The 22nd edition of the Packaging Waste and Sustainability Forum gathered a wide range of speakers and participants from the EU institutions, industry and NGOs. EXPRA supported the organisation of the event for the second year in a row, and various representatives from EXPRA’s management and members took part as moderators, speakers or participants.

The introductory speech was given by Karl Falkenberg, Director General at DG Environment, European Commission, who provided insights on the Commission’s next steps to follow the withdrawal of the Waste Targets Proposal. Falkenberg explained that the work on the new proposals – one waste legislative proposal as well as further initiatives to ‘close the circle’ of the circular economy – now kicks off.

The first panel of the Forum provided opportunity also to the business and NGO to discuss the practical measures to improve recycling, as well, as the financial responsibilities of the different stakeholders in the packaging value chain.

The Hon. Leo Brincat, Environment Minister of Malta provided the view of the Member States on the proposed changes to waste targets. Brincat outlined inter alia that it is important to treat waste as a resource and that Malta is working to further increase their recycling levels. He added that the work that has been done on the current Waste Package needs to be taken into consideration in the preparation of the new proposals.

Various EXPRA representatives were also among the high level speakers. EXPRA President William Vermeir moderated a session on EPR during which an analysis of the Disparity of cost responsibilities in EPR for packaging in Europe was presented by Paul Christiaens, Nedvang, speaking on behalf of Jan Storm,’s as well, as a presentation on the findings of the BIO IS Guidance on Extended Producer Responsibility.

During the panel on EU wide view on Regional perspectives for packaging waste legislation and targets, Liliana Nichita, EcoRom Ambalaje, presented the view of the EPR systems concerning the cooperation with local authorities.

High level speakers from industry and the EU Commission debated issues such as the importance of waste in the context of resource efficiency. Michele Galatola, Product Team Leader in DG Environment explained how the work is progressing in the field of Product environmental footprint (PEF) Pilots, and representatives from IKEA, Unilever, Tetra Pak International and Dow Europe discussed Industry led sustainability initiatives. They sahred their experience in innovative product design and how packaging fits into broader waste, environment and efficiency strategies.

Together with a range of other speakers, inter alia, Stephane Arditi from the European Environment Bureau and Virginia Janssens from EUROPEN, the event provided a comprehensive overview of policies and initiatives in the field of packaging and packaging waste and plenty of networking opportunities.

Additional information about the forum can be found here