Environment group demands action from government on waste

Blanche Weber, president of the Mouvement Ecologique  Mouvement Ecologique 

Blanche Weber, president of the Mouvement Ecologique  Mouvement Ecologique 

Luxembourg is one of the top five waste generating countries , with 17 tonnes per capita every year, compared to 5.2 tonnes on average across the EU, according to statistics office Eurostat, with an environmental organisation demanding more action from the government.

The European network of social enterprises estimated that preparing to re-use just 1% of municipal waste generated in Europe could help support 200,000 local green and inclusive jobs. Meanwhile, about a quarter of Luxembourg’s waste is sent to landfills. The country continues to perform below EU average regarding two key climate sustainable development goals: affordable and clean energy and climate action. 

The Mouvement Ecologique (Meco) and Oekozenter Pafendall launched a project promoting sustainable consumption, protecting resources within the framework of a circular economy. The Reuse-Repair-Share concept seeks to shape new business models in a sustainable and forward-looking manner by drastically reducing energy and resources consumption. The initiative places a particular emphasis on a social economy based on citizen solidarity.

Practical changes to reduce waste

Meco also demanded an update of the waste management law in the country, arguing that since it failed the two-year transposition deadline of the 2018/851 European waste directive, it should adopt stricter rules and set higher targets.

For one, the legal framework must also include training for teachers on informed consumption, introducing school programmes to raise awareness, and campaigns providing adequate information on the repair-reuse possibilities.

It is up to public authorities to ensure a legal framework prescribing the repairability of objects, prohibiting digital obsolescence, ensuring reduced VAT for repair services
Blanche Weber 

Blanche Weber President Mouvement Ecologique

Within the context of a circular economy, recycling centres should become resource centres, where materials are being collected and prepared for re-use. At the same time, municipalities will have to develop sharing initiatives, create loan platforms, and bring people of all cultures and generations together. 

Meco has repeatedly highlighted the need to change the prevailing economic model. Bottom-up initiatives, such as second-hand stores, repair-cafés, and workshops including repair and re-use of electrical and electronic devices, were found to raise awareness on sustainability and climate protection.

However, the organisation’s president, Blanche Weber, says "it is up to public authorities to ensure a legal framework prescribing the repairability of objects, prohibiting digital obsolescence, ensuring reduced VAT for repair services. The framework must and should improve for all bottom-up initiatives, which are not isolated initiatives, but the source of the economy of tomorrow."

Ongoing outstanding and inspiring government initiatives can also serve as examples to implement and reduce our waste and environmental impact. For instance, the Ecological Transition Agency in neighbouring France recently launched environmental labelling in the food sector and plans another environmental labelling in the clothing and footwear textiles sector.

This labelling helps producers and consumers find reliable, readable, objective information on their regular purchases, orient consumption choices, fight against waste and support the circular economy.