The session was opened by Willem Vriesendorp, Head of Fipra’s Environment practice, and Preeti Srivastav, Adviser to Senior Leadership of the Corporate Sector on Sustainability Strategy at Ecofys, a Navigant Company. Both highlighted the importance of cooperation between all stakeholders in the value chain in order to find creative solutions to making the plastics material stream circular. They explained how they complement each other for more and more shared clients, with Ecofys specialising in strategic insights, research & analysis and Fipra in public affairs strategies. This combination of skills is important in proactively developing substantiated, viable alternatives to the challenges presented by the Circular Economy.

A representative from the Commission, who is coordinating the drafting of the strategy, and a representative from industry informed participants of the challenges and opportunities of the Circular Economy, and more specifically, the Plastics Strategy from their perspectives. The ensuing discussion showed the complexity of designing alternative solutions for all actors along the value chain trying close their respective loops.

The Commission will focus its efforts on improving the reuse and recycling of plastics, primarily by ensuring “design for recycling” – designing products to be more easily recyclable. Industry representaitves highlighted that more emphasis should be placed on all levels of the value chain, including all economic operators and the final customer. A more holistic life-cycle approach should be taken to evaluate where along the chain the most efficiency gains can be made.

The Plastics Strategy is still in its formative phase, and the Commission welcomes productive input, which it will gather through targeted consultations during the course of this year. The Commission plans to publish the Plastics Strategy by the end of 2017.

For more information on how Fipra can support you in developing your position and messaging on the Circular Economy, please get in touch with our Environment Practice at +32 2 613 2828 or