Parallel break-out session: Circular Economy

Three parallel breakout sessions will provide the opportunity to explore in greater depth the three policy areas discussed in the morning plenary session. Each session will be invited to consider to what extent the SDGs and the Paris climate deal can be used to leverage progress. Each session should aim to produce a short set of commonly agreed recommendations, as well as to identify areas where there are different opinions, and to report back to the plenary.

This session will present why embracing the circular economy is necessary to live within planetary boundaries and show how related practices could help to “do more with less”. From the local to worldwide scale, speakers will explain how circular patterns can be deployed and open up a discussion on how different levels of action could be best combined for the greatest impact. To that end, the speakers will consider the most crucial steps the EU should take to turn its rhetoric on the circular economy into reality. They will also examine ways to reconcile economic development with the EU’s environmental commitments and the Sustainable Development Goals. Thirdly, the panel will discuss how revised waste laws could be a key opportunity to set some clear framework conditions that will enable the EU to be more coherent on waste and recycling, reduce the gaps between the most and least advanced member states, and set in motion a more inclusive way forward.

This break-out session will address the following questions:

  • What are the most urgent and crucial next steps in the roll out of the EU’s Circular Economy Action Plan?
  • Will Europe’s revised waste laws bring Europe’s waste problem full circle?
  • Can the Circular Economy Action Plan put Europe on track to living within planetary boundaries?
  • Given the poor levels of implementation of Europe’s waste legislation e.g. in Southern and Eastern Europe, what needs to be done to make sure that it will be effectively enforced?

Moderator: Friedrich Hinterberger, Founding President, Sustainable Europe Research Institute (SERI), Austria

Rapporteur: Iain Gulland, Chief Executive Zero Waste Scotland


Monique Lempers, Value Chain and Commercial Director, Fairphone

Clarissa Morawski, Managing Director, Reloop

Stephane Arditi, EEB Policy Manager for Products and Waste

Joined by the Circular Economy plenary speaker Walter R. Stahel


Information about the Circular Economy package and the EEB’s position. Includes 8 fact sheets on specific topics as well as pages with more references and background reading:

EMF reports: (notably the 02/2015 report)

EC documents:

NL Presidency documents:—high-level-conference-circular-economy-amsterdam-5-april-2016/full-report-high-level-meeting-circular-economy-5-april-2016.pdf

Location: Break-out rooms - follow signs Date: September 26, 2016 Time: 2:00 pm - 3:50 pm Friedrich Hinterberger Stephane Arditi Monique Lempers Iain Gulland Clarissa Morawski Walter R. Stahel