< New Public Procurement Directive to Support Work Integration Social Enterprises
10.03.2014 11:42 Age: 6 yrs

LOWaste International Seminar Roundup

On 6 March, 2013, RREUSE hosted an international conference looking at the success factors and barriers to creating local markets for reused and recycled products.

On 6 March, 2013, RREUSE hosted an international conference looking at the success factors and barriers to creating local markets for reused and recycled products. Around 60 participants took part coming from the EU institutions, private and social waste management sector, public administrations, research institute, NGOs etc.  The conference debate brought out the following conclusions and remarks:

  • The LOWaste project, highlighted especially the important role of inclusive stakeholder dialogue that allowed some of the barriers to increased reuse on behalf of the operators, producers/retailers and municipalities to be broken down in order to create a local circular economy district in the municipality of Ferrara.
  • The reuse and preparation for reuse sector has significant social value through the provision of job, skills and training opportunities for those distanced from the labour market, and is present throughout Europe. It is crucial to strike the right balance between legislative support and links to the private and public sector.
  • The New Public Procurement Reforms will open up the possibilities to include more environmental and social considerations within tendering procedures, which will include support for Work Integration Social Enterprises through reserved Contracts and use of the Most Economically Advantageous tender. Alongside this work, EU Green Public Procurement (GPP) aims to overcome barriers  to uptake of Green Products which includes the perception that Green Products cost more and a lack of knowledge of how to verify Green Criteria. Future work will focus on better monitoring of GPP and promoting networking of public procurers.
  • It was, however, pointed out that the EU Commission should have a look at its own financial tools such as ERDF and ESF funding where eligible costs currently do not allow for the purchasing of second hand items such as cars or appliances.
  • The EU Commission is currently working on Guidance for implementation of Extended Producer Responsibility. It is important to see how this guidance can help enforce Producer Responsibility Organisations (PROs) to respect the waste hierarchy. In France a new law has been passed that requires all Producer Responsibility Organisms to consider the role of social economy actors in their activities, especially concerning waste collection and (preparation for) reuse activities. The importance of supporting waste prevention and preparation for reuse activities within PRO activities is also obliged within their Terms of Reference.  It is hoped that such initiatives will be taken into account during the creation of EU guidance.
  •  Concerning the current EU Waste Target Review, participants urged for creation of targets for reuse and preparation for reuse
  • There are significant opportunities for reuse and preparation for reuse of different waste streams, including non-traditional materials such as medical textiles and construction/building materials. In addition reuse of scrap materials from retailers and businesses offer huge potential for community groups, artists and schools.

The final findings of the LOWaste Project will be published at the end of this year in a report. The project partners would like to thank the EU Commission for their financial support to this project through the Life+ instrument.  

All the presentations from the conference can be found here