This was the fifth annual conference on EU Bioplastics organised by the European Bioplastics Association. Once again the EBA expected numbers to be down on last year, anticipating no more than 250 delegates, and once again over 360 turned up. This year the organisers opted for 15 minute presentations and restricted questions to the end of each session.EU 2020 and Bioplastics
David Webber, Senior Partner, Public Affairs and Strategic Communication, PA Europe (Belgium) observed that for the last 10 years the EU has fiddled with the Lisbon Treaty while the rest of the world has globalised. It now needs a new agenda, should leave the Lisbon Treaty as it is, and go for growth. It has been very good at converting Cash into Knowledge (i.e. Research) and now needs to emphasise conversion of Knowledge into Cash (i.e. Innovation).
The EU’s 2020 Goals were about breaking down the walls between the various EEC services and about getting officials to work together towards common objectives and real tangible targets. Seven Flagship initiatives were listed:
· An Innovation Union – to boost investment in new technologies.
· Youth on the Move – to make education in the EU internationally attractive.
· A digital agenda for the EU – high speed internet for a digital single market.
· Resource Efficient EU – decarbonising the economy, emphasising renewables.
· Industrial policy for Globalisation – more support for businesses, especially SME’s.
· Agenda for New Skills and Jobs – match labour supply with demand.
· EU against Poverty – to share the benefits of growth more widely.
The EEC’s 2011 work programme will include an action plan for a sustainable and innovative bio-economy by 2020, but there’s no specific mention of bio-plastics. A simple bioplastics strategy needs to be promoted simultaneously in many different channels e.g. “Boost Bioplastics to 5% of the EU plastics market by 2020”. (i.e to 5 million tonnes)
P & G’s Sustainability Vision and Goals
Prof. Marina Franke of P & G (Europe) presented the latest thinking of the P&G Sustainability Department