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Innovating to tackle plastic waste in Europe’s cities

13 March 2019

On 16 May, ICLEI Europe and the PlastiCircle project will join forces to host the special conference ‘Circular Cities – Innovating to tackle plastic waste’.

More than 100 stakeholders from across Europe will gather at Scotland House in Brussels (Belgium) to assess European Union policies on the circular economy for plastics, the role of cities in tackling plastic waste, and the industry innovations driving circularity in Europe’s urban areas.

The event will be held during this year’s EU Green Week, among a host of other partner events drawing attention to not only environmental legislation in the EU, but also the bloc’s commitment to circular economy objectives in light of a busy 2018-19 legislative calendar.

‘Circular Cities’ will welcome policy makers, civil society, business, cities, academia and a clutch of Horizon 2020 stakeholders from across the continent to address the big questions of the day. It will feature three plenary panel sessions, an ‘Innovation Space’ and three parallel interactive workshops on new materials and ecodesign for plastics in a circular economy, digitalisation for a circular economy, and measuring the circular economy with a local approach.

The conference will welcome speakers from the cities of Utrecht (The Netherlands) and Copenhagen (Denmark), organisations such as Zero Waste Scotland and Veolia, and also policy makers from the European Commission’s DG Environment, the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME), the European Committee of the Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC).

The lunchtime ‘Innovation Space’ will provide an excellent information-gathering and networking opportunity for all conference goers. Exhibitors include European projects such as FORCE, CIRC-PACK, BioVoices and UrbanWINS, as well as France’s PlastiPolis plastics industry cluster, Veolia, Zero Waste Scotland and the Association for Valencian companies in the plastics industries (AVEP).

The parallel workshops will provide ample opportunity for in-depth discussions and exchange. Led by the European Horizon 2020 CIRC-PACK project, 'New materials and eco-design for plastics in a circular economy' (workshop A) will be animated by speakers from the European Commission and Spanish consumer organisation OCU. Workshop B, 'Digitalisation for a circular economy' will be moderated by experts from the Wuppertal Institute and University of Bologna, as well as the PlastiCircle and Waste4Think projects. Meanwhile, workshop C, 'Measuring the circular economy - a local approach' will be led by ICLEI Europe with expert input from Circular Flanders, the city of Turin and the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB).

The official media partner for the conference is the sustainability news portal Innovators Magazine.

The programme for the conference is online at