Plastics, electronics, and textiles waste volumes have led to environmental, social and health issues, especially in low- and middle-income countries. A transition to a circular economy is necessary to address the environmental challenges, but also needs to be just and inclusive, in order to provide opportunities for decent work in conditions of equity, security and human dignity.

This session builds on two sessions that were held in April 2021 at the World Circular Economy Forum + Climate that focused on the importance of integrating decent work in effective collection of electronics and plastics – looking at near-term actions as well as the need to drive systemic change and fill knowledge gaps for evidence-based policy making. These discussions led to the development of a joint initiative by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy (PACE), focusing on three key work areas to advance a just transition in electronics, plastics and textiles:

  1. Scaling up circular solutions
  2. Building capacity for sustainable systems
  3. Strengthening knowledge base

This is a unique opportunity to learn about what we can do to facilitate a just transition to circularity under the brand-new ILO-PACE initiative. Representatives from non-profits, workers’ and employers’ organizations will speak from their experiences to inspire action and foster collaboration on a way forward.

Moderated by:

  • Neelam Melwani, Senior Policy Officer, Netherlands Ministry of Infrastructure and Water

Speakers include:

  • David McGinty, Global Director, PACE
  • Alette van Leur, Director Sectoral Policies Department, ILO
  • Chever Voltmer, Plastics Initiative Director, Ocean Conservancy
  • Andreas Manhart, Senior Researcher, Oeko Institute
  • Nancy Ibarra Palacios, Director Sustainable Production and Consumption, National Business Association of Colombia (ANDI)

This event is an Accelerator Session at the World Circular Economy Forum 2021.