Consultants from Eunomia travelled to Baltimore and Brussels to take part in two key events in the environmental conference calendar this September.
Principal Consultant Peter Jones joined the company’s Sarah Edwards, head of the New York office, to present at the annual International Solid Waste Association’s (ISWA) World Congress 2017 in Baltimore. Meanwhile, a group of seven Eunomia consultants travelled to Brussels to participate in an influential one-off conference designed to facilitate discussions that will inform the European Commission’s upcoming Plastics Strategy – a document Eunomia is currently carrying out research for.
Over in the US, the world’s largest waste management conference was held in Baltimore as ISWA’s World Congress was held jointly with SWANA’s WasteCon 2017. Eunomia’s Peter Jones spoke about Greenhouse Gases and Waste: A Changing Climate for Decision-making to an international audience from the public and private sector. He also took part in a panel debate Biowaste Recovery is the Essential Ingredient of a Low Carbon Waste Policy, alongside David Newman, President of the World Biogas Association in the UK, and other representatives from the UK, Oman, Oslo, Washington D.C. and New York.
“It was fantastic to be invited to take part in this amazing event, which really brought waste managers from around the world together to learn from one another. There were some really interesting questions from the audiences, and some fascinating perspectives from the food waste panel.”
In the conference’s exhibition space, drawing from Eunomia’s in-depth knowledge of product stewardship schemes, Sarah Edwards delivered a poster presentation on Radical EPR Solutions to Drive the Circular Economy.
On the same day, Tuesday 26th September, across in Brussels, Frans Timmermans, First Vice President of the European Commission, opened ‘Reinventing Plastics – Closing the Circle’, where seven of Eunomia’s team joined an audience of European institutions, public authorities, industry, social enterprise groups, environmental civil society organisations and the wider research community to discuss the issues, challenges and opportunities in the new Plastics Strategy.
Picture caption: Tweet from @Dom_Hogg EU
#PlasticsStrategy conference kicks off – the room is packed – day of enlightenment to follow
In an effort to put policy into practice, the Reinventing Plastics conference set up a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) for the cups the audience used on the day. Each cup was acquired in exchange for a €1 deposit, redeemable on return. Deposit-return schemes are market based instruments which can be an effective way to minimise plastic waste and support greater reuse and recycling of plastics – not just for cups but a broad range of plastic products.
Conscious of our impact on the environment when we travel these great distances, we monetise CO2e emissions, and the resulting sum is placed into a fund which is earmarked for offsetting our emissions through investment in social and environmental causes. We used this fund to sponsor a drinking fountain in the public square by our head office in May 2017 to encourage people to use reusable water bottles to reduce waste and litter.
Eunomia’s presentations and poster from the ISWA/SWANA event are available on our website here and the European Commission’s Plastics Strategy is due to be published before the end of 2017.