On March 27th, Rethink Plastic hosted its second  after-work talkshow in Brussels, in a museum-like environment taking us straight into a plastic-free future.

 

Rethink Plastic is an alliance of #breakfreefromplastic members working at the European policy level for a future free from plastic pollution. These organisations have come together to co-host a innovative talkshow event, featuring some of the cutting edge business leaders taking on single-use plastics as well as those working from the policy angle to create a Europe hospitable to solutions and hostile to plastic pollution.

The talk show featured a ‘museum’ of single use plastic items.

 

Following the success of its November 6th edition on Plastic Exports, Rethink Plastic strikes again with a true concept night, this time looking at how the EU can legislate on single-use plastics and enter “a new business era” – as the event title suggests. In practice the discussion was a perfect occasion to address some of the key concerns decision-makers have been talking about over the last few months, namely the impact of legislation on European jobs and economics.

 

The program was designed to offer a new perspective and show that solutions exist and new economic models are already proving successful, taking us away from the corporate products monopolies – that are packaging intensive – back to more local and resilient economies based on services and short supply chains. The discussion was taking place in a venue staged as a fictive a museum of the future where – the story says – the products exhibited were used in the early 21st century when societies were using excessive amounts of single-use plastics.

 

The setup was indeed designed to make participants smile -and think! Taking a tour of the venue you could learn about “Legacy of the EU Commission 2014-2019”, “The ten most littered items in 2017” or how those products of the past were successfully replaced by new designs and services that better fitted the “smart lifestyle”.

 

On the panels content side, the guest speakers were clearly here to offer a different worldview and build confidence.

Zero Waste Europe’s Joan Marc Simon

The Director of Zero Waste Europe, Joan Marc Simon presented this perspective “Who is against a model creating more jobs and economic activity by using less resources & generating less plastic waste? zero waste companies are a clear example showing that we can do more with less!”

Cecilia Rennesson Executive Director of  Reseau Vrac, and association of professionals working on bulk products put forward their vision that “We need to extend bulk to brands to make it work for the general public.” going on to say “Reseau Vrac is working with producers and supermarkets to help bulk go mainstream”.
Presenting a the technology behind bulk food shops Marek Havrda presented MIWA (#MInimumWAste)’s approach to the problem “To help consumers minimise single use plastic waste we need technical & #business model innovation to change the system of daily products #packaging and delivery”

 

This talkshow did not aim to provide the data and evidence for the legislation, but instead set-out to inspire the vision and confidence necessary to take decisive action towards a future free from plastic pollution, both in Europe and beyond.