Field trip for policy makers: circular economy & social inclusion in practice
To help inspire conversation and policy action concerning inclusive circular business models during the next EU Commission mandate, RREUSE invited EU decision makers to a closed site visit to Les Petits Riens, a Brussels-based social enterprise with activities dating back to 1937.
The group was made up of representatives of the European Commission including DG EMPL, DG ENV, DG GROW, and the European Economic and Social Committee. Moreover, RREUSE was represented by two of its member networks of social enterprises active in re-use - RESSOURCES (Brussels and Walloon network) and BKN (Dutch network).
RREUSE represents social enterprises active in reuse, repair and recycling. One of its objective is to sensitize EU and national governments to move from promoting simply recycling and waste management to putting secondhand first. In this context they organised this visit to Les Petits Riens, which is part of their network.
The visit took place at the sorting and training facility in Anderlecht, a large-scale state-of-the art installation where used goods, primarily textiles, are sorted and graded. Aside from an opportunity to witness how social enterprises make a circular economy happen on the ground the site visit provided a stark illustration of our consumption habits and their consequences.