MEPs see benefits of re-use first hand in Strasbourg
A delegation of MEPs and European parliamentary staff working on the EU’s revised Circular Economy Package toured a French re-use facility in Strasbourg. The visit was organized by RREUSE to introduce the training and job creation potential of repair and re-use social enterprises to the delegates.
The delegation included three Members of the European Parliament (MEPs): Pervenche Beres, Pascal Durand, Edouard Martin, as well as representatives of the offices of Simona Bonafé, Nathalie Griesbeck, Jan Keller, Ivan Stefanec and Ramon Luis Valcarcel Siso, co-chair of the European Parliament’s Social Economy Intergroup.
The delegates’ tour included Envie Strasbourg, a branch of the Envie Federation, a social enterprise network working in re-use, repair and recycling of WEEE. The federation rehabilitates 90,000 appliances each year and creates local jobs for over 2,500 people, the majority of whom are distanced from the labor market.
The discussion that followed addressed major issues of the new legislation to be adopted within the Circular Economy Package. It was emphasized that a strong legal framework is needed to stabilize the position of social economy operators in re-use and to benefit from their positive social and environmental impact.
Limited access to municipal waste collection points was stressed as an important barrier for the waste management sector. Better access and facilities may provide more efficient waste prevention strategies, as well as a better cooperation between the actors of the re-use sector. With better access there would be fewer losses of material and more jobs could be created. Preparing for re-use should be prioritized above recycling as it helps waste prevention and offers notably bigger job creation potential.