In most European countries and throughout the EU, waste generation is increasing, but at a slower pace than the economy. However, there is no indication that the overall goal of reducing total waste generation is on the verge of being met, according to a recently released European Agency report. The conclusions of the report highlight the possibilities of preventing waste more effectively, with textiles in the spotlight.
Waste prevention is a key element of Europe's strategy to move towards a resource efficient and climate neutral circular economy. Waste generation in Europe increased by 5.2% between 2014 and 2018, while GDP grew by 14.8% in the EU, according to EEA report " Progress towards waste prevention in Europe - where the prevention of textile waste. "The same trends data also show that the adoption of the first waste prevention programs by countries, applicable in most EU countries from 2013 or before, was insufficient to reduce the amount of waste produced.
The analysis shows that waste generation is still very dependent on the development of the economy, but overall the EU has been able to achieve less than the growth in waste generation. economic growth, or relative decoupling.However, much remains to be done to ensure that waste decreases in real terms in a growing economy. The adoption of concrete targets - a powerful driver of policy making - would help to consolidate prevention policy at EU and national level. Have
The EEA analysis looked at national waste prevention programs and in particular targeted waste streams, indicators, targets and measures to prevent waste. The review found that to date, 10 of the 32 countries examined did not have a waste prevention program in place, as required by EU law.
Textile waste in focus
Textile waste would benefit greatly from improved measures to prevent waste, as it is a rapidly growing waste stream with environmental impact associated with unsustainable consumption patterns. The average European generates around 11 kg of textile waste per year.
The prevention of textile waste has great potential, mainly by reducing the consumption of textiles, eco-design and, ultimately, reuse. To facilitate this, the focus should be on product design to promote durable and durable materials, while support should be given to repair (for example, with recourse tax breaks) and reuse (eg through regulations).
New EEA briefing note: the recyclable waste trade in Europe
A separate briefing EEA " Linking transfrontier shipment of waste in the EU in the circular economy ", also released today, examines the progress trade in non-hazardous recyclable waste within the EU The briefing note, in addition to supporting the European Commission's ongoing review of the EU's Waste Shipment Regulation, offers information on the trade in recyclable materials in the EU as well as potential solutions to help ensure that waste is treated in the best possible way in accordance with the principles of the waste hierarchy.
Over 90% of the waste produced in the EU is treated in the country in which it was produced, respecting the EU 'proximity principle' which underpins EU legislation on waste. waste. However, cross-border trade in non-hazardous recyclable waste offers the possibility of finding environmentally optimal treatment options, allowing the production of secondary raw materials of good quality and respecting the principles of circular economy.