A new study commissioned by Zero Waste Europe (ZWE) has found how to best measure waste prevention and what the most useful policies to reduce waste generation are.
The waste hierarchy starts with prevention, although most EU policies focus on recycling, recovery and disposal, rather than looking upstream where the possibility for environmental and economic gains is the highest.
Among the study’s proposals, ZWE has called for:
- Complementing the monitoring or waste generation with upstream indicators about the benefits related to savings from non-extracted resource
- Developing dedicated sectoral waste prevention indicators for the following 9 product groups:
- Food and beverages
- Large household appliances
- Small household appliances
- IT and telecommunications equipment
- Toys, leisure and sports equipment
- Electrical and electronic tools
- Motor vehicles
- Furniture and furnishing
For these groups, waste prevention has a substantial ecological, social and economic relevance, while showing high improvement potentials, said ZWE.
ZWE waste policy officer Pierre Condamine said: “A Circular Economy will require a substantial reduction in resources use and waste generation. Sectoral waste prevention indicators are the best way to set milestones to orient complementary policies in the years to come.”