The “Chemical Recycling Europe Forum 2023 (CREF2023)”, the annual conference of Chemical Recycling Europe (CRE) who represent the interest of the European chemical recycling industry took place last week on the 21st and 22nd of September in Brussels.
Opening the Forum Carlos Monreal (CRE President and CEO of Plastic Energy) laid out the potential of chemical recycling to help tackle the problem of plastic waste, implement circularity in the plastics value chain and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions by displacing incineration and scaling up the production of circular polymers.
“This opportunity is in front of us and, in order to deliver on what we can achieve together, European institutions and Member States must act now and take decisive action for plastics circularity including:
- The adoption of ambitious mandatory recycled content targets for all plastics including for contact sensitive applications to send a strong demand signal to the market
- Recognition and adoption of mass balance accounting for chemical recycling. Earlier this year CRE along with 32 supply chain associations came out in favor of mass balance fuel-exempt for chemical recycling. We now need to urgently adopt this into legislation to enable a fast scale-up for chemical recycling capacity
- Clarity on end-of-waste criteria at EU level for all chemical recycling technologies
- Speed up and improve the permitting process for building up chemical recycling capacity
within Member States
- Create the conditions for a favorable policy environment for chemical recycling so that the
industry can secure access to capital and investments”
With upwards of 30 speakers and panelists, the Forum attracted a full house including chemical recycling industry leaders and technology providers as well as policymakers from the EU and Member States and plastics supply chain stakeholders. The conference provided a great opportunity for engagement and demonstrated the urgency of implementing circularity in the polymers value chain and the important role chemical recycling will play in doing so.
There was a special focus throughout the conference on policy, including the Director of Circular Economy from DG Environment, European Commission, Mr. Aurel Ciobanu-Dordea speaking and joining a panel.
Mr. Aurel Ciobanu-Dordea acknowledged the importance of close cooperation with industry and stakeholders and encouraged this to continue both at the European and national level. During the conference, in a policy-focused panel which featured Katharina Schlegel, Circularity Director of Plastics Europe; Steeven de Meester, Associate Professor from University of Ghent & Luciano Proto Cassina, Scientist at the nova-Institute, the importance of the Global Plastics Treaty was also highlighted as a chance for international ambition and collaboration.
Other high priority topics such as recycled content, feedstock for circularity and the landscape of Life Cycle Assessments were presented and debated during the 2 days event. The Forum also highlighted the technological innovations taking place in the chemical recycling industry.
“The innovation pipeline within chemical recycling is inspiring and indicates the vitality and future of the industry”, Commented John Sewell (CRE Secretary General)
Chemical Recycling Europe is committed to the implementation of circularity in the plastics value chain and playing its role in the emerging European circular economy.
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