He participated in the Mainstream project management committee meeting - which is a coalition of actors committed to the circular economy – of which Veolia is a member. This meeting was an opportunity to present the report on recycling plastics - "The New Plastics Economy” - published by the Ellen Macarthur Foundation, to which the Group contributed.
Antoine Frérot was also involved in the session on the theme "Leading the clean revolution" which promotes a circular and low carbon economy.
He said: "To overcome the conflict between resources that are growing scarcer, human needs that are increasing and greenhouse gas emissions that must be reduced, the circular economy, by organizing permanent recycling of resources, is leading a real ‘clean revolution’.” He also pointed out that "producing new raw materials by recycling waste emits much less carbon than extracting virgin raw materials from the environment. For example, paper can be recycled seven times; a ton of recycled paper represents savings the equivalent of 1 ton of oil, and 100 cubic meters of water."
Antoine Frérot also co-hosted a roundtable on carbon prices during a post COP21 event involving over 50 CEOs all engaged in fighting climate change . It provided the opportunity to return to one of the conditions he considers essential when introducing a low carbon economy, and one he extensively defended ahead of the COP21: the introduction of a "pollution cost" so that "polluting costs more than cleaning up."
Veolia supports “The New Plastics Economy”
The new report published by the World Economic Forum and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, as part of the Mainstream project looks at the issue of plastic. It notes the two major pitfalls of our current production system: not only is a very large proportion of packaging materials lost (with an estimated value of between $80 and $120 billion each year), but also a large amount of packaging finds itself in natural systems, and in particular in our oceans. The report points out that if we continue on this track, there will be more plastic than fish (by weight) in the oceans by 2050! The solution recommended in the report is a "New Plastics Economy", based on circular economy principles - an economy in which nothing ever becomes waste. It is conditional on establishing a plastic collection, processing and recycling industry and introducing incentives.
> The full report report: “The New Plastics Economy”
> The WEF’s article: “How can we create a world where plastic never becomes waste?”
> The Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s article: « New plastics economy report offers blueprint to design a circular future for plastics »