Joint letter on the revision of the EU Waste Framework Directive

Cooperatives Europe, alongside key members such as CECOP, COCETA, Kooperationen, and NAUWC, has proudly co-signed a joint letter initiated by RREUSE. This collaborative effort, brings together over 80 European and national organizations, to safeguard and promote the integral role of social economy enterprises, including cooperatives, in the revision of the EU Waste Framework Directive.

The letter articulates a clear message to EU policymakers: the revision of the Waste Framework Directive presents an unprecedented opportunity to bolster the social economy’s contribution to a more inclusive and sustainable textile value chain. Yet, this opportunity is currently threatened by opposition from certain for-profit operators, who are contesting specific provisions that are essential for levelling the playing field for social economy enterprises in (textile) waste management sectors.

As many cooperatives are actively engaged in waste management and particularly in textile reuse, Cooperatives Europe underscores the importance of these enterprises in advancing both social and circular economy goals. These organizations are not only pivotal in achieving sustainable waste management but are also key to fostering social inclusion and environmental sustainability.

To actually “level the playing field” and give social economy a chance to live up to its potential in making the green transition a just one in the area of textiles, we jointly call upon EU policymakers to:

  • Uphold all positive provisions on the social enterprises’ role in the collection and management of used and waste textiles that the European Commission included in its proposal for a WFD revision;
  • Grant decision-making power for social enterprises, alongside municipalities, in the Extended Producer Responsibility schemes’ governance;
  • Require that Extended Producer Responsibility fees cover all costs associated with re-use and preparing for re-use activities carried out by social enterprises, including the management of residual waste;
  • Ensure that social enterprises maintain ownership over the used and waste textiles they collect.

Cooperatives Europe stands firm in its belief that cooperatives and social economy enterprises are indispensable partners in building a sustainable future. Through this letter, we join our voices with a broad coalition of allies, advocating for policies that recognize and support the invaluable contributions of the social economy to environmental sustainability and social well-being.

Read the full open letter and learn how you can support this initiative here


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