Centre  |  City: Brussels, Belgium

The concept of circular economy has gained significant prominence, becoming more widespread and pervasive in the last ten years. Taking into account the whole product life-cycle, circular economy offers an alternative model that promotes reuse, repair, refurbishment and recycling, recuperating rare raw materials and transforming waste into a resource. Eurostat calculates that the EU households and economic activities generate about 2.5 billion tonnes of waste per year, 1.6 billion of which are not reused or recycled.

The drive towards sustainability and decarbonisation led the European Commission to launch, in December 2015, an overarching Circular Economy Package (CEP) which is currently going through the trilogue negotiation phase among the Commission, the Parliament and the European Council. Circular economy principles touch on a wide range of policy areas, ranging from emissions to renewable energies, from recycling to food waste, from the secondary materials markets to the creation of new jobs and the increase in competitiveness. In March 2017 the Commission and the European Economic and Social Committee launched the Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform, a virtual “network of networks” to facilitate policy dialogue. The Commission is also gradually launching ad-hoc strategies, such as the Waste of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) package adopted in April 2017 and the new EU Plastics Strategy to be presented in December 2017.

For the transition towards a more circular economy to be effective, a coordinated effort needs to be carried out in the economic, environmental and social sectors, involving all relevant actors at all political levels. It is calculated that the necessary investments are in the scale of 3% GDP per annum from now to 2030 (Club of Rome, 2015). The targets set will need to be ambitious and supported by solid footprint indicators. Schemes to limit the creation of waste have to include packaging, but also ensure a better longevity of products through Ecodesign. Legislative interventions need to be considered in their overall impact, to avoid on the one hand “lock-in effects”, such as promoting incineration capacity to the detriment of the more environmentally-friendly recycling solution, and, on the other, adverse effects on the internal market, such as the one foreseen by the packaging industry as a consequence of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD) review.

In light of these developments and with the outcome of the trilogue negotiations due to be announced in the following months, this timely symposium will provide an invaluable opportunity for industry experts, policy makers, academics, NGOs and other key stakeholders to review the latest European regulatory policy developments on the Circular Economy Package and discuss strategies aimed at promoting a more sustainable economy. The symposium will allow delegates to assess the current challenges to the transition towards a more circular economy, consider ways to overcome them, set future priorities and share best practice and initiatives from across Europe. 

Delegates will

  • Review the state of play of the Circular Economy Package and the related legislative initiatives
  • Learn about indicators and benchmarks to measure the progression of Member States and the EU as a whole towards an extension of products and materials life-cycle  
  • Evaluate actions, strategies  and campaigns both at the EU and at the Member States levels on the fight to food waste
  • Participate in discussions about the role local authorities can play in the implementation of a better municipal waste management system
  • Debate novelties in the field of recovery and recycling of materials, how e-waste can be recuperated and the relevance of the waste hierarchy
  • Determine ways in which Ecodesign can support the ultimate goal of living more sustainably and producing less waste 
  • Share best practice and industry innovations to help kick-start the transition towards sustainability 
  • Take part in lively and interactive discussions with key stakeholders in the field of circular economy and build lasting partnerships




+44 (0)20 3137 8630
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All Dates

  • Tuesday, 27 February 2018 09:15 - 16:30

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