On 20 and 21 February, ACR+ participated in the Circular Economy Stakeholder conference in Brussels hosted by the European Commission and the European Economic and Social Committee. The conference, attended by 800 stakeholders representing business, local authorities, and citizens, discussed the most recent initiatives and new areas of action in the transition to a more circular, resource-efficient and low-carbon economy.

The opening statement by the Commission’s First Vice-President Frans Timmermans highlighted the success and remaining challenged of the transition towards a circular economy, notably related to plastics, as the Vice-President noted that not all plastics will be able to remain on the market specifying that substitutions will be key in addressing single-use plastic issue. Furthermore, the Commissioner for Environment Karmenu Vella noted that 80 % of the Circular Economy Action Plan has been delivered with the key domains of progress being: the monitoring framework for the circular economy, work on the interface between chemicals, products and waste legislation as well as the adoption of the new EU Strategy for Plastics.

ACR+ members Zero Waste Scotland and OVAM actively engaged in the conference. Zero Waste Scotland participated in the session related to SMEs in the Circular Economy and shared their experience in assisting SMEs by providing certain financial aid. OVAM discussed their experience in circular procurement, noting that it involves testing along the process, and thus it would be advantageous to have a European learning network on circular procurement.

Following the conference, the coordination group of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform (ECESP), of which ACR+ is a member, discussed the ECESP upcoming activities and priorities for action.

The recordings from the conference are available here.

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