Eco-Emballages has always been a partner of the Assises des Déchets. The longstanding collaboration continues to develop, as part of co-production dynamics of major importance in the realm of waste. Analysis by Johann Leconte, special advisor of the general manager of Eco-Emballages.
Eco-Emballages is an historic partner of the Assises. Why did you choose the Assises?
Very simply because they are the only event allowing such a close collaboration between all stakeholders, with the very important support of the Ministry of Environment! It’s where all those concerned by the waste issue come together: administrations, businesses, consumer and environment associations, elected officials and local governments. Every two years, for 28 years, the Assises have been providing a forum for dialogue and debate, in total freedom, which is indispensable to our areas of activity.
What’s the purpose of such debates?
Brain-storming for collective production! There’s much talking, today, about joint development of public schemes, but the Assises have been participating to that for a long time. Indeed, each edition of the Assises proposes specific and evolving formats, for work and exchange, combining plenary sessions and workshops, where no one pretends to have the truth or contends oneself with simplistic solutions. The Assises have helped change citizens’ behaviours and society as a whole, by implementing extended producer responsibility (EPR) programmes for example.
Progressive achievements and shared experiences...
… for economic, social and environmental efficiency! No need to build a cathedral every time a new idea of waste management is found! Throughout their history, waste management players had to think, observe, invent, and share their experiences. Moreover, the mobilisation of local players was instrumental to the implementation of waste schemes in the various territories. The Assises have facilitated contacts and allowed reporting experiences conducted on multiple issues, as well as sharing good practices... To illustrate such capacity to act and adapt, I may mention the example of the Pays Fouesnantais or that of the Canton of Champtoceaux, in Anjou, which came out with modest and then more industrial inventions. Political and technical initiators of the selective collection and household packaging sorting project of Champtoceaux started with simple and local ideas like apple sorting tables! It had to be reconverted for the sorting of packages, then the system grew in 5 or 6 successive steps, with an increasing industrial dimension, to cope with the increase in sorting volumes. The success of French waste management sectors lies in such creativity and pragmatism, which combine high and low technology, and a capacity to adapt local specificities. I mentioned two examples, in the West, but there are many other successes on our national territory that we may be collectively be proud about and that will allow us to take the challenges ahead: One is, in particular, the transformation of our historic grid of small local sorting centres into a more industrial organisation like what our European neighbours have achieved, to be able to extend sorting guidelines to all plastic packages by 2022.