On 20th April 2022, the European Chemical Regions Network (ECRN) is organising a virtual conference “Waste as a feedstock for the circular economy – challenges and opportunities for the chemical industry”. The event will be combined with the launch of the ECRN position paper on waste management and shipment, which was our contribution to the public consultation on the Environmental impact of waste management – revision of EU waste framework.
Waste plays a key role in the transition to a circular economy and it is a priority working area for ECRN. In line with the waste hierarchy, waste generation must be prevented in the first place, starting from the design phase. Moving down the waste management pyramid to the recovery phase, there is a growing number of innovative solutions that use waste as feedstock for products and services other than producing energy (i.e. incineration). The chemical sector is a leading actor in this sense and contributes to keeping resources in the economy and building a circular economy in Europe.
Importantly, waste flows are not limited to regional and national boundaries. That is why the waste policy should be developed and implemented at the European level to guarantee harmonized rules for all stakeholders and to protect the environment and human health against the adverse impacts that could be caused by the improper shipping or management of waste.
Several experts and policymakers from EU institutions, regions, industry, and relevant stakeholders will join the debate. The aim of the conference is to bring together key actors and stakeholders that are shaping the European circular economy to discuss how current policies can be improved to speed up the transition and to present best practices that can be replicated to effectively reduce the costs and time needed to implement new technologies.