CECOP, alongside three of our members (COCETA, Kooperationen, NAUWC) and over 80 European and national organisations signed a joint letter, initiated by RREUSE. The joint letter addresses EU policymakers regarding protecting the role of social economy enterprises (and thus, cooperatives) in the revision of the Waste Framework Directive. The revision provides a unique opportunity to ensure the role of social economy in creating a more inclusive and sustainable textile value chain. However, there has been pushback from for-profit operators against specific provisions on social economy enterprises.

As there are many cooperatives active in the (textile) waste management sectors, we are concerned that some provisions are being challenged, despite our strong belief that cooperatives and social economy enterprises, as key actors in both the social and circular economies, are valuable partners in achieving sustainable waste management.  

The joint letter thus highlights the role of social economy enterprises in textile reuse and waste management, and it calls upon EU policymakers to level the playing field by:

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

You can read the full letter here.