On 14 March 2017, the European Parliament adopted the Circular Economy Package which includes reform of the waste directive. Although initially the package focused solely on economic and environmental objectives, ambitious measures were ultimately adopted, in particular inclusion of the circular economy’s social dimension spearheaded by Emmaus Europe.
What these measures will mean:
- The role of social stakeholders working in the waste and waste recovery field is now recognised and consolidated;
- A distinction is maintained between waste and non-waste;
- A clear differentiation is made between preparing for re-use and recycling targets.
For the past few months, Emmaus groups in Europe have been campaigning to highlight and protect their goal and role in combating poverty and social exclusion within the circular economy. The circular economy highlights the traditional activities carried out by Emmaus groups: recovery, re-use and recycling of goods and textiles. As pioneers in waste re-use, Emmaus groups were ahead of the curve in what is now considered the economic model of the future. As a legitimate sustainable development player, today Emmaus must be recognised as an equal stakeholder as we transition towards a circular economy.
The content of the package must now be discussed by the European Council under the Maltese presidency (June 2017). The Movement continues to be involved at local, regional, national and European level!