A Maltese delegation from the largest packaging waste recovery system GreenPak, and including Local Councillors from Attard and Zejtun, is just back from Brussels where it participated in the 5th International PRO EUROPE Congress, “Green Dot 2010: Green Economy in Action”.
“With unprecedented participation by around 700 delegates from 37 countries, representing the industry and academia and including policymakers, the PRO EUROPE Congress showed that a resource efficient Europe is possible.
“The debate on recycling and waste management is set to influence the near future of recycling policies in the European Union. The aim of the two-day summit was to achieve a global standard of the producer responsibility principle, 20 years after it was first introduced,” Ing Mario Schembri, CEO of GreenPak, the largest packaging waste recovery system in Malta.
Representatives from the industry, institutions and academia pooled their efforts to tackle this major challenge laying ahead for the industry. Participants included 450 organisations representing a range companies from multinational corporations to SMEs. Throughout the Congress’ intensive programme, solutions to outstanding issues in today’s waste management process were discussed and tested.
“From multi-stakeholder platforms to innovative packaging design and environmental education, it is now clear that recycling in the future will hold a role for everyone, from responsible consumers up to nanotechnology engineers and policymakers,” said Ing Schembri.
Apart from Ing Schembri, the Maltese delegation included the President of the GreenPak Coop Society Ltd Mr Martin Borg Chairman of GreenPak Coop, Ms Denise Vassallo Senior Manager at GreenPak, Attard Acting Mayor Stefan Cordina and Zejtun Vice Mayor Ms Joan Agius.
The PRO EUROPE Congress witnessed the participation of high level speakers, including Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for the Environment; Mrs. Joke Schauvliege, Chair of the Environmental Council under the Belgian EU Presidency; Karl Falkenberg, Director General DG Environment, European Commission; Michael Braungart, Co-Founder McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry and Jef Colruyt, Chairman Colruyt Group.
Joachim Quoden, Managing Director of PRO EUROPE, said: “The Fifth PRO EUROPE International Congress has shown that recycling and waste management have now moved to the next level, as an effect of 20 years of successful implementation of the producer responsibility principle. During this Congress, we have shared experiences from all of Europe and beyond, thanks to our guests from North America, Australia, Brazil, China and Israel”.
Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for the Environment, said: “Eco-industries are at the heart of the transformation we must achieve through Europe 2020. They are the 21st century drivers for growth and jobs, but they are also producing what we call “enabling” technologies and services. The green economy – our eco-tech companies – are the basis for greening the economy as a whole. PRO EUROPE and its members can take some credit for setting up the structures that put recycling firmly on the map.”
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