GPP Interview

the latter, an incinerator at a plant was no longer needed thanks to integrated waste management. To strengthen the knowledge of its members and enhance the ...
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GPP Interview

Issue no. 65 October 2016

Using green procurement to address waste Françoise Bonnet has been the Secretary General of the Association of Cities and Regions for Recycling and Sustainable Resource Management (ACR+) since 2013. She is specialised in legal and economic instruments linked to waste/resource policy. Having worked for both public authorities and private companies, Françoise has a thorough knowledge of the different issues linked to GPP, which she used during several European projects such as PPI4Waste and LIFE Future, and for studies like Waste Performance Contracting. ACR+ is an international network of cities and regions who share the aim of promoting smart resource consumption and sustainable management of waste through prevention at source, reuse and recycling.

Could you tell us how ACR+ is contributing to a more sustainable development through its activities on waste and circular economy? ACR+ has now been promoting the closing the loop approach for over 20 years, with the aim of raising public awareness and supporting capacity building of local and regional authorities in this field. Highly interesting results regarding sustainable resource management can be found amongst ACR+ members. For example, in Belgium (with Flanders and the Material Resource Plan, and Brussels and their Programme on Circular Economy), in Catalonia (Spain), Porto (Portugal), as well as Besançon (France). In the latter, an incinerator at a plant was no longer needed thanks to integrated waste management. To strengthen the knowledge of its members and enhance the exchange of experiences, ACR+ organises many conferences, and has created the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Club, among other activities.

ACR+ has a long history of working with cities and regions in Europe on waste prevention and management practices. In your opinion, what are the biggest obstacles they have to overcome and how can

an effective approach to GPP assist? The biggest obstacle is, of course, the lack of political will, which can be explained by different factors. The main one is that in most of the territories there is no mandatory prevention target set. This might be due to the fact that waste prevention is not an attractive measure since it is difficult to measure. So yes, the lack of indicators in this regard can be an issue.

What are the three most valuable pieces of advice that you would have for a European public sector organisation that is looking to deal with waste in the most environmentally effective manner? Before anything, I would like to highlight that waste management policies require ambition and consistency. One principle should lead every action: promoting prevention. Indeed, the best waste is that which is not produced.

“...public authorities and the public sector in general should keep in mind that they can set a good example. With GPP, they can actively decrease the quantity of waste produced and boost the market for ecoproducts.”

Also, public authorities and the public sector in general should keep in mind that they can set a good example. With GPP, they can actively decrease the quantity of waste produced and boost the market for eco-products.

Another important obstacle is the complexity of the public procurement legislation combined with the fact that public administrations are not used to working together. A strong green public purchasing policy requires a minimum of coordination between the different administrations in a particular territory.

For more information on ACR+ visit www.acrplus.org or follow ACRplus on Twitter.

And finally, I would recommend implementing the polluter pays principle as close as possible to the polluters, with a strong promotion of pay-as-you-throw system.