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On the road to sustainable packaging
Circular Week 2023

Monday, 23rd of October 2023 

How to unwrap the world, are there perfect packaging solutions, which material to choose for their production?

Almost 180 kg - the weight of packaging waste generated on average by each European in one year. Without further action, in 7 years, the amount of packaging waste will increase by nearly 20 percent, and that of plastics by as much as 46 percent. The environment suffers, and so does humanity.

Approximately 26 million tons - that's how much plastic waste is generated annually in European Union countries. Less than 30 percent of it is recycled, the rest is transported for processing to other countries, incinerated, or simply dumped into rivers, seas, forests...

The European Commission continues to work on ways to reduce waste, including packaging waste, and products that are not suitable for recycling. This poses challenges for both producers and consumers of packaging. We all must act responsibly to prevent the Earth from diving in waste.

In November 2022, the EC proposed new EU-wide regulations on packaging to curb this growing trend. It also specified the environmentally beneficial uses of plastics and how they should be designed, disposed of, and recycled. The goals are ambitious, including:

  • A high and continuously growing share of recycled materials.

  • A 15 percent reduction in packaging waste by 2040.

  • A ban on certain types of packaging. 

  • A gradual reduction in the use of single-use bags.


Regulated companies will be required to offer a certain percentage of products in reusable or refillable packaging. Is this the right direction? Among other things, these were discussed by experts during the first day of the Circular Week 2023, which was organized at the British Embassy.

Video Source: Newseria


12.00 – 12.10  |  Welcome speech 

  • Anna Clunes, Ambassador of British Embassy, 

  • Agnieszka Sznyk, INNOWO,

  • Robert Chciuk - Ministry of Climate.

12.10 – 13.20  |  Keynote speeches - introduction to the topic:

  1. “Packaging Waste Regulation”, Wolfgang Trunk (PhD), Team Leader at European Commission, 

  2. “Bio Plastics – How Are we Going to Achieve Commercial Scale”, Paul Davidson, Director of the Smart Sustainable, Plastics Packaging (SSPP) Programme, UKRI,

  3. “CBE JU as a catalyst for innovation in the biobased sector: the example of the textile project portfolio”, Simone Maccaferri, Circular Bio-based Europe Joint Undertaking (CBE JU) European Commission,

  4. “Sectoral overview at national level”, Anna Kozera-Szałkowska, Managing Director, Plastics Europe Polska, 

  5. “End of Plastic Pollution”, Maria Andrzejewska, Director General, UNEP GRID.


13.20 – 14.50 | Panel discussion including presentation of partners sustainable solutions "Redefining Packaging – what are sustainable solutions?”

Moderation: Michael Dembinski, British Polish Chamber of Commerce

  • Reinier Schlatmann, CEO CEE at DS Smith,

  • Jerome Acosta, NPD Project Manager at Albéa Group,

  • Anna Kozera-Szałkowska, Managing Director at Plastics Europe Polska, 

  • Michał Mikołajczyk, Sales and Marketing Director at REKOPOL,

  • Anna Sapota, Vice President Public Affairs Eastern Europe North at TOMRA,

  • Michael Hoffmann, Sustainability and Communications at Huhtamaki Foodservice Poland, 

  • Leszek Kąsek, Senior Economist, ING Bank Śląski, Bureau of Macroeconomic Analysis.




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