As Emmanuel Katrakis, EuRIC’s Secretary General, said in his opening remarks: “To boost the transition towards a circular and climate neutral economy, we need more harmonised End-of-Waste criteria at EU level, recycled content for and beyond plastics as well as design for recycling.”
The day offered insights into various topics, from design as driver for recycling to enhancing the circularity of critical raw materials. One of the main points of discussion was how Europe can become more circular with the right policies by simultaneously supporting to reach a climate neutral economy. Mattia Pellegrini, Head of Unit “From Waste to Resource” at the European Commission’s DG Environment, welcomed the participants by highlighting that “the European Green Deal and its ambitious actions are priority number one of the European Commission and that when there are market failures, more recycled content targets will be established to boost recycling and the circular economy”.
The afternoon concluded with a session on EU funding opportunities and parallel sessions focussing on packaging and textiles. For the latter, MEP Delara Burkhardt (S&D) stressed that “textile waste has a value and should not be considered as burden but an economic asset” while Mariska Boer, EuRIC Textiles President, gave an impulse about the EuRIC study on an LCA-based assessment for European used clothing which showcases that reusing clothing has a 70 times lower environmental impact than producing new clothing. Regarding packaging, Ioannis Antonopoulos from the European Commission emphasized the giant leap expected from the proposed regulation that will boost the sustainability of packaging products in comparison with a business-as-usual scenario.