As an organization deeply committed to environmental sustainability and circular economy, VOICE Ireland wholeheartedly supports the groundbreaking report by Zero Waste Europe on the economies of reuse.

Elayna Davis-Mercer

This report sheds light on the immense potential of reuse in driving sustainable economies and aligns perfectly with our mission to create a zero-waste society.  

The report emphasizes the significant economic benefits associated with prioritizing reuse as a central component of waste management strategies. By diverting materials from landfill and incineration and instead repurposing or refurbishing them for continued use, we can unlock substantial cost savings. According to the study, the reuse sector in Europe alone could generate annual revenues of up to €1.2 billion by 2030, creating over 200,000 direct and indirect jobs. These economic opportunities align perfectly with VOICE Ireland's vision of fostering local development and creating sustainable livelihoods.

One of the most compelling aspects of the report is its recognition of reuse's potential to stimulate local economies and foster job creation. Reuse activities are predominantly decentralized, providing opportunities for employment in repair shops, community-based reuse centers, and other enterprises involved in refurbishment and resale. The report highlights that the reuse sector can create up to 700 jobs per 10,000 tons of waste treated, surpassing the job creation potential of traditional waste management practices. VOICE Ireland firmly believes that investing in the reuse sector will not only generate employment but also empower communities and contribute to the overall well-being of society.

Photo by John Cameron on Unsplash

How does this impact the environment?

The Zero Waste Europe Report emphasizes the significant environmental benefits of embracing reuse as a core element of waste management. By extending the lifespan of products, we can reduce the extraction of raw materials and the energy consumption required for manufacturing new items. Reuse also plays a crucial role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by minimizing the need for energy-intensive production processes associated with virgin materials. The report estimates that by increasing the reuse of textiles, plastics, and e-waste, Europe could prevent emissions equivalent to taking over 3 million cars off the road annually. VOICE Ireland fully supports the adoption of reuse practices to mitigate climate change, protect the environment, and foster a sustainable future for all.

The relationship between reusability and the implementation of a circular economy:

Reusability lies at the heart of the transition towards a circular economy, a concept that VOICE Ireland strongly advocates. A circular economy aims to eliminate waste by maximizing resource efficiency, and prioritizing reuse is a fundamental pillar of this model. By promoting the reuse of products and materials, we can reduce the demand for new resources, minimize waste generation, and create a more resilient economic system. The Zero Waste Europe Report calls upon policymakers and businesses to embrace a circular economy centered around reuse, and VOICE Ireland wholeheartedly endorses this vision.