ISWA World Congress 2021 – Call for Abstracts

The ISWA World Congress is the flagship event of the International Solid Waste Association where practitioners, policy makers, researchers, and academics from across the world gather to network, collaborate, learn, and inspire! 

The next ISWA World Congress is being held in Athens, 4-7 October 2021, hosted by the Hellenic Solid Waste Management Association (HSWMA). The Congress with an overall theme of “From waste management to a circular economy – the road ahead” will include keynote and plenary sessions by invited speakers, and concurrent sessions with oral and poster presentations by the participants. Therefore, the ISWA World Congress 2021 Programme Committee invites abstracts for oral and poster presentations. 

The current COVID-19 pandemic still brings a lot of insecurities for in person events being able to take place, including the World Congress in Athens. The congress will be available in-person and hybrid version. Should in-person events not be allowed in October, the World Congress will be held entirely virtually. 


 Important Dates Open for Abstract Submission: 

 9 March 2021 

 Closing Date: 

 22 March 2021 

 Acceptance Notification: 

 5 April 2021 



The Congress will focus on the following themes: 

● Understanding circular economy: concepts, limitations, and questions
o Definitions and practices
o Closed loops and recycling markets
o The relationship between circular and low carbon economies
o Substances of concern (chemicals, pathogens)
o The role of digitalisation in a circular economy
o Global value chains and circular economy
o Metrics and indicators
o Clean loops: myth or reality? 

● Waste Management in the Circular Economy
o The role of final sinks in a circular economy
o Waste minimisation and prevention
o The role of energy recovery in a circular economy
o The role of bio waste management in circular models
o The central role of depollution and pathogens destruction (example: COVID19)
o Circular economy and fuels derived from waste
o Redefining recycling towards circular models
o COVID-19 impact lessons on the waste sector and circular industry
o Hazardous substances management in a circular economy
o The role of landfills in a circular economy (transitioning from dumpsites to sanitary landfills, landfill mining, sustainable landfill management) 

● The role of governance in the shift towards a circular economy
o Circular Economy policies and regulations
o Extended Producer Responsibility, deposit return systems, and alternatives
o Stakeholder inclusion and communications
o New processes, new materials, new rules: enhancing standards, international rules, and framework conditions 

● Circular economy and plastics
o Single use plastics and their fate
o Nano-plastics and their impacts
o Material replacement possibilities and impacts 

o Pros and cons of increasing online delivery packaging
o Plastic waste and globalization
o Mechanical vs chemical plastic recycling: pros and cons 

● Circular Economy and the tourism industry o Impact of large-scale sanitary considerations related to COVID-19
o Towards zero waste hotels
o Greening the islands

● Circular Economy in the Balkan Region, Mediterranean, and the EU sphere of influence 

● Marine Litter in the Mediterranean context o Marine Litter prevention
o Impact of the refugee crisis
o Costs of inaction
o Methodologies to assess and model marine litter 

Abstract Submission 

All the abstracts submitted will be reviewed and assigned to an appropriate session. Authors of the accepted abstracts will be notified of the method of presentation as follows: 

1. Oral Presentation 

2. Poster Presentation: posters are reports summarizing information using brief written statements and graphic materials, such as graphs, charts, figures, and photographs mounted on a poster board, the dimensions of which must not exceed the allocated space per poster. 

● Detailed poster guidelines shall be sent at the time of acceptance. 

Abstract submitters may choose the method of the presentation upon abstract submission. However, please note the final classification will be decided by the ISWA World Congress 2021 Programme Committee. 

If a speaker cannot join physically due to corona regulations preventing him/her to join the in person event, an option will be provided to do the presentation virtually. 

General Guidelines for Abstract Submission 

An abstract should contain at least the following information: 

● Title of the session according to the themes listed above (a maximum of 2 themes can be selected) 

● Abstract of the content of the contribution/presentation (maximum 300 words) 

● Short biography and photo 

Submissions of abstracts can be made online through via email at Submissions must be in English and may only be made once. 

All abstracts should directly link to at least one conference theme. The abstract should be informative and stand alone in its content and meaning. It should include a brief introduction, methods used, key results, brief discussion, and a conclusion. The abstract will be reviewed based on technical merit, scientific contribution, and relevance under the chosen theme. 

Authors should make every effort to craft a well written abstract and ensure that the abstract is easy to read and understand. We suggest that authors keep sentences simple, use the active voice, and spell out any abbreviations or acronyms. There is a limit of two abstract submissions for a single author. Abstracts may be submitted for either oral presentation or poster presentation. Oral presentations should not exceed 20 minutes of speaking time. 

All abstracts will be reviewed by at least 2 members of the ISWA World Congress 2021 Programme Committee and will make the final decision. 

Conditions of acceptance 

By submitting an abstract, authors agree to publication of the abstract, if accepted, on the conference website and in other conference materials such as the Conference Proceedings. Authors also agree to publication of photos, video recordings or live streaming of the presentations. 

The Programme Committee of ISWA 2021 World Congress is the final arbiter of: 

● Whether the abstract is accepted or rejected 

● Whether it will be an oral or a poster presentation 

● The session in which the abstract will be placed 

● The date and time that the presentations will take place 

Please note: All accepted presenters are required to register and pay the conference registration fees.

Registration fees for presenters: 

Virtual: €425. For countries according to this UN list: €380 

Payment terms: through the online registration system after acceptance. Prices are including 24% VAT


If you have any questions, please send an email to


Dr. Andreopoulos Andreas, Chairman, NTUA 

Prof. Angelopoulos Georgios, UPATRAS 

Mr. Björn Appelqvist, Chair of the ISWA Scientific and Technical Committee 

Prof. Aravosis Konstantin, NTUA 

Prof. Georgakellos Dimitris, UNIPI 

Prof. Dermatas Dimitris, NTUA 

Prof. Haralambous Katherine-Joanne, NTUA 

Dr. Kolokotroni Konstantina, MOU 

Prof. Komilis Dimitris, DUTH 

Prof. Lasaridi Katia, HUA 

Prof. Loizidou Maria, NTUA 

Dr. Mavropoulos Antonios, ISWA 

Dr. Michalopoulos Evangelos, VMA 

Prof. Mousiopoulos Nikolaos, AUTH 

Dr. Panagiotakis Iraklis, ΑΕCOM 

Dr. Reklitis Grigoris, Min. EE 

MSc. Skiadi Olga, Coca-Cola3E 

Dr. Varelidis Petros, Min. EE 

Prof. Velis Costas, Univ. of Leeds, Chair of ISWA Marine Litter Task Force 

Ms. Aditi Ramola, ISWA STC Coordinator and Technical Director 

ISWA Working Groups: 

Dr. Marco Ricci-Jürgensen, Chair of ISWA Working Group on Biological Treatment of Waste 

Dr. Johannes Paul, Vice-Chair of ISWA Working Group on Climate Change and Waste Management 

Mr. Zeng Guang, Chair of ISWA Working Group on Collection and Transportation Technology 

Mr. Tom De Bruyckere, Chair of ISWA Working Group on Communication and Social Issues 

Mr. Joachim Quoden, Chair of ISWA Working Group on Governance and Legal Issues 

Mr. Nicolas Humez, Chair of ISWA Working Group on Hazardous Waste 

Dr. Anne Woolridge, Chair of ISWA Working Group on Healthcare Waste 

Mr. James Law, Chair of ISWA Working Group on Landfills and Task Force on Closing Dumpsites 

Dr. Anne Scheinberg, Chair of ISWA Working Group on Recycling and Waste Minimisation 

Mr. Johnny Stuen, Chair of ISWA Working Group on Energy Recovery