The EU's Circular Economy Action Plan is an important milestone for more circularity in the EU, but it still has some blind spots. The EU Parliament recently spoke out in favor of more ambitious measures - such as the introduction of separate re-use quotas.
All right with that Circular Economy Action Plan? If the EU parliamentarians and the member states have their way, things can get even better. In February, for example, MEPs adopted a text calling for a more ambitious circular economy in the EU (to the decision). This also takes into account the comments made by the member states on the Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP, published in March 2020) in December 2020. Some of these points are of central importance to our activities.
Re-use quotas according to the European waste hierarchy
One of the gaps in what is actually quite ambitious Circular Economy Action Plan of the EU is the common quota for reuse and recycling. RREUSE, the European umbrella association of socio-economic re-use companies, pointed out in its Position paper on the CEAP already point out that separate quotas are absolutely necessary in order to fuel a real circular economy. The European Parliament obviously sees it that way too. The demand for separate quotas for re-use and recycling accepted in February is an important success for RREUSE and RepaNet - Re-Use and Repair Network Austria. This corresponds to the European waste hierarchy, which prioritizes preparation for reuse over recycling. Currently, only Spain, Belgium and France have introduced separate quotas in the EU. A relevant EU regulation would therefore be a historically important advance. Now it is up to the European Commission.
Promote social enterprises
The EU-wide discussion on repair and re-use systems for certain products should also be intensified. The employment potential in the field of repair and maintenance services is expressly mentioned. The Commission is also encouraged to promote and support repair initiatives, cooperatives and social enterprises in the sector. Regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the textile industry, Member States emphasized the importance of working with stakeholders.
Currently, RREUSE and RepaNet, with Matthias Neitsch as RREUSE President, are increasingly involved with the European Commission in many areas of the action plan in order to promote the creation of green and inclusive jobs and at the same time make the use of natural resources more sustainable.
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RepaNews: RREUSE position paper on CEAP published
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