Sustainability

Waste

We see waste prevention and proper management of waste as ongoing challenges for the EU.

The overall quantity of waste is increasing rapidly on a worldwide scale. In the EU around 3.5 tonnes per capita of waste is produced annually, including more than 400kg/person/year of domestic waste. All the projections available today tend to show that this increase at worldwide level shall continue at least until 2030. At EU level, no real decoupling between waste and economic growth is expected before 2020, even if this is already happening in some EU countries.

There are many negative impacts of waste. The spreading of hazardous substances contained in discarded goods present a high risk for human health and the environment. This scattering of hazardous materials is due to poor collection of toxic waste and sometimes motivated by profit.

For us, prevention is the priority and needs to be addressed at the design stage of products, but also all along the consumption chain; from purchasing to discarding.

Promoting waste recycling to enable that discarded material becomes the basis for new products is also a key aspect of the resources-efficient society the EU aims at for 2020.

Prevention and recycling could together save EU citizens billions of euros and contribute to fighting climate change, reducing our impacts on land and biodiversity and provide job opportunities.