Towards Zero Waste

Beyond recycling: Best practices on resource management in the EU



If you are not for zero waste, how much waste are you for?

Waste management is a sector with core green focus, too often forgotten. It entails not only environmental aspects, but also economic and social aspects, namely it inserts fully within the Green New Deal logic. Indeed, from an ecological perspective, we can go beyond the historical elements of air, water and earth pollution -implications for Water Framework and IPPC directives,-, to the more modern approaches of resource efficiency, ecological footprint and CO2 emissions impact. Precisely considering waste as potential new resources brings us to the economic field. In times where finite raw materials and oil are getting more and more unaffordable, the recycling of energy and fuel-intensive materials like plastics or aluminium is crucial to reduce manufacturing bills. The waste logistics are also a relevant element of concern, whereas the externalising of waste handling to private agents has too often brought corruption in the sector and even the presence of organised crime, particularly in Southern Europe.

However, nowadays in many EU countries we are still constrained in short-sighted waste policies that entail an absolute squandering of huge amounts of financial resources in the mid-long run, something unacceptable in the current times of crisis; many of these resources used unwisely come from the EU structural funds. And too often, the situations depicted above pose severe social degradations or severe threats to the wellbeing of entire populations. On the contrary, a proper re-use and recycling policy could be an undeniable source of value-adding jobs. Again, if we insert it in the change of paradigm that the Green New Deal wants to bring forward, advanced waste management policies entail different levels of governance: from the local level of management to a more EU-wide and even global comprehensive approach on waste policies in connection to macroeconomic figures.

Therefore, in the framework of the Resource Efficiency Roadmap which aims at phasing out landfill and incineration of non-recyclable waste and move towards a circular economy the event wants to present best Zero Waste practices that have allowed for waste reduction and high recycling rates and minimising residual waste. Hence, illustrating practical examples of municipalities and communities that are moving towards Zero Waste can help to raise awareness about the latest developments in waste policy, including the institutional dimension. Moreover, we can count on updated overviews thanks to the expertise of organisations, enterprises and NGOs from the sector, which encompass many local and regional authorities as well.


Welcoming and introduction
MEP Raül Romeva (Greens/EFA)
Paving the road towards Zero Waste in Europe
Chair: MEP Reinhard Bütikofer (Greens/EFA) / MEP Judith Merkies (S&D)
  • Joan Marc Simon (Executive Director Zero Waste Europe)
  • Enzo Favoino, Chair of Scientific Committee of Zero Waste Europe / Scuola Agraria del Parco di Monza
Local experiences on Zero Waste municipalities
Chairs: MEP Auken (Greens/EFA) / MEP Andrea Zanoni (ALDE)
  • Janez Potocnik, European Commissioner for Environment
  • Giorgio del Ghingaro, Mayor of Capannori, first European town to declare Zero Waste for 2020
  • Iñaki Errazkin, Environment minister of Gipuzkoa province in Spanish Basque Country
Designing the transition towards a 'Zero Waste society"
Chair: MEP Bas Eickhout (Greens/EFA) / MEP Ana Miranda (Greens/EFA)
  • Roy Vercoulen, Vice-president of Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute
  • Stephane Arditi, Senior Waste Policy Officer European Environmental Bureau
  • Ariadna Rodrigo, resource campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe
MEP Philippe Lamberts (Greens/EFA)

Afternoon Seminar

15:00 - 18:30 - Room A5E1 Presentation and exchange of Zero Waste experiences and best practices in society 15:00
MEP Nikos Chrysogelos (Greens/EFA) 15:15
Zero Waste Office
Astrid Severin, Greenovate, REH, Brussels 15:00
Zero Waste Shop
Pietro Angelini
, Effecorta, Italy 16:10
Zero Waste Fashion
Markus Vihma, Upcycling Design, Estonia 16.30
Break Moderation:
MEP Ana Miranda 16:50
Zero Waste Family
Karen Cannard, UK

Zero Waste Reuse Center – Pål Mårtensson, Kretslopp Reuse and Resource Recovery in Goteborg, Sweden

Zero Waste Electronics – Claudio Tedeschi & Werter Boninsegni, DISMECO s.r.l., Italy 18:00
Debate 18:30

Evening Film Screening

18h30 -  Presentation of the film 'Trashed' by the producer Jeremy Irons  and Candida Brady

19h00 - Screening of 'Trashed'