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EU and ASEAN promote Plastic Wastes Consolidation and Recycling Approaches


Representatives from the EU and ASEAN gathered virtually on 27 May 2021 for the fourth instalment of the six-part EU-ASEAN webinar series on Plastic Value Chain Management, the EU-ASEAN Dialogue on GreenTech & Innovation Mapping: Plastic Wastes Consolidation and Recycling Approaches.

EU and ASEAN Promote Plastic Wastes Consolidation and Recycling Approaches


The European Commission Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD), representatives from the ASEAN Committee on Science, Technology and Innovation (COSTI), private sector members from business and industry, and other stakeholders gathered for the fourth instalment of the six-part EU-ASEAN webinar series on Plastic Value Chain Management, the EU-ASEAN Dialogue on GreenTech & Innovation Mapping: Plastic Wastes Consolidation and Recycling Approaches. The webinar was organised in close coordination with the Science & Technology Division of the ASEAN Secretariat (ASEC), the Philippines Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and with the support of the Enhanced EU-ASEAN Dialogue Instrument (E-READI).

The webinar’s speakers, representing both the EU and ASEAN, mainly focused on “plastic wastes consolidation and recycling approaches.” This was to further promote systems and processes that provide solutions to the mounting challenges of plastic wastes around the globe, including among ASEAN Member States. The importance of policy frameworks and national initiatives on plastic waste consolidation, segregation, and recycling was emphasised. Specifically highlighted with special talks were the EU Horizon 2020-funded projects addressing issues on plastic wastes. Highlights of the event were special talks of relevant EU Horizon 2020-funded projects listed below:

  • PEFerence introduces a new bio-based polymer to the market and enforces concrete action plans for sustainable waste scenarios. It was presented by Dr Ed de Jong, Vice President for Development of Avantium Netherlands.
  • EFFECTIVE explores advanced eco-designed fibres and films from bio-based materials for large consumer products, taking a circular economy perspective. It was presented by Dr Mattia Comotto, Circular Economy & Sustainability Project Manager of Aquafil S.p.A., Italy.
  • RECOVER brings about new bio-recycling routes for food packaging and agricultural plastic waste, and was presented by Prof. Dr Patrizia Cinelli, Department of Civil and Industrial Engineering, University of Pisa, Italy.

Afterwards, best practices and models from ASEAN were presented. Of great interest was Indonesia’s Waste Platform, whose collective and systematic approach has led to better engagement with local stakeholders in reducing plastic wastes (especially single-use plastics), environmental education on a national level, and cross-sector collaborations on plastic waste management. Of equal relevance is the Plastic Credit Exchange’s business model on plastic consolidation and recycling, which has generated decent income and livelihoods. In addition, Malaysia and Thailand, shared their achievements and challenges in the implementation of their roadmaps on plastic waste management, which also provide good insights on how these initiatives can be carried out more effectively on a national level, and how these can contribute to achieving circular economy and sustainability goals.

The series of events aims to create a platform for dialogues on green technology markets, particularly among innovators, and to promote EU-ASEAN Technology Cooperation and Transfer. The focus on plastic value chain management can facilitate discussions on the present and future of plastic waste management and its key elements, including new technologies and solutions on plastic waste consolidation, segregation, and recycling to close the loop towards a circular economy.

Future webinars in this series will address other topics related to plastic value chain management and will continue to serve as a platform to bridge the gap between government agencies, businesses and industries, research institutions, and societies at large, with the aim to forge collaboration opportunities.


The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was established on 8 August 1967. The ASEAN Member States are Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam. On 31 December 2015, the ASEAN Community was formally established. The ASEAN Secretariat is based in Jakarta.

The European Union (EU) is the economic and political union of 27 Member States. Together, the European Union has built a zone of stability, democracy and sustainable development while maintaining cultural diversity, tolerance and individual freedom. In 2012, the European Union was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for advancing the goals of peace, reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe. The European Union is the world's largest trading bloc, and the world's largest source and destination of foreign direct investment. Collectively, the European Union and its member countries are the largest donors of Official Development Assistance (ODA), providing more than half of ODA globally.

The 27 EU Member States (in alphabetical order) are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

The Enhanced Regional EU-ASEAN Dialogue Instrument (E-READI) is a development cooperation programme that facilitates cooperation and dialogue between the EU and ASEAN in policy areas of joint interest. Drawing on the EU’s experience of regional integration, E-READI further strengthens both the ASEAN regional integration process as well as the overall ASEAN-EU strategic partnership.