A Circular Future with Plastics

The EuPC Conference, co-organised at the Blue Point Brussels with Belgian partners Agoria and essenscia PolyMatters, marked two days of discussions, networking, and collaborative efforts towards advancing circularity and overall sustainability within the plastics value chain industry.
Copyright: EUPC

In-depth keynotes, presentations, and discussions were held on the current political and regulatory landscape, focusing on strategies and paths to undertake to achieve an even further circular future for plastic packaging. We delved into the challenges and opportunities presented by the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR) and addressed the challenges and opportunities posed by other pivotal pieces of legislation. These include the Construction Product Regulation (CPR), the Ecodesign Sustainable Product Regulation (ESPR), and the End-of-Life-Vehicles Regulation proposals.

Another session highlighted the benefits of plastic products in the EU’s plan to achieve net-zero emissions and decarbonisation by 2050, focusing on increasing raw material circularity. Currently, plastics converting companies own and operate 65% of Europe’s mechanical recycling capacity. A forecast for available volumes by 2040 was presented, and industry partners announced plans for additional multi-billion Euro investments, creating additional new jobs in the sector.

The European plastics converting industry is among the most creative and innovative backbones of the EU economy. The industry will continue to play a leading role in the increased sustainability and circularity efforts across all industrial sectors, including aerospace and mobility, leisure and sports, health and safety, food and transport packaging, robotics and digitalisation. It also allows considerable and crucial energy savings in the construction sector.

Despite the plastics converting industry’s solid track record, innovation remains crucial for future challenges. Presentations highlighted how ongoing research and advancements promote a more circular EU economy. Key players, including EU and Member States authorities and value chain partners, were identified to address current barriers, enabling increased investments in advanced recycling technologies and the use of recycled materials in future products.

The last session of the Conference focussed on advocacy, communication, and best practices and ended with a panel discussion on the EU-funded project Chemskills. During the discussion, both industry and academia representatives had the opportunity to engage in an interesting debate on the current skills shortage in the plastics industry. The industry is gradually evolving towards digitalisation, and the need to upskill the workforce in a process of adaptation toward the use of advanced technologies.

The EuPC 2025 Conference will take place in Brussels on 19-20 June 2025.


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