MPE AGM unveils new strategy for circular economy

The Metal Packaging Europe (MPE) Annual General Meeting 2019, held in Ljubljana, Slovenia, saw the approval of an ambitious 24-month strategy to support Europe’s metal packaging industry, as it undergoes a period of unprecedented change towards sustainability and circularity.

Approved by 90 MPE members from 17 countries, the MPE circular economy strategy further builds momentum for MPE’s focus on supporting end users and customers to choose more sustainable packaging products and supporting policymakers to successfully embed the circular economy.

The MPE circular economy strategy has four key objectives and attaining them will require a collaborative approach and concerted effort over the coming months and years:

  • Co-operating a for sustainable supply chain
  • Ensuring sustainable design and production
  • Facilitating sustainable consumption
  • Supporting better collection, sorting and recycling

MPE’s Open Space session featured thought-provoking presentations by three external speakers:

Nina Sankovic, head of PR at Voka Snaga, delved into Slovenia’s position in the development and deployment of circular economy system solutions. This was best exemplified the Ljubljana Regional Waste Management Centre (RCERO Ljubljana) – the biggest environmental project in Slovenia and the most modern facility for waste treatment in Europe.

Piotr Barczak, head of waste policy, European Environment Bureau (which represents the voice of around 150 national NGOs dealing with environmental protection), spoke about how packaging must be taken to the next level of sustainability, challenging MPE members to recognise the opportunity for revision of essential requirements for packaging and EPR modulation.

The Open Space session concluded with a presentation by Joe Papineschi, director of circular economy policy, strategy and operations consultancy, Eunomia Research & Consulting. Mr. Papineschi was emphatic that the rigid metal packaging industry had an important role to play in the move from mere product policy to a true circular economy.

Beyond the external voices present at the MPE AGM 2019, MPE chairman Colin Gillis and new MPE CEO Leonie Knox-Peebles underlined the importance of leveraging the window of opportunity afforded to the metal packaging industry as a whole, in order for it to maintain its position as a leading partner within a truly circular economy.

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