On 29 September 2015, the Association of Cities and Regions for Recycling and sustainable Resource management ( ACR+ ) and Duales System Holding ( DSD ) organised a conference entitled “Towards a Green Circular Economy : EPR and its role for post - consumer plastics”.

Against the backdrop of the relaunch of the Circular Economy Package , the conference addressed the development of a circular economy for post - consumer plastics and more specifically the principle of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) to foster the recovery of plastic waste and the eco - design of products. Around 100 participants attended high - level keynotes and participated in fruitful panel discussions bringing together experts from industry , politics, NGOs and science. Issues such as increasing citizens’ engagement, high - quality recycling of plastics and the creation of an efficient political framework were debated.

Practical challenges and opportunities for turning post-consumer plastic waste into a valuable resource

In his opening speech, Michael Wiener, Managing Partner and CEO of DSD – Duales System Holding GmbH & Co . KG , referred to the high environmental and economic benefits of a circular economy for plastics and stressed the need for more dialogue a nd cooperation of all actors involved to realize these potentials.

The morning session was dedicated to practical challenges and opportunities for turning post - consumer plastic waste into a valuable resource. It started with keynote speec hes of Francoise Bonnet, Secretary General of ACR+, Peter Heydasch, Corporate Account Executive of DOW Europe and Frank Böttcher, CEO of DKR Deutsche Gesellschaft für Kreislaufwirtschaft und Rohstoffe GmbH . The last one joined representatives from the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) and the companies IKEA, Eco - Embal lage, ELIPSO and LOGOPLASTE to exchange views and visions in a panel discussion. All the panellists admitted that the recycling of post - consumer plastics was an attractive business . They also agreed on two points: politics had to set incentives to further develop a circular economy for plastics and that there was a need to “walk the talk”.

Fitting post-consumer plastics into a green circular economy

In the afternoon, keynote by Dr. Helmut Maurer, representing the European Commission’s DG Environment, an d the following panel discussion were cent red around the question of the right political framework for a circular economy for post - consumer plastics. R epresentatives from the European Commission and from national Governments of Germany and Spain were present at the political panel. Whereas Dr. Reinhard Büscher, representing the DG GROW, underlined that political provisions on a circular economy must follow an economic rationale, Dr. Helmut Maurer, called for ambitious steps towards more recycling and recyclability of plastics . Dr. Thomas Rummler, representing the German government and Dr. Teresa Barrés Benlloch, speaking for the Spanish Ministry, shared that view.

Closing the conference, Helmut Schmitz from DSD highlighted the importance of havi ng a constructive dialogue along the value chain and of developing an innovation and future oriented political framework at EU and national level.

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