ISWA European Group

High Level Stakeholder Debate Event Series:

Monday, 14th November, Brussels

Full-Day Debate in Two Sessions - Organised by the ISWA European Group

14 November 2016, from 9:45 - 17:00 at the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)

Rue Van Maerlant 2 (Room: VMA3), in Brussels, Belgium

Opening Keynotes

Kęsţutis Sadauskas
Kęsţutis Sadauskas, Director DG Environment, European Commission
Bettina Kamuk
Bettina Kamuk, Chair Scientific and Technical Committee, ISWA
Eric Ponthieu
Eric Ponthieu, EESC

Speakers (in Order of Appearance)

Ms Jane Gilbert, Vice Chair Working Group Biological Treatment of Waste, ISWA

The ISWA Task Force on Resource Management Report on Carbon and Soil


Mr Chris Thornton, European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform (ESPP)

Recycling Nutrients from Biowaste


Mr Nicolas de la Vega, Senior Policy Advisor, European Biogas Association (EBA)



Mr René Rozendal, Chief Technology Officer, Paques BV

The Next Generation of AD Plant will not only be producing Biogas and Biomethane, but also Volatile Fatty Acids that can be converted to Valuable Products, such as Bioplastics


Mr Davide Mainero, Manager, ACEA Pinerolese

From Biowastes to Biobased Products


Mr Stefano Facco, New Business Development Director, Novamont Spa

Experience in Manufacturing Biopolymers from Plants grown in Marginal Poorly Productive Agricultural Areas in the Mediterranean Basin


Mr Erwin Vink, Environmental Affairs Manager, Natureworks

Manufacture of a $1 Million Laboratory to Research and Development of a Commercial Scale Methane


Ms Kerstin Kuchta, Professor, Hamburg University of Technology

Outlook for Biomass and Biorefineries in the Context of the Circular Economy

to Lactic Acid Fermentation Process


Mr Antonino Furfari, Managing Director, Plastics Recyclers Europe

Opportunities for the European Plastics Recyclers in the new EU Plastics Strategy


Ms Kristy-Barbara Lange, Deputy Managing Director, European Bioplastics

Bioplastics Packaging - Designed for Efficient Waste Management


Mr Michiel De Smet, Project Manager, Ellen MacArthur Foundation

How to advance towards a 'New Plastics Economy’?


Mr Mike Van Acoleyen, Senior Expert Waste and Materials Management, ARCADIS

The Feasibility, Advantages and Disadvantages of a Waste Shengen Area


Mr Ulphard Thoden van Velzen, Senior Packaging Scientist, Top Institute Food and Nutrition

The Performance of the Dutch Post-Consumer Plastic Recycling Chain - a Scientific Perspective


Mr Graham Houlder, Sustainability Director, Flexible Packaging Europe

Flexible Packaging Prevents Waste and is Recyclable


Mr John Hahladakis, Research Fellow, University of Leeds

UK Packaging Plastics Comingled Collection for Recycling: Status and Implications

European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform
European Biogas Association
Paques BV
ACEA Pinerolese
Novamont Spa
Plastics Recyclers Europe
European Bioplastics
Ellen MacArthur Foundation
Top Institute Food and Nutrition
Flexible Packaging Europe

About This Event

Costas Velis
Costas Velis, Vice Chair European Group, ISWA
Marco Ricci
Marco Ricci, Chair Working Group on Biological Treatment of Waste, ISWA

With the Circular Economy Package being at the top of the European waste and resources management agenda, ISWA’s European Group aims to facilitate and advance the debate between the stakeholders, informing evidence based policies. To this, we welcome you to listen and interact with high level experts and key organisations during a full-day event on the role of biowaste and plastics, and the current shaping of the regulatory and policy framework of circular economy: 'Circular Economy: The Role of Biowaste and Plastics’.


The event is part of our high level debate series engaging with key stakeholders and honoured with opening keynotes from the Head of EC DG Environment, Mr Kęsţutis Sadauskas, and the newly appointed ISWA Scientific and Technical Committee Chair, Ms Bettina Kamuk. The event is held at the excellent facilities of EESC in central Brussels, and it is free to attend, however, upfront registration and photo ID at the entrance is necessary. The day is split in two sessions:



Moderator: Marco Ricci, Chair Working Group on Biological Treatment of Waste, ISWA


The biowaste recycling industry currently relies on mature technology focusing on composting and anaerobic digestion. These are already recovering valuable resources from solid waste for many decades now, as showcased in a recent ISWA publication. However, the biowaste recycling sector is beginning to explore new processes to derive higher value products from the biowaste stream, such as commodity chemicals and biopolymers. These ‘biorefineries’ seek to manufacture chemicals in a similar way to traditional petroleum-based processes, but from bio-based waste materials. Will the future of bioeconomy and circular economy be based on these advanced technological opportunities for which innovation happens as we speak? What mixture of nutrients, soil improvers, and chemical feedstocks do we need to be producing for a resilient future?



Moderator: Costas Velis, Vice Chair European Group, ISWA


The EC Circular Economy Package is proposing ambitious recycling targets for used plastics, which will have to be met with revised, more accurate, yet challenging definitions of what counts towards ‘recycling’. At the same time, there are some alarming developments: Landmark plants, such as bottle to bottle recycling plants in the UK went recently out of business. Does the collapse of the oil prices upset the recycling supply chain worldwide or it is a myth? Europe’s dependence on China as the destination of choice for almost half of its recycled plastics is challenged by the rapid maturation of the Chinese internal recycling market. Could this be an enhanced value recovery opportunity for European recyclers? Will the proposed "waste Schengen area" also result in new market realities around Europe? We need answers with a sound technical evidence base. To this, during its recent Resource Management Task Force, ISWA has released a report covering ‘Closing the loops’ for polypropylene (PP) and is engaged in an ongoing dialogue with other major stakeholders.

Programme Outline

9:00 - 9:45 Registration

9:45 - 10:30 Introduction and Keynote Speeches

Kęsţutis Sadauskas, Director DG Environment, European Commission

Bettina Kamuk, Chair Scientific and Technical Committee, ISWA

Eric Ponthieu, EESC Representative

10:30 - 12:30 Session 1

Circular Economy and Biowaste  (10 minute presentations + Q and A)

12:30 - 13:00 Panel discussion

Moderated by: Marco Ricci, Chair WG on Biological Treatment of Waste, ISWA

13:00 - 14:00 Networking Lunch Buffet

14:00 - 16:00 Session 2

Circular Economy and Plastics (10 minute presentations + Q and A)

16:00 - 16:15 Coffee Break

16:15 - 16:45 Panel discussion

Moderated by: Costas Velis, University of Leeds; Vice Chair European Group, ISWA

16:45 - 17:00 Concluding remarks by:

Bettina Kamuk, Chair Scientific and Technical Committee, ISWA


This high level ISWA debate event is designed for experts from waste and resources management, relevant policy makers and opinion shapers from regulatory bodies, the finance sector, as well as industry, research and development.


Participation is free of charge for ISWA members and non-ISWA members and includes refreshments and a light lunch with vegetarian options.


The event is strictly limited to 120 participants, so please register well in advance to avoid disappointment: Free Registration


Please note that a security protocol applies and you will need to show a photo ID and ID number at the venue entrance.

Pictures of past European Group Meetings (click to enlarge)

ISWA European Group Meeting
ISWA European Group Meeting
ISWA European Group Meeting

We look forward to seeing you!

Anonis Mavropoulos
Antonis Mavropoulos, ISWA President, Chair European Group, ISWA
Bettina Kamuk
Bettina Kamuk, Chair Scientific and Technical Committee, ISWA
Costas Velis
Costas Velis, Vice-Chair European Group, ISWA
Marco Ricci
Marco Ricci, Chair Working Group on Biological Treatment of Waste, ISWA