In January 2018, the European Union adopted a new package as part of a broader Circular Economy action plan launched in 2015. This package includes the much-awaited Strategy for Plastics in the Circular Economy, which proposed radically transforming the way plastic products are designed, produced, used and recycled. This approach will be the basis for intervening across a number of other sectors, potentially starting with the textile sector. Providing the public with clear information about the environmental footprint of companies and products is also a key element within the EU’s approach towards a Circular Economy. The circular economy debate is not a local one. The BRICs are also getting involved, exploring how to strengthen cooperation to advance circular economy. At the global level, one of the United Nations’ 2030 objectives is to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns – in line with the EU’s own agenda. Progress in advancing towards such an objective will be discussed in July in New York and these discussions will feed into the United Nations Environment Assembly, in March 2019, that will focus on “Innovative solutions for environmental challenges and sustainable consumption and production”.
Questions will include:
- How to promote and create synergies from various initiatives on the circular economy at the global level?
- Can the circular economy make a significant contribution to the Paris Agreement?
- How to strengthen links between the circular economy agenda and the UN Sustainable Development Goals and reinforce development policies?
Leonard Mizzi, Acting Director, Planet and Prosperity DG DEVCO, European Commission
Marjolein Mann, Policy Officer Directorate for Sustainable Environment and Circular Economy, Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management
Khaled Mohamed Fahmy Abdel Aal, Minister of Environment, Egypt
Patrizia Heidegger, Director for Global Policies and Sustainability, European Environmental Bureau (EEB)
Mauro Scalia, Director Sustainable Businesses, EURATEX
Erik Solheim, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme