The conference, initiated by FEAD President – Peter Kurth, was joined by Nikolay Sidzhimov – Vice Minister in charge of waste management from the Ministry of Environment and Water, Bulgaria; Keith Bury – FEAD’s past president; RNDr. Petr Kratochvil – General Manager at ECOBAT s.r.o., Holger Kuhlmann – from BASF; Helmut Maurer – Senior expert in the European Commission; Pablo Kroff – Project Manager at SUEZ; Johannes Schön – Managing Director at REMONDIS Digital Service GmbH; Andréas von Kaenel – Co-founder from Cortexia; Elena Coloma Jimenez – Project & Circular Economy Manager at Prezero Spain and Portugal; Dr. Bärbel Bringstengel – Principal at Prognos AG; Unico van Kooten – EU Secretary DWMA; Chaim Waibel – Public Affairs Manager at Plastics Recyclers Europe; and Ella Stengler – Managing Director, CEWEP.
As a special highlight, the European Commissioner for the Environment, Virginijus Sinkevičius prepared a video message to congratulate FEAD on our 40th anniversary and addressed the most pending challenges in the waste management sector for the coming years.
The event was moderated by FEAD’s Secretary-General, Valerie Plainemaison and revolved around the following key issues in relation to markets, innovation and avoided CO2 emissions in the waste management sector:
- Mandatory recycled content creates a strong demand that triggers investments by recyclate users in the manufacturing sector to benefit from secure, long term supply capacities, preventing possible scarcity situations due to Europe’s dependency on third countries for raw materials.
- Innovation, green and digital economy are strongly linked to the waste management sector.
- The CO2 study commissioned by FEAD and three other partners showed a significant potential for reducing CO2 emissions thanks to the waste management sector by 2035. If EU waste regulations are fully implemented on the following waste flows: paper, glass, plastics, ferrous metals, aluminium, wood, textiles, waste tyres, biowaste + residual waste/WDF (non-separately collected waste and rejects from waste treatment/waste derived fuels; the study showed a potential of 150 Mt CO2 savings/year by 2035. With even more ambitious projections the CO2 savings potential increases to 296 Mt/year. Conditions for success depend on a full implementation of EU waste management rules, public support to separate collection and sorting, strengthening recycling markets with mandatory recycled contents and eco-design, W-to-E solutions for non-recyclable residual waste.
For this occasion, FEAD published a special 40th anniversary publication about how our sector contributes to the fight against climate change.