The international conference “Greater Energy and Material Security in EU countries,” co-organized by the European Association for Waste Management (FEAD) and the Czech Association for the Circular Economy (CAObH) and supported by EXPRA under the auspices of the Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union, has taken place in Prague on the 21st of September.

The conference programme was divided into three main blocs: energy, recycling, economy and climate. Representatives of the industry gave speeches in each of them, followed by a panel discussion comprising of experts, representatives of the state administration and representatives of the European institutions

The first esteemed panel with Anna Hubackova, Minister of the Environment, Michael Stieber, Chairman of the Executive Committee of CAObH, Peter Kurth, President of FEAD, and Virginius Sinkevicius, European Commission for the Environment, opened the day’s session focusing on circular economy, new energy policies, and how EU waste management addresses the climate, energy and resources challenges. During the Conference, the following hot topics have been discussed: Circular Economy challenges (developing in CEE countries under current obstacles), how to adapt EU policies, how to treat conflicting goals and how residual waste converted to energy can contribute to the solution. In the context of the energy crisis, the conference aimed to shed light on how the current energy crisis affects recycling, and what the role of residual and non-recyclable waste should be in the energy mix. Furthermore, much was discussed about conflicting European environmental goals, e.g. recycling and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

During the session devoted to economy and climate, EXPRA Manager Director, Joachim Quoden presented “EXPRA – Producer Responsibility as an Economic Tool, the Role of EPR,” dwelling on EXPRA’s missions, values and goals and presenting extended producer responsibility as a revolutionary concept with key principles to address C02 and all the other challenges countries will face to close the circle of the circular economy.

The successful event was attended by several EXPRA members, and Zbynek Kozel, CEO at EKO-KOM, was one of the estimated panelists in the second panel discussion.