Terms of debate on recycling matters that had become typical – community-based initiatives versus industrialisation – have changed. Despite differences of opinion between advocates of community-based initiatives and industrialists insisting on the necessity to invest more massively, everyone, in any case, has been multiplying field partnerships and building good practices that have inspired new models.

“On the field, players have been working and progressing together,” noticed Elise Thetard-Henry and Johann Leconte, session leaders of workshop 3 of the 12 th Assises des Déchets on recycling*. There is now unanimous support for recycling, there is no doubt about that any more. “But in the current context of globalisation and crisis, a structuring point of view is shared beyond environmental issues: recycling indeed valorises resources from raw materials likely to help overcome the national challenge of re-industrialisation, but economic conditions of investment at the same time poses the problem of profitability and thus out- lets, as part of a logic of supply and demand.”

Pragmatic and shared vision

Therefore, apart from the good will shown, field experiences now get all the attention. Field experiences are about good practices by virtue of which short-term commitments are made for the supply of the ones’ local territories on the one hand and long-term commitments in terms of outlets for industrialists on the other hand... Field experiences also take the form of real “clusters” in which players talk to one another and clearly express themselves, on a daily basis, always inventing unique solutions. “The debate that the Assises’ workshop will generate will pursue and certainly deepen the dialogue already taking place in many working groups on concrete dimensions of circular economy, and will focus on lessons learned from the field and from hands-on and pragmatic experiences leading to the building of new models.”

Although the choice was made to give an economist the opportunity to present an objective point of view, but certainly “off-the beaten path”, the debate in Nantes is to explore prerequisites for successful recycling, both as part of community-based initiatives and as a growth business. The various players will be able to get to know more about each others’ challenges – export-related challenges faced by recyclers, the need for local industries to make procurement more reliable... “They will discover each other’s promising experiences in a dialogue with no taboo between all players involved,” Elise Thetard-Henry and Johann Leconte concluded.

* Elise Thetard-Henry is the project manager of Paprec Group’s general management and Johann Leconte is the executive representative of Eco-Emballages’ institutional relationships.

 

Paprec website: www.paprec.com

Eco-Emballages website: www.ecoemballages.fr

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