Plastics…Not so fantastic! Responsible Business in the 21st Century
On 11 April 2019 METRO AG and the European Movement International, in cooperation with Forum Europe and EuroCommerce, held the 11th Brussels Wednesday Social entitled ‘Plastics…Not so fantastic! Responsible Business in the 21st Century.’
The use of plastics in society has shot up the political agenda in recent years and months. Public campaigns from environmentalists demonstrating the damage that plastics not properly disposed of can do to the natural environment, has raised the level of public awareness, and governments around the world are acting to reduce the use of, in particular, single use plastics across society. Indeed, the island of Texel and its neighbours Terschelling and Vlieland, have come to face the reality recently when 270 containers, carrying a range of goods, much of them made from plastic, fell from the decks of Europe’s largest container vessel during storms in the North Sea, washing up on the islands’ shores.
With the issue of plastics use now deepening within the public consciousness around the globe, what are businesses doing to reduce their use across supply chains, and what responsibilities do citizens have? Are governments moving quickly enough to provide the necessary political and legislative frameworks in which action can take place, and what innovations are we seeing that will facilitate the necessary shifts in consumption patterns? How can the impact of plastics reduction, particularly on SMEs and smaller industries, be mitigated?
This debate, which was held as part of the DEMOCRACY ALIVE Festival, addressed plastics use across society and looked to drive forward the conversation around solutions and next steps.
20:00 20:10 Welcome: Margriet Keijzer, Head of EU Office, Detailhandel Nederland
20:10 – 20:20 Her Royal Highness Princess Petra Laurentien of the Netherlands (tbc)
20:20 – 21:15 Panel Debate
Moderated by: Neil McMillan, Director, Advocacy & Political Affairs, EuroCommerce
Jeremy Wates, European Environmental Bureau
Jan Ernst de Groot, Chief Legal Officer, Ahold Delhaize
Therese Noorlander, Sustainability Director Europe, The Coca-Cola Company
Raoul Boucke, MEP Candidate for Liberal Party D66, Nederlands
Marc Jansen, Director, CBL (tbc)
Representative, BEUC (tbc)
21:15 – 21:20 Closing remarks: Petros Fassoulas, Secretary General, European Movement International
21:20: Network dinner sponsored by METRO AG
The event was part of a series of discussions entitled ‘Prospects for Europe’, launched in March 2017 by the partners of the Wednesday Social, with the aim to foster debate on an innovative and sustainable vision for the EU, involving stakeholders from civil society, political institutions and the business community.