Zero waste Live!

How can we fix Europe’s broken recycling system?

8th February 2022 · 2:00 PM (CET)

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Official data will show you that the EU’s recycling rate is steadily increasing and has been over the past decade, although still below the 2020 target of 50% for municipal solid waste. Yet these numbers, whilst seemingly showcasing general progress, are hiding the true reality of Europe’s broken recycling system.

When looking at the recycling system holistically, we can see a complex picture of various different policies connecting with one another at different governance levels, resulting in poor performance and lack of confidence in the system. This ranges from ensuring recycled content put back onto the market is free from toxic chemicals, building effective collection systems that deliver maximum quality and quantity, differing definitions of what recycling of a material is, the export of so-called recyclable material and the large volume of recyclable material that continues to be incinerated or landfilled.  

This webinar will go into greater depth to answer these key questions:

  • How can policy-makers create an effective framework which makes packaging safely and effectively recyclable? 
  • What future role does recycling play in a world where we should be prioritising reusable materials?
  • What is the role of local authorities in helping fix and improve our recycling system?



Joan-Marc Simon

Executive Director, Zero Waste Europe

Joan Marc Simon is the Executive Director of the Brussels based NGO Zero Waste Europe, which he created in 2013. Joan Marc is also a member of the Steering Committee of Break Free From Plastic, a global movement of nearly 1,500 organisations worldwide working towards a future free from plastic pollution. He has also recently authored the book “Zero Waste – How to reactivate the economy without trashing the planet” and has more than a decade’s experience leading the field of zero waste, both in Europe and globally.

Emmanuel Katrakis

Secretary General of the European Recycling Industries’ Confederation (EuRIC)

Emmanuel KATRAKIS serves as Secretary General of the European Recycling Industries’ Confederation (EuRIC) since September 2014. Emmanuel is responsible for the continuous development of the Confederation which represents today, through its Member Federations, more than 5.500 companies across Europe recycling different resource streams (household, commercial & industrial waste, WEEE, ELVs, tyres, textiles). Raising awareness about the instrumental role played by recycling in sustainable development and fostering recycling friendly policy measures are among his priorities. Emmanuel is a regular speaker in international conferences dealing with recycling and a member of different expert groups set up by European institutions aiming at supporting the transition towards a more circular economy. Emmanuel is graduated in European law from the College of Europe and the University of Paris II Pantheon-Assas.

Why should you join?

  • Learn from frontrunners and high level experts without leaving your office
  • Understand how to design and implement successful zero waste programmes at the local level
  • Learn the stories behind the best practices
  • Be one step ahead with key conversations related to zero waste and circular economy strategies
  • Connect with like-minded local stakeholders

Support our mission

The participation to the Live! webinars is free but to help us maintain and improve this project we ask you for a small contribution to watch the recordings.



A series of high level events aiming to help municipalities, waste professionals and community leaders to hear first hand experience about the best practices of Zero Waste.

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Supported by the LIFE Programme of the European Union. This website does not necessarily reflect the views of the donors.