10 priorities to transform EU Waste Policy

In spite of recent progress, Europe is far from being circular.

. Since 2014, waste generation has been increasing and we are still unable to recycle as little as half of what we dispose of. Recycling may have been given a proper framework, but waste prevention still lacks the legal, concrete and binding legislation it desperately needs.

By releasing these ten priorities to improve and further enforce EU policies on waste prevention, the Prevent Waste Coalition calls on the new EU institutions to adopt real, concrete measures that enable the prioritisation and implementation of effective waste prevention measures.

Almost 90% of material resources used in the European Union are currently lost after their first use. This clearly shows the urgent need to accelerate and further develop a systemic transition towards a less resource-intensive and more circular economy.

“We strongly believe these ten demands should be translated into concrete measures in order to change the current paradigm away from waste management to resource management. Only by doing so we can ensure that the value of our resources is preserved in the economy for future generations” said Pierre Condamine, Waste Policy Officer at Zero Waste Europe.

Indeed, the European Commission’s next Circular Economy Action Plan alongside the overarching European Green Deal, should strictly adhere to the EU waste hierarchy: putting prevention first, followed by reduced resource extraction, and circular product design – all cutting greenhouse gas emissions – therefore contributing to the EU’s decarbonisation objective. All these measures should follow the proximity principle hence benefiting the local economy instead of shifting the burden of our sustainable practices onto the Global South.

“In order to achieve ambitious circularity and sustainability goals, the main priority of economic and environmental EU policies should be to incentivise waste prevention, change consumption habits, rethink business models and make them waste-free by design” added Condamine.

Therefore, the coalition calls on the EU Commission to set ambitious measures enabling waste prevention all along the value chain and across all sectors, including food, construction and demolition, packaging, transport, electronics, batteries and textiles.

Ten priorities

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