By 2040, four-fifths of all goods on the Walloon market should be recyclable or repairable as a result of initiatives to promote the circular economy in the region. This is one of the recommendations of a report on the circular economy that five regional parliamentarians from as many parties presented on Thursday, first to the press, then to the Economic Affairs Commission of Wallonia’s Parliament.
By 2040, 80% of goods produced on the Walloon market should be repairable or recyclable, according to the recommendations, which would also see the development of the circular economy result in more jobs and less consumption.
According to data from the Agoria employers’ federation, the circular economy could lead to the creation of 36,000 jobs in Belgium by 2020 and reduce the consumption of raw materials by 30% between now and 2030.
Armed with these figures, the parliamentarians – Marie-Dominique Simonet (centre démocrate Humaniste), Christie Morreale (Parti socialiste), Tom Evrard (Mouvement Réformateur), Philippe Henry (Ecologistes) and André-Pierre Puget (indep.) – spent a year studying the issues, conducting field visits and holding consultations with stakeholders, in partnership with the Fondation Roi Baudouin.
On Thursday, they presented the results of their work and some of the report’s recommendations.
The parliamentarians are calling for the establishment of a regional ministry for the circular economy “so as to coordinate a cross-cutting strategy involving all other ministers” and the creation of a “circular economy” label.
They also stress the need to introduce, within the public authorities, a dynamic of meetings with the actors in the sectors concerned to develop a coordinated regional strategy and call for the conclusion of green deals reflecting precise commitments.
Other recommendations include amending regulations to facilitate access to deposits, transport and processing of raw materials from Wallonia, other regions of Belgium and neighbouring countries, to favour goods produced in the circular economy in public procurement and to facilitate access to recycling centres that cover all Walloon communes.
“This report is the fruit of one year’s work in which a strong consensus emerged among all parties represented,” the parliamentarians stressed at their press conference on Thursday.
A draft resolution will soon be discussed in the Economic Affairs Commission of the regional parliament, which will then vote on it.
“The aim is to have this resolution approved before the elections so that concrete actions can be taken in the next legislature,” the parliamentarians said.