MPE AGM 2019 - Members adopt ambitious circular economy strategy and timetable
The Metal Packaging Europe Annual General Meeting 2019, held in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on June 6-7, saw the approval of an ambitious 24-month strategy to support Europe’s metal packaging industry, as it undergoes a period of unprecedented change towards sustainability and circularity.
Approved by some 90 MPE members from 17 countries, and proposed by the association’s 11-strong board, the MPE circular economy strategy confirms MPE’s focus to build further momentum – supporting end users and customers to choose more sustainable packaging products and supporting policymakers to successfully embed the circular economy. The strategy also clearly recognised the work done to date by MPE, its expert Commissions and members who have been delivering demonstrable positive change!
With the welcome coffee sponsored by SILGAN Metal Packaging, MPE’s Open Space session in the afternoon of June 6 featured thought-provoking presentations by three external speakers.
Nina Sankovic, Head of PR, Voka Snaga, delved into Slovenia’s leading position in the development and deployment of circular economy system solutions. This was best exemplified the Ljubljana Regional Waste Management Centre (RCERO Ljubljana) - the biggest environmental project in Slovenia and the most modern facility for waste treatment in Europe.
Piotr Barczak, head of waste policy, European Environment Bureau (which represents the voice of around 150 national NGOs dealing with environmental protection), spoke about how packaging must be taken to the next level sustainability, challenging MPE members to recognise the unique opportunity for revision of essential requirements for packaging and EPR modulation.
The Open Space session concluded with a presentation by Joe Papineschi, Director of circular economy policy, strategy and operations consultancy, Eunomia Research & Consulting. Given Eunomia’s position at the forefront of supporting the EU’s drive towards a more circular economy in both policy development and implementation, Mr. Papineschi was emphatic that the rigid metal packaging industry had an important role to play in the move from mere product policy to a true circular economy.
Beyond the external voices present at the MPE AGM 2019, MPE Chairman Colin Gillis and new MPE CEO Leonie Knox-Peebles underlined the importance of leveraging the window of opportunity afforded to the metal packaging industry as a whole, in order for it to maintain its position as a leading partner within a truly circular economy.
To this end, both Gillis and Knox-Peebles pointed to the four key objectives within the MPE circular economy strategy and how attaining them required a collaborative approach and concerted effort over the coming months and years:
- Co-operating a for sustainable supply chain
- Ensuring sustainable design and production
- Facilitating sustainable consumption
- Supporting better collection, sorting and recycling
Metal Packaging Europe staff and industry speakers presented the working programmes of industry and market specific commissions - and we’d like to take the opportunity to warmly thank all those who have personally contributed to the successful running and output of the various commissions - with all presentations and photographs now available on the intranet.
Following the successful closure of the MPE AGM 2019, members enjoyed an unforgettable gala dinner at the illustrious Ljubljana Castle, once again generously sponsored by SILGAN Metal Packaging.
With a clear strategy now laid out, ambitious deliverables and front-runner positioning, the MPE AGM 2020 (June) at Lago Maggiore promises to be a milestone event, one in which a full year of actions will be on display to show how the concerted efforts of all metal packaging industry players have paid off. It is worth noting that MPE regularly looks to its members to sponsor the Annual General Meeting, and a number of specific opportunities are currently available for the 2020 event.
All eyes are now on us to help package and deliver the circular economy Europe requires!