Dr. Thomais Vlachogianni, Senior Programme/Policy Officer, Mediterranean Information Office for Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development

Thomais Vlachogianni is an expert in environmental research and management of marine litter and marine plastic pollution in the Mediterranean sea region.
Thomais has been working at MIO-ECSDE as a Programme/Policy Officer since 2008 with 15-years work experience in the management cycle of marine litter and plastic pollution. She is an active member of the EU MSFD Technical Group on Marine Litter; the UNEP/MAP Experts Group on the application of the Ecosystem Approach in the Mediterranean; the Correspondence Group on Monitoring, Pollution and Litter and is the marine litter expert of the EU-funded WES project. In 2019, she was an invited speaker at the "G20 Workshop on Scientific Knowledge and Innovative Solutions for Marine Plastic Litter", held in Tokyo.

Slashing Plastic Pollution and Breaking Away from a Throwaway Society: Turning Science into Policy & Actions
Thomais will provide an overview of key facts and figures related to plastic pollution and single-use plastics, as well as highlight the associated scientific certainties and uncertainties. Emphasis will be placed on best practice measures to address plastic pollution and turn science into effective policy and actions with an NGO perspective on the main challenges and opportunities related to the implementation of the SUPs Directive.

Dr. Ulrike-Maria Gelbmann, Senior Post Doc Researcher, Institute of Systems Sciences, Innovation, and Sustainability Research, University of Graz

Ulrike-Maria Gelbmann is an expert in sustainability research with focus on sustainable management and waste prevention.
One of Ulrike-Maria's fields of expertise is sustainability education, which she combines with waste expertise to investigate and foster awareness for waste prevention within the broad public. She is the chair of the Master’s study program “Global Studies” at the university of Graz and was awarded several teaching prizes. With her colleagues she was awarded the Energy Globe Styria 2015 and the State Prize for Food Loss Prevention Viktualia in 2015.

Consumer’s and legal demand on single-use plastic packaging development
Ulrike-Maria will present how consumers perceieve, manage and choose among different alternatives of single-use plastic packaging currently available on Austria's market. It will be shown whether consumers are ready for alternatives to single-use plastic, especially in after-corona crisis times, what is important to them and whether and how they aim to influence the plastic packaging development.

Maja Mešl, General secretary and Head of Career centre and International office at the Faculty of Polymer Technology

Maja Mešl has broad experiences in the field of research and implementation of polymer technologies.
Maja has been working at the Faculty of Polymer Technology from its foundation in 2006. She has led several EU and national projects in the field of polymer materials and technologies, technology transfer, industry-research cooperation, innovative study methods and circular economy and successfully led the Faculty as Director from 2016 to 2020.

Research and good practice examples in the field of thermoplastic bio composites development and usage in Slovenia
Due to the ever-increasing environmental awareness and pressure to use ecologically friendlier materials, we have seen the increased use of thermoplastic bio composites with various natural fibres and fillers for different applications. In her presentation Maja will focus on current research and development in the field of increased use of thermoplastic bio composites, description of good practice examples of cooperation with partners from industry and some funding opportunities for SMEs for cooperation in similar projects.

Tina Ajdič, Senior Adviser and Expert on Circular Economy, ADS Insight

Tina Ajdič helps public and private organizations understand the EU policies and legislation.
Tina is Senior Adviser at ADS Insight responsible for coordinating the circular economy team. She focuses on EU policies on circular economy, plastics, waste management, as well as other sustainability issues. She has been leading extensive advocacy campaigns for clients, for example on the revision of the EU waste legislation and the adoption of the Single-Use Plastics Directive. She was nominated as one of Best EU Consultants in Brussels in 2020 and has been speaking at various international conferences and events on EU circular economy policies. Before joining ADS Insight, Tina had been working in the Cabinet of the Commissioner for Environment, in the European Parliament, as well as at the UN in Geneva.

Overview of SUPD legislative framework
Tina will provide an overview of the EU Directive 2019/904 on Single-use Plastics (SUPD). She will explain the objectives and the key legal requirements stemming from this Directive, such as bans for certain single-use plastic products, expanded Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) requirements, separate collection obligation, mandatory recycled content for beverage bottles, and other measures. She will mention the ongoing discussions on the SUPD implementing acts which are currently being developed, and future EU priorities in the field of plastics and circular economy.

Anna Larsson, Director, Reloop Europe

Anna Larsson is a specialist in circular economy and sustainable waste management.
Anna’s career has been dedicated to the implementation of environment friendly solutions with special focus on efficient collection and recycling of household waste fractions. The main objective of her projects is to maintain the value of the recyclables through the circular supply chain. Reloop’s ambition is to share the knowledge, connect and inspire various stakeholders to develop and implement closed loop solutions for circular economy.

Maximization of reuse and recycling – European deposit systems as a tool for combating the single use plastic challenge
Anna will present the European best practices in sustainable management of beverage containers. Littering is very much related to the single use plastic bottles and in some Member States has been significantly reduced through the implementaion of the deposit systems. Alongside the litter reduction, the deposit scheme serves as an excellent model for turning the challenge into the opportunity for sustainable resource management as well as developmnet of local economy.

Saulius Galadauskas, President of the Lithuanian Brewers Association

Salius Galadauskas is a leading voice in the field of Lithuanian brewer industry’s ethical and competitive traditions.
Salius has been working in Coca-Coca Baltic management team since 1996 and in BBH/Carlsberg Baltic management team since 2004. He is acting President of Lithuanian Brewers Association and Director of Public Enterprise DESA (deposit for refillables) for over 10 years now and the Chairman of the Board of Lithuanian Deposit System Administrator (Lithuanian deposit system for one-way containers) since 2014.

Reduction of littering through the implementation of circular models for one way and refillable beverage containers – best practice from Lithuania
Salius will present how SUP Directive has motivated the European community to phase out single use plastic items, significantly increase collection rates of the plastic bottles and utilize recyclates in the production of new packaging. Lithuania is a perfect example for the quantitative change wich has taken place on national level thanks to the obligatory deposit systems for one way and refillable beverage containers. Enahanced reuse and recycling result with sustainable consumption, clean environment and secure green jobs in local industry.

Marián Šefčovič, CEO Radenska ADRIATIC Radenska d.o.o.

Marián Šefčovič is fully committed to bringing Slovenian brand Radenska to its highest environmental and organizational standards. 
Marián is from Slovakia and he is a member of Kofola family for 21 years. He started his career as a sales manager and sales director of Kofola a.s. (SK) (2001-2007), responsible for the entire sales force and sales strategy in Slovakia. During 2007 – 2011, he acted as general director of Kofola a.s. (SK) and during 2011-2015 as sales director responsible for sales in all channels of Kofola brand in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. In 2014, he became Manager of the Year. This year he is celebrating 5-year anniversary as CEO of Radenska in Slovenia as President of the Management Board and founder of the Radenska ADRIATIC corporate brand, which is active in Slovenia and Croatia. He learned perfectly Slovenian and in 2019 became a President of Section of non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages at Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia.

Overarching view on sustainability in Radenska ADRIATIC 
In his presentation he will show broader picture of Radenska's view on sustainability topic. Single-use plastic is an important pillar of sustainability, as Radenska tries to commit to local environment, consumers, employees and protect the water sources as well. In these categories, they draw inspiration to find a way to enable business, which takes us to sustainable economy. 

Martin Šabec, Head of Hotel Perla, Hit Group, Slovenia

Martin Šabec is a hotelier, with more than 15 years of international work experience in world-renowned hotel chains and boutique hotel stories.
Martin has been an employee of Hit as the manager of the Perla Hotel, the largest Hit Group unit, since 2018, with experiences in the implementation of environmental standards in the operation of large hotel systems and processes. With his team he runs the Glocal Gourmet project, which in addition to reducing the use of plastics in the hotel business, includes three additional components: promoting the use of local and seasonal products in gastronomy Perla center, cooperation with the Biotechnical School in Šempeter pri Gorici and organizing the gourmet events with renowned Italian Michelin stars Chefs.

Glocal  Gourmet Perla experiences
Martin will present the concept, process of design and implementation of the Glocal Gourmet project, which grew out of awareness of responsibility for environmental issues within the gaming and entertainment center Perla in Nova Gorica. This is a broader project, which in one of the initiatives urges both employees and guests to reduce the use of plastic within hotel processes and services, as well as more broadly.


Sarah Reindl, MSc., Co-Founder of the package free store Das Gramm, Graz, Austria

Sarah Reindl is a young entrepreneur with actions in-ligned with her beliefs.

In 2016, Sarah founded the first store without packaging in Graz, Das Gramm, and two years later in 2018, Das Dekagramm, a supermarket without packaging. Her vision was and is to contribute to a sustainable economic system and motivate people for more sustainable consumption.

How to set up a package free shop and what to consider when founding a sustainable business
Sarah will share her experiences setting up the first package free store, how the idea came to be for Das Gramm and how they expanded to the second store. She will also talk about her experience with customers, how they perceive opportunities to reduce waste and what kind of awareness raising is needed for them. Finally, she will share her thoughts and views on the SUP Directive and what possible challenges in implementation it might face.