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Meet the speakers 2022


Marco TEN BRUGGENCATE is the Commercial Vice President for Packaging and Specialty Plastics for EMEA, and is based in Horgen, Switzerland. He is also a vocal advocate for inclusion and diversity and is Co-Chair in Dow’s Women’s Inclusion Network & Executive Sponsor of the Disability Employee Network in EMEAI.

Marco joined Dow in 2000 in the role of Commercial Manager Polyurethanes. In 2007, he became Strategic Marketing Manager for Dow Building Solutions, before being appointed Product Director in 2011. As part of that role, he became the Chairman of the European Extruded Polystyrene Insulation Producers Association, EXIBA.

In 2012, Marco assumed the role of Business Director EMEAI for Dow Building Solutions and in 2014 was appointed Global Business Director for Dow Construction Chemicals. In 2017, he moved to Midland, MI, United States, as the Global Business Director role of Dow Building & Construction and subsequently became responsible for Global Strategy for the Polyurethanes Portfolio before assuming his current role.

Marco earned his Masters degree in Business Economics at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam.

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Dr. Kevin M. VAN GEEM is full professor in the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture at Ghent University (UGent). He is director of the Center of Sustainable Chemistry and director of the board of the Laboratory for Chemical Technology of Ghent University.

His main research interest is thermochemical reaction engineering in general, with a focus in particular the transition from fossil to alternative resources such as biomass, CO/CO2 and plastic waste.

He is a former Fulbright Research Scholar of MIT and visiting professor at Stanford. He is in charge of the pilot plants for chemical recycling, oxidative coupling of methane, steam cracking, biomass pyrolysis and super dry reforming. He is the author of more than two hundred scientific publications, has 3 patents and he is managing director of his own spin-off company on modeling steam cracking. He is involved in chemical recycling, electrification, process intensification, machine learning & data mining, product formulation, drug discovery, scale-up and process modeling.


Aurel CIOBANU-DORDEA leads the Directorate responsible for Circular Economy in the European Commission's Directorate General for Environment since 1st May 2022.

Before that, he was in charge of Directorate ‘Compliance, Governance and Support to Member States in the same Directorate General.

Before joining DG Environment in 2014, he was Director for "Equality" in charge of fight against discrimination in DG Justice between 2011 and 2014. He joined the European Commission in 2009 as Director for "Fundamental Rights and EU Citizenship" in DG Justice, Freedom and Security, later DG Justice. Aurel Ciobanu-Dordea holds an LL.M. from the University of Illinois (US) and a Ph.D. from the University of Bucharest (RO).


Paul DAVIDSON joined UKRI in 2020 as Director for the Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging Challenge programme Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging Challenge, a £60 million, 5-year programme that represents the largest ever UK government investment in sustainable plastics research and innovation.

He has over 20 years’ experience in the field of plastics, most recently with SABIC where he was responsible for European market development for flexible packaging resins and was active in driving forward both mechanical and chemical recycling solutions for plastics packaging. Prior to joining SABIC, Paul spent 11 years at WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) running a number of major plastics recycling programmes including the development of food grade HDPE and PP recycling capacity in the UK. Paul holds a first degree in Materials Science and Technology from Brunel University and a PhD in the processing of PET from Loughborough University. 

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Carlos MONREAL is the Founder and CEO of Plastic Energy, one of the world’s leading chemical recycling companies, with industrial plants in operation for the last six years. He is an engineer by training and has been a serial entrepreneur for more than 30 years, focusing on developing disruptive technologies and innovative solutions in the sustainability sector. He is the founder of a wide range of companies whose activities include the development of GPS applications like precision farming and machine control of fleet management, as well as an EPC company on renewable energy. Carlos is also the founder and CEO of Greenland Capital, a company with the vision to identify and develop new technologies that provide sustainable and economical solutions to the growing challenges of waste and water management, and alternative energy management.


Egor DEMENTEV is Senior Analyst, Plastics Recycling at ICIS. Egor focuses on the EMEA region, covering plastics circularity with a key focus on mechanical and chemical recycling. Prior to joining ICIS, Egor worked at SIBUR, the largest petrochemical company in Russia, and was responsible for analysing the macro environment and developing internal expertise in sustainability and recycling.

Recently Egor obtained an MSc degree from Imperial College Business School (London) in addition to his BA and MA degrees in Political Science from Moscow State Institute of International Relations.


Fabian LOSKE holds an environmental engineering degree from the University of Stuttgart, Germany. After working for the Fraunhofer Department Life Cycle Engineering in Stuttgart he joined thinkstep AG (now Sphera).

Currently he is applying his 8+ years of experience in sustainability assessment in the renewable materials & chemicals sector as Senior Business Development Representative, leading Sphera’s effort in the chemical recycling space.  

Outside his assignment at Sphera he is supporting the development of the sustainability/climate strategy for a global NGO.


Chaim WAIBEL is the Public Affairs Manager at Plastics Recyclers Europe. He has good knowledge of sustainability and recycling topics and law at European level and participated in key stakeholders’ initiatives concerning the circularity of plastics. He holds a MA in European and International Studies from the University of Trento, Italy.


Dr. Daria FRACZAK has been a member of Clariter's Research and Development team for the past 14 years. As the Head of R&D, Daria manages a team of scientists and personnel in Poland and South Africa. Her extensive knowledge of petrochemical processing and chemical recycling makes her an expert in these fields. Daria has a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the Silesian University of Technology. She has two additional master's degrees in Chemical Technology – one focusing on polymers and plastics and another focusing on quality control and environmental protection.


Karen LAIRD, after graduating with a master’s degree in English language and literature, she started out as a sworn Dutch – English translator for legal and technical documents. She later moved into technical writing, with a focus on the plastics industry. From 2010 on, she worked for Modern Plastics/Plastics Today, where, as contributing European editor, she was also responsible for the sustainability beat. In May 2017 came the switch to Detroit, USA-based Crain Communications, where she served first as editor of Plastics News Europe and subsequently as the founding editor of Sustainable Plastics.


Joshua BACA, as Vice President of ACC’s Plastics Division, he leads public policy and advocacy initiatives rooted in sustainability and circularity to help advance bold goals and commitments on behalf of the plastic resin producers, converters, suppliers, and recyclers. As chief advocate for America’s plastic makers, he fosters dialogue through collaboration and serves as an educator on plastics’ role in critical applications and markets like food and medical packaging, automotive, building and construction and emerging technologies. His career spans government and politics, public affairs, communications, and sustainability. He previously led public affairs at the American Beverage Association, where he oversaw the launch of a new plastics sustainability initiative and helped advance community-based recycling projects. Joshua has an MA in Government and Political Communications from The Johns Hopkins University and a BA in Political Science from Texas Tech University.


Jan HOMMEN studied Industrial Engineering at the University of Applied Science in Koblenz. After completing his Bachelor’s Degree in 2019, he went on to complete a Master’s Degree in 2019. His Master’s Thesis was done in partnership with TOMRA and focused on advanced mechanical recycling processes and is the result of half a year’s active work in an Advanced Mechanical Recycling facility in Germany.

Jan joined TOMRA’s Circular Economy Division in 2021 and currently serves as an engineer, concentrating on New Plastics Applications. In his role, he explores the market for recycling opportunities that lead to closing the loop for plastics and to achieving a Circular Economy.

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Annick MEERSCHMAN is Innovation Director at Cefic, the forum and the voice of the chemical industry in Europe. Annick joined Cefic’s Innovation department in August 2022 as a secondee from the industry. Her responsibilities include Circularity and Chemical Recycling of Plastic Waste, and associated innovation programs. She has spent over 30 years of her professional career in the chemical industry.

 Annick holds a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Leuven (KUL) in Belgium.

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Lauriane VEILLARD is Zero Waste Europe's Policy Officer on Chemicals Recycling and Plastic-to-Fuels.

She engages with European institutions to develop ambitious, human-, and environmentally-friendly legislation focusing on the chemical treatment of waste.
Lauriane's previous work experiences include the European Parliament, where she followed the IMCO Committee and focused on consumer protection.

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Ursula DENISON has been with the pioneering German system for packaging recycling, “Der Grüne Punkt - Duales System Deutschland GmbH” (GreenDot), from its beginning in 1991. Green Dot was the first packaging recycling system based on the concept of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). In the early 90’s, she was in charge of setting up the International Customer Department for over 5.000 clients in Europe and overseas, and was frequently asked to speak about the pioneering “Green Dot” EPR system to international stakeholders in Europe, Asia, and North America.

She has since then led several strategic projects within GreenDot involving pricing, market research, brand development, improvement of customer services, and international EPR strategy. She was actively involved in the change management process of GreenDot during its transformation from a monopoly non-profit organization owned by obliged industry to a privately owned, for-profit company in 2005.
Mrs. Denison is Director of Sales and International Strategy and Marketing of “Der Grüne Punkt” Germany (GreenDot), ensuring that the company’s almost 90.000 customers all over the world receive the best possible customer service. She can provide first-hand insight in the challenges and opportunities of EPR in packaging recycling in Germany, where the shift from a monopoly system to a competitive "recycling economy" has been achieved, and where the GreenDot system is now “closing the loop” by producing high-quality PCR plastics from its household collection.

She frequently contributes to international conferences on EPR and packaging recycling both in Europe, Asia, and North and South America, and serves as a consultant to multinational brand owners as well as other EPR schemes globally.

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Jens AßMANN heads the Senior Project of Sustainability in the Monomers Division of BASF, driving the transformation of BASF’s upstream assets and businesses.

He held positions across the areas of innovation, strategy & business management at BASF, and worked for three years as Staff to BASF’s CTO.

Jens studied chemistry at the university of Göttingen where he received his doctoral degree in the field of Physical Chemistry. He founded a start-up in 2002 and joined BASF as a research scientist in 2003.

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Dr. Geoff BRIGHTY leads on sustainability (science, policy and regulation) for ReNew ELP and Mura Technology, which is developing a number of chemical recycling plants in the UK, US and EU. 

He is a published research scientist, and has had a career spanning over 35 years in the environmental protection and regulation sector with the Environment Agency on waste strategy, environmental toxicology and chemical standards, as well as operational regulation of major process industry, waste management and wider environmental regulation. 

From 2014 to 2020, he was Technical Director at the UKs first plastic pollution charity, Plastic Oceans, and was special advisor to its film A Plastic Ocean. Geoff is a member of the UK Plastics Pact Advisory Group and chairs the Pact’s Non-Mechanical Recycling Collaborative Action Group. He is also chair of environmental NGO, Norfolk Rivers Trust.


Bilyana IGNATOVA is the Vice President Public Affairs EU at TOMRA, advocating and advising on effective policies to accelerate the transition to a circular economy. In her role, she works with various EU stakeholders, including policymakers, business associations, non-governmental organizations, media, and research companies, to promote circular waste management and recycling practices. 

She previously worked in a leading European association for sustainable resource management, where she developed localized strategies and capacity-building for public authorities, as well as the European Commission in Brussels where she focused on environmental taxation. Bilyana holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Management and Policy from Lund University (Sweden) and a Master’s degree in European Economic Studies from the Free University of Brussels (Belgium).

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Adela PUTINELU is leading the CRE policy group; she is also the Head of Policy for Plastic Energy, working on policy strategy and engagement with key stakeholders. Her work is primarily focused on EU and national regulations associated with chemical recycling, plastics recycling and the circular economy. She has a Master of Science in Environmental Technology from Imperial College London and has worked for the past ten years on environmental policy related to plastics sustainability and climate mitigation. Previously, Adela worked for the British Plastics Federation as Senior Sustainability Executive. She is passionate about sustainability and driving the transition to a net-zero and circular economy.


Saskia WALRAEDT holds a PhD in polymer chemistry from the U Ghent. She started her professional career as a researcher in 1996 at ICI, now known as Huntsman. After various functions at Huntsman, Honeywell and TotalEnergies she joined in 2009 essenscia to support members with the implementation of the REACH legislation. She developed her career further in sustainable development and circular economy. Since 2018 she heads the department essenscia PolyMatters, representing the polymer producers and plastic converting industry. In this role she closely follows the relevant legislative initiatives for plastics concerning circular economy, recycling and recycled content obligations.

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Sven SAURA is Vice-President of the Solid Waste and Recycling Solutions team that supports Veolia's world wide operations in developing their business and improving their operational efficiency. He has 30 years of experience in waste management across collection, sorting and treatment activities. He joined Veolia in 1993 as a development engineer for waste treatment plants combining material recovery, biological treatment and waste to energy technologies. In 1997 I joined the operations of one of those plants in France as Material Recovery Chief of Operations. In 1999, he was head of engineering at the regional Direction in Toulouse, France, and then transitioned into the roles of chief of services and director of recycling. In 2012, he joined the headquarters in Paris in charge of R&D and knowledge management for the waste activities. From 2015 to 2020, he was Director of Industrial Services and then Deputy Director of Waste Management with the technical and performance department of Veolia. He is a graduate of the École Centrale Paris engineering school.

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Theo JAN SIMONS ​is a Partner in McKinsey & Company’s Cologne office. He has over 20 years of consulting experience supporting clients in the chemicals, materials and downstream energy industries.

​He has worked in all stages of the materials value chain including paints, coating and plastics.

​He is the leader of McKinsey’s global petrochemical service line and founder of Chemical Insights, a market analytics teams focused on the Petrochemicals industry including Circular economy/ Recycling.

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Maurizio CRIPPA, PhD in Materials Science, CEO, founder and inventor of the gr3n SA. He worked many years in academia where he has had the chance to accumulate a wide-ranging academic and research experience in solid state physics, organic and inorganic chemistry with special regard to the development of functional and structural materials such as organic materials for opto-electronic, conductive polymers and hybrid inorganic materials for different applications. After years spent creating new materials he switched his interests on providing technological solutions to solve environmental issues. As gr3n SA he is one of the founder of Chemical Recycling Europe and he is the vice president of the association from 2020.

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Paula CHIN is a Senior Policy Adviser on Consumption at WWF-UK.  Following 20 years in industry, primarily in packaging-related roles at Proctor & Gamble, M&S, Sainsbury’s and Pret, she joined WWF in 2019 to work on the packaging element of the Tesco partnership. Additionally, she provides internal and external technical expertise on materials-related issues including plastics, with her policy and advocacy work focusing more broadly on resources, waste and circular economy thinking. Most recently, she played a leading role in influencing Government to adopt Greener UK’s priority amendment for the Resource and Waste chapter of the Environment Act and co-authored a chapter on Waste Prevention and Waste Management for a UNEP Finance Initiative Sustainable Blue Economy guide. As well as being invited regularly to speak at events, she is the current Chair of the Wildlife and Countryside Link’s Resources and Waste Working Group, an advisor on UKRI’s Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging Fund and sits on several government and industry stakeholder advisory groups addressing this broad topic. 

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Christophe DURAND joined Michelin Group in 2001. In 2017, he moved to High Tech Materials - New Businesses at Michelin. He oversees business development for sustainable material based on recycling and bio-sourced for tire and non-tire applications. Prior this position, Christophe hold different occupations at Michelin purchasing organization such as strategic chemical sourcing and global capex sourcing. Prior its experience at Michelin, he worked on development projects for Li-ion batteries in the USA. Christophe holds a Master of Science in material engineering (EPUN), a Master of Science in Management of International Sourcing (EM Lyon) and an Executive master’s in finance engineering (ESCP).


Dr. Michael HEYDE is engaged in plastics recycling since 1999, when he became Head of Technical Department at the Grüne Punkt – Duales System Deutschland GmbH. In 2000 he joined the management of DKR - Deutsche Gesellschaft für Kunststoffrecycling, from 2005 as managing director. 2011 he started the operative recycling business at the Grüne Punkt as managing director of Systec Plastics. In 2014 he established an engineering team to develop recycling technology and closed loop solutions for plastics waste from packaging. Since 2018 he is working for ALPLA as Head of Recycling Technology. Michael Heyde has studied Chemical Engineering at Technical University of Munich and has started his professional career as a scientist at Fraunhofer Institute for Food Technology and Packaging in Freising.   

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