Technical Director- R&D Packaging Sustainability
Procter & Gamble

Gian is a technical director and packaging technologist at Procter & Gamble (P&G), one of the largest consumer packaged goods companies in the world.

In his 20+ year career at P&G, Gian has helped drive R&D into sustainable packaging across the company. With experience in upstream technologies, sustainable resins and EU funding projects, Gian has been involved in developing key partnerships across the value chain and managing open innovation through P&G’s Connect & Develop Programme.

To help drive cross-sector collaboration, Gian is a board member of Petcore Europe (the association representing the complete PET value chain in Europe), next to being very active in Plastic Recyclers Europe’s Recyclass platform (chair of advisory board and steering board member). Gian is also active in other cross value chain associations such as Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW), Ceflex, and others. He is also a regular speaker at Packaging Conferences.

Recently, Gian has been initiating and leading the 4-year Pioneer project “HolyGrail” on the standardisation of markers/ watermarks in packaging (barcode for recycling), to increase efficiencies in high-quality sorting and to strive for higher recycling rates, as part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative. This project received multiple awards (eg Packaging Europe’s 2019 Sustainability Awards, 2020 Edie Sustainabiliy award, WPO Worldstar Winner 2021, PAC Global Leadership awards 2021, next to some other awards. He also ensured the continuation of this project into establishment of HolyGrail 2.0 (100+ members, Gian chairs the Leadership team), facilitated by AIM (European Brands Association), to proof the viability of digital watermark technologies and business case at scale.

Gian has also been official juror for multiple packaging awards: PackTheFuture 2018, Dow DuPont Packaging Innovation Awards (2018), 2020 Plastics Recycling Awards and Packaging Europe’s Sustainability Awards (2018+2019+2020). He has been elected finalist for the 2018 and 2019 “EU Plastics Recycling Ambassador” (from Plastic Recyclers Europe) and actually received this title in 2019. 

Gian is 46 years old and holds a degree in Polymer & Composites Engineering from Leuven University. He was born in Belgium and is married with 2 children. He is a big fan of sports (running/ squash/ padel/ cycling) and travel.

Plastics Recyclers Europe

Ton Emans has more than 30 years’ experience in the plastic recycling process. He is Director Group Recycling.

Ton Emans started his career with DSM in Geleen, The Netherlands and worked as researcher in the field of environment and safety. In 1991, he relocated to a subsidiary of DSM called REKO, a company which started to recycle plastics in 1979. As an Quality, Environment, Safety and Health Manager he became familiar with plastic recycling. After the merger with Wavin Re-use into Arena Recycling he was named Purchasing Manager.

After the bankruptcy of Arena Recycling in 2000 Ton searched for a new owner for the site in Geleen and found CeDo willing to buy her own recycling plant. He was named Managing Director.

In 2004, Ton Emans extended his responsibilities and moved to Mönchengladbach, Germany where he was named Supply Chain Managing Director of CeDo Group. Ton Emans holds a Master of Science in occupational health and safety from the University of Amsterdam in The Netherlands and has completed several business programs.

In 2011, Ton Emans has been named President of PRE, a non-profit organization whose members are European plastic recyclers. PRE represents National Associations and Individual companies covering 80% of the European market. PRE actively promotes the increase of plastics recycling and supports the transition towards circular economy.

Sustainable Plastics

After graduating with a master’s degree in English language literature, Karen started out her career as a sworn Dutch – English translator for legal and technical documents. Later she moved into technical writing, mainly for the plastics industry, which in 2001 led to a job as chief editor, and later, assistant publisher of the Dutch-language trade journal for plastics and rubber, Kunststof en Rubber. Karen subsequently returned to writing in English, and worked for the publication Modern Plastics/Plastics Today, where she was responsible for the sustainability beat, and held the position of European editor. In May 2017, she joined Crain Communications as editor of Plastics News Europe, and is now editor of Sustainable Plastics.

Searious Business

Willemijn is the CEO of Searious Business, a social enterprise committed to prevent plastics from ending up in our environment. She has over 17 years of experience in changing companies to a more sustainable business model. Her experience includes game changing, innovating, program management, business developing and finance.

With a background in business management, broad experience in joint initiatives between businesses and the non-profit sector, she is used to bringing about change in the strategy and way of working of organizations. She is specialized in moving teams of people forward in an enthusiastic way – by creating a spark, an initiative that people and organizations want to be a part of.

Willemijn Peeters was elected Plastics Recycling Ambassador at Plastics Recycling Awards Europe 2018.

Sr Sustainability & Circular Economy Manager EMEA
Avery Dennison

Flor holds a Masters in Sciences Biology with a major in Ecology and Microbiology. And completed the Certificate on Business Sustainability Management by the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership CISL.

She has been working in different departments of Avery Dennison since 2005. Since September 2017 she has been working in Sustainability & Circular Economy projects internally and externally , actually holding the title of Sr Sustainability & Circular Economy Manager EMEA.

Flor has made a measurable impact over the past 4 years in the Sustainability Team at Avery Dennison: her analytical skills, her ability to work alone and being an excellent team player, in combination with her open and critical mindset, make her a valued colleague and a mentor.

She is always customer-focused and results-driven. Thanks to her scientific background and a responsible approach to the environment she has truly inspired colleagues, clients, and end-users to become more responsible. Everyone, from government to individuals of all ages and abilities, can play an important role as stewards of the environment. Only together we can.. As sustainability is key to the future of the label industry, it is core to the values of Avery Dennison and is a huge personal motivator for Flor.

For that reason Flor was testing a Label liner recycling program for two years in two countries France and Spain, and after the pilot times the program has become a new service for all our customers unter the name of Avery Dennison Circular, and also create a close collaboration within the label industry through the CELAB consortium that was also created last year to ensure that we are providing solution to our waste, Avery Dennison is one of the founders of this consortium.

Label liner and matrix recycling program require a complex process of collection and sorting, which can be a deterrent for companies who want to recycle, and therefore as part of Avery Dennison goal to eliminate 70 percent of liner and matrix waste from our value chain by 2025, Flor and her team are building a network of recyclers to help converters and brands reduce and reuse label waste.

Through this program, label liner is collected for recycling, saving on waste disposal costs and preventing environmental impact from landfill or incineration. Flor is committed to ensuring that we can create value from waste, and due to her passion, determination, and demonstrated innovation in delivering lasting results I am sure that I am merely one of the many lives that she will influence throughout her daily life.

Flor is responsible for the implementation of Ecodesign at Avery Dennison Global, a new way of thinking and approach on developing new products, more proactive, and more focused on new materials and new technology available. Ecodesign program successfully implemented in Europe in 2020 is now rolling out globally, this project will look at the needs on each region where we are present and collaborate with all departments involved such as Marketing, R&D, and Procurement and incorporate all the changed need it to create new products that are following our strategy in sustainability allowing our customers to be able to choose products for their needs that are reaching all the sustainability credential possible and available at the moment.

We are focussing our effort on looking for the most sustainable raw material to new ways of producing our products with less impact on the environment. The Ecodesing program is also taking into consideration the Ecosystem, all the needs from our ecosystem from suppliers to customers to recyclers, teaching and learning from the ecosystem is key to implement Ecodesign in your company. Thanks to this collaboration and external focus we are closer to enable Circular Economy, collaborating with all your stakeholders will help to understand what is need it and also will help to evolve on the requirements that sometimes are opposite and are not facilitating the possibilities to be more circular, The ecosystem needs to be aligned Flor is collaborating closely with Petcore, CEFLEX, and Recyclass to make a clear differentiation on what decoration means in the recycling process, working close with the association we made clear to them that decoration is key for the recyclability of the material, but also is key for the brand owners no communicate about their product, and many times the technical requirements from the ecosystem are contradictory so make difficult to de the design of the final product that will be positive for the total ecosystem, that is why we ask the association to create specific work groups and more detailed guidelines on decoration.

What is important is also putting more emphasis on educating the ecosystem on the different decorations in packaging and how we can create new products that are fulfilling the necessities of the whole supply chain from Suppliers to recyclers so we can be transparent and truly circular

Associate Professor in Circular Plastics
Maastricht University

A polymer materials scientist by background, Kim Ragaert is an associate professor in 'Circular Plastics' at Maastricht University. She leads a multidisciplinary research team of around 15 researchers, working to develop the necessary scientific tools to enable the improved mechanical recycling of plastics. Specific research topics include the quality modeling of (contaminated) recycled plastics, upcycling of mixed solid plastic waste, polymer degradation and multiple recycling, Design for Recyclability, Design from Recycling, WEEE plastics and recycling of multilayer packaging materials. She leads and participates in several (inter)national recycling projects. Amongst others, she is the coordinator of C-PlaNeT (https://www.c-planet.eu/) , a member of HolyGrail2.0 and an associate editor for the high-level journal Waste Management. Prof. Ragaert is the chair of the Plastics to Resource pipeline within CAPTURE (http://capture-resources.be), wherein she creates Circular Plastic synergies with colleagues from 4 different institutes, active in thermochemical recycling, food packaging, sorting/decontamination, policy, consumer behavior and LCA.

She is the 2020 European Plastics Recycling Ambassador.

Owner & Director
Norfolier GreenTec AS

Rune is a Norwegian citizen, residing in Oslo. He is the owner and director of Norfolier GreenTec AS, the largest film recycler in the Nordic region. Norfolier is also a leading refuse sack converter using 100% recycled plastics. Rune has previously owned and managed a test-liner mill, a waste incineration plant, and an insurance brokerage firm – all major businesses in the Nordic region. Prior to becoming an independent investor, Rune was a Partner at PA Consulting Group and worked in brand management at Procter & Gamble in USA and Germany. He holds an MBA from Columbia University and a Bachelor from University of Washington. Prior to his education he was an officer in the Royal Norwegian Navy. Rune is a member of the management committee of Plastics Recyclers Europe and a board member of Plastretur, the holding company of Grønt Punkt Norge.