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Bringing the Action Plan to Life: towards a fact-based Circular Economy

Making the transformation towards a circular economy by 2030 is comparable in scope to the energy transition to a low-carbon economy and the digitisation of industry 4.0.

Until quite recently, the discussion mainly focused on municipal waste and the legislative proposal to review EU waste legislation. The EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy is broader than that looking at the whole life cycle from production to waste management, markets, innovation and monitoring. The Action Plan addresses five priority areas: plastics, food, critical raw materials, construction and demolition, biomass and bio-based products.

During Austria’s EU Council Presidency, the Federal Ministry of Sustainability and Tourism intends to focus on the EU plastics strategy and Ecodesign, among other things. Increasing plastic recycling is undoubtedly essential for the transition to a circular economy. Nevertheless, there are several challenges and obstacles to overcome. Improvements on product design are key for a circular economy and there is an urgent need for economic benefits for products that can be more easily recycled or reused.

Convening high-profile speakers from politics, business, academia and civil society, the conference highlights certain policy fields that according to stakeholders should be prioritized among the issues addressed in the Action Plan. In doing so, the conference aims to foster a fact-based discussion based on concrete research results. It will cover environmental impact as well as resource and raw material aspects of the circular economy.

The conference is divided in 3 plenary sessions:

  • The role of science and research for a circular economy
  • Business supporting circularity
  • Implementation of a circular economy: Drivers and barriers

The conference will bring together EU and national experts to debate opportunities, drivers and barriers related to the implementation of a circular economy. It will offer networking opportunities among up to 300 participants.

We would like to invite all those interested to register here. Participation is free of charge.

Registrations will be accepted according to the date of receipt and can be submitted until 3rd September 2018. Please note that the number of participants is limited.

Current research findings will be presented at a pre-conference symposium, which will be co-hosted by the Vienna University of Technology, Christian Doppler Laboratory for Anthropogenic Resources and CEC4Europe on 19th September 2018. For more information, click here.