To tackle climate change, pollution, or the consumption of a growing population, it won’t be enough to simply reduce CO2 emissions. We must transform our economic system to ensure that resources are no longer wasted and, at best, that waste is avoided because all materials may be recycled. We need to create a circular economy. That’s also the aim of the European Union's Green New Deal.
But while the theoretical concept is easy to understand, it is difficult to actually implement circular systems. Together with experts, we want to find out what solutions already exist today and what still needs to be done to help the circular economy achieve a breakthrough.
If you want to get to know more about Circular Economy, watch the recording of the session here.
Arnoud Passenier is strategic advisor circular economy at the International Department of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management in The Netherlands. Arnoud has a long track record in shaping the circular economy on the national, European and global level, focusing on innovation, bringing together stakeholders in and between material value chains (rare (earth) metals, phosphorus, plastics and textiles). Arnoud was the architect of the National Covenant on the Circular Economy, the Plastics Pact NL, the European Plastics Pact and the Denim Deal. On the global level, he focuses his efforts in building a strong CE-network with stakeholders in Europe and abroad.
Sören is a passionate social entrepreneur and the Founder and CEO of plasticpreneur as well as other impact driven initiatives. His entrepreneurial journey started during his Business Administration studies, where he got introduced to the framework of social entrepreneurship and circular economy. During his studies he already started different projects in Uganda and Austria out of which plasticpreneur grew.
Together with his team at plasticpreneur he is developing, producing, and distributing a simple plastic recycling technology combined with entrepreneurial programs. The aim is to create access to plastic recycling, empower communities, thrive innovation and foster the transition towards a circular economy. Although plasticpreneur is a young company their solutions are already implemented in over 55 countries on six continents. Besides spending time with his family, his wife and three small children, he is enthusiastic about learning, discussing, and teaching the principles of circular economy and social entrepreneurship. And of course: “making plastic circular”!