The First of its Kind - FRN Joins their international counterparts at Furnirec 2015 – The first International Recycling Congress.
Lesley Wilcox speaks on FRN Take Back Schemes.
Once again, France lights the way to dramatically cut down on waste. Introduced in 2013, the ‘Eco-Tax’ is added to new furniture enforcing producer responsibility. This tax is used to finance and improve the recycling of used furniture.
Two compliance scheme organisations have been awarded the licence to provide a recycling and reuse service across France with Valdelia collecting 16,000 tonnes of all business to business office furniture during 2014 and Eco Mobilier collecting 100,000 tonnes of domestic furniture within the same period. Reusable furniture is collected by Social Enterprise partners which includes charities such as Emmaus France.
The conference, Furnirec, was organised and run by Valdelia, and whilst this was the first event on this subject in France, it was disappointing to note the lack of attendance of compliance schemes and active re-use and recycling operators, with only large manufacturers and Government (both EU Commission and French Environment Ministry) officials making up the numbers.
Lesley Wilcox, FRN Operations Manager, attended Furnirec in order to represent the UK re-use sector and learn more.
“Environmental benefits and job creation appear to drive the French Government which is why the framework legislates the involvement of the Social Enterprise Actors, whereas the UK charity and social enterprise furniture reuse sector is also driven by social profit for disadvantaged members of each community. It would be great to see additional social issues benefit from this scheme.”
She went on to add
“The importance of the circular economy agenda and re-use was brought to light by Michal Len (Director of RReuse in Brussels) during his presentation on the work of 14 member states in which he highlighted that re-use targets are heavily favoured by the European Re-use organisation networks and members, with evidence of increased re-use though legislation.”
Lesley was invited on stage to present the success of the FRN take back schemes in operation with major UK retailers and how the FRN are spearheading real circular economy activity with furniture manufacturers in the UK. She was able to illustrate just how important re-use is to these producer led schemes and how to maximise re-use throughout the wider community whilst supporting those disadvantaged people in society.
Representation of the FRN at this first furniture recycling event (which is likely to grow in numbers and stature) was important to provide visibility of the innovative work UK re-use operators are carrying out with retailers ahead of the other European states in terms of providing an effective answer to and involvement in the circular economy.
This press release was sent out on Friday 12 June 2015.
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