Within the efforts to collect the views of the different stakeholders on the main policy options for developing an ambitious new approach on the Circular Economy the European Commission organized the Conference: “CLOSING THE LOOP – Circular Economy: boosting business, reducing waste”.

The Conference is a part of the consultations that will address the other parts of the economic cycle (e.g. the production and consumption phases) and general enabling framework conditions (e.g. innovation and investment).

The Conference comprised a plenary session with keynotes from circular economy experts and business representatives, followed by a series of split-up sessions addressing specific factors of the circular economy. Among the speakers were the commissioners involved in the development of the new proposals: First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, responsible for Better Regulation, Interinstitutional Relations, Rule of Law and the Charter of Fundamental Rights, Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, Commissioner Karmenu Vella, responsible for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries and Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska. In the Conference also took part E. MacArthur, Ellen MacArthur Foundation. During the last session statements made MEP Sirpa Pietikainen (Rapporteur of the EP report on Circular Economy), MEP Simona Bonafé (Rapporteur for the 2014 withdrawn CEP), R. Schmit, Director, Ministry of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure, Luxembourg and H. Bruyninckx, Executive Director, European Environment Agency.

Joachim Quoden, EXPRA’s Managing Director was invited to make an intervention during the split-up Session “Waste: complement to the legislative proposal”. In his statement he presented EXPRA position and underlined that all stakeholders should have clear roles and should implement them accordingly. He also added that for the successful implementation of the EPR very important are the awareness and information campaigns for the population, green procurement and sharing best practices. Other participants in the session also pointed out the importance of EPR (including mandatory min requirements) in moving towards a more sustainable circular economy. In the conclusions of the split-up Session it was noted that there is a need for clear rules for EPR, harmonised definitions/standards and that separate collection is essential as well as the supporting measures as green public procurement, better design and awareness campaigns.