Here at the Furniture Re-use Network, we welcome the European Parliament’s environment committee backing several changes to the EU Waste Framework Directive. It is the result of a couple of years’ worth of lobbying and it certainly is a much appreciated vote of support for the reuse and prevention of waste.
Thankfully the European Parliament has addressed some of our previous concerns, especially where the directive initially wanted to deem all donated product as waste. Now the directive is purely about product that is reused from the waste stream.
As a result of this environment committee vote, the social economy sector will become better recognised by waste operators and I certainly keep my fingers crossed that we will be given the stated preferential access to municipal waste streams.
Another welcome addition was the decision to introduce a reuse target, starting at 3% and moving ambitiously up to 5% by 2030. This should drive support for reuse at multiple levels and in our opinion the foundation of all this new support could be the inclusion of social clauses within producer responsibility legislation. But this will only help if the social clauses come with some teeth such as quantifiable targets, similar to what is needed in public procurement to meet with the UK Social Value Act.
Although there are a couple of cautionary points that we can see and are wary of - we are for now concentrating on the success and benefits this vote will bring.
Read more about the EU Waste Directive at http://www.rreuse.org/meps-support-separate-targets-for-preparing-for-re-use/