Online Event: Plastics pollution: Are biodegradable plastics a solution?
Copyright © 2021 Heather Nunn
16 June 2021, 13:00 – 15:00 CEST
Hosted by MEP Mohammed Chahim
Co-chair of the Circular Economy Working Group of the
European Parliament Intergroup on ‘Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development’
Plastic pollution is a worldwide issue of increasing concern. Each year, more and more plastic ends up in the natural environment, raising concerns of risk to the environment, animal and human health. And, while biodegradable plastics could be part of the solution, they also present certain challenges. Many biodegradable plastic products actually biodegrade only in certain specific environments, or only in industrial composting facilities, rather than in the open environment more generally.
This event will review the latest scientific evidence on the biodegradability of plastics from SAPEA, the consortium of European academies, and discuss the policy recommendations made by the European Commission’s independent Group of Chief Scientific Advisors — recommendations which will inform the forthcoming Commission’s policy framework related to bio-based, biodegradable and compostable plastics, and help to define the main challenges and policy actions needed in this area. In doing so, this European Parliament Intergroup event, co-organised with SAPEA, brings together EU policymakers and representatives from both the private sector and NGO communities, to openly discuss and explore the opportunities and challenges ahead in relation to biodegradable plastics.
Moderator: Professor Ole Petersen, Vice-President, Academia Europaea
13:00 – 13:10 Welcome remarks by MEP Mohammed Chahim
13:10 – 13:20 Introductory remarks by Professor Ole Petersen, Vice-President, Academia Europaea
13:20 – 13:40 Keynote intervention by European Commission (10’ per speaker)
- Patrick Child, Deputy Director General, DG RTD
- Kestutis Sadauskas, Director of Circular Economy & Green Growth, DG ENV
13:40 – 13:50 Professor Nicole Grobert, Chair of the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors to the European Commission
13:50 – 14:00 Dr. Miriam Weber, Managing Director of HYDRA Marine Sciences and Member of the SAPEA expert working group on the biodegradability of plastics in the open environment, & Dr. Michael Sander, Senior Scientist, Research Group Leader and Lecturer in Environmental Chemistry at ETH Zurich & Member of the SAPEA expert working group on the biodegradability of plastics in the open environment
14:00 – 14:10 Jean-Marc Nony, Director of Sustainable Development, SPHERE group
14:10 – 14:20 Ioana Popescu, Senior Programme Manager, Environmental Coalition on Standards (ECOS)
14:20 – 14:30 Reactions from MEPs (5’ per speaker):
- MEP Delara Burkhardt
- MEP Stéphane Bijoux
14:30 – 14:55 Q&A discussion with the audience
14:55 – 15:00 Closing remarks by MEP Mohammed Chahim