The conference was hosted by the European Commission on 26 September 2017 and focused attention on the upcoming Plastics Strategy, currently being developed by the European Commission.
It provided an opportunity for stakeholders to discuss the issues, challenges and opportunities that will feature in the new strategy, and to articulate key messages to the European Commission for consideration as it moves towards completion of the strategy. The conference brought together nearly 270 participants from across Europe and beyond, representing a range of stakeholder interests. Over 30 senior figures from government, business, civil society and academia gave expert input through speeches and presentations.
The conference participants broadly found consensus that the Plastic Strategy should be ambitious and not shy away from ambitious goals. However it was also recognised that such ambition should be grounded in a reality that would enable all stakeholder to not only support but deliver those goals. FVP Timmermans confirmed that the Plastic Strategy will be “ambitious”, to be pitched at a level “where we think we can get a qualified majority of Member States”. It was widely noted that Europe is being ‘outperformed’ in its actions on plastic by countries without the same degree of financial and socio-political capital as Europe. An ambitious Plastic Strategy should strengthen Europe’s role as a global lead. This will both help drive forward action at the global level as well as create market opportunities for European business. The Conference participants agreed on the following key messages:

  • An ambitious Plastics Strategy is widely called for, positioning Europe as a global lead;
  • Market failures are holding back the rate of change, and intervention is necessary to foster the fundamental behaviour changes necessary;
  • A mix of regulatory, economic and voluntary measures are necessary;
  • Stakeholder groups must work in collaboration across the value chain.

You can read the full report here: