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What does waste look like? Photo, cartoon and video competition

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The European Environment Agency (EEA) is launching a new competition for artistic depictions of waste in Europe. Each European generates approximately half a tonne of household waste on average. A lot of this so-called waste is actually a useful resource, but only two fifths is recycled, according to a recent analysis.

 Image © Ivan Dervisevic

Waste•smART is a new competition from the EEA, inviting entries in three categories – photography, cartoons and short films. The best entry in each category will win € 500, and there will be a further € 500 ‘youth prize’, given to the best entry from someone born between 1989 and 1995. The competition is open to citizens of the all EEA member and cooperating countries. All participants must be 18 or older.

Entries could touch on a variety of themes. For example, your entry could be a photograph illustrating wasted food, construction waste, landfills, and recycling. Or perhaps you have an idea for a cartoon showing how we can better reduce, re-use or recycle waste. If you are a filmmaker, you could make a video about how waste policy could be improved, or the resources and energy needed to maintain wasteful lifestyles. However, these are just a few ideas, entrants are encouraged to come up with their own angle.

There is a wealth of useful information on waste on the EEA website. For example:

  • The latest analysis from the EEA shows that citizens of some Member States recycle more than 60 % of household waste, however recycling is almost non-existent in some other countries.
  • Recycling has clear economic benefits, according to another EEA report.
  • Waste is also increasingly traded as a resource between countries.
  • Another report showed that Europe’s wasteful lifestyle means that we need to import a large proportion of raw materials from elsewhere.
  • Each person in the EU generates around 160 kg of packaging waste per year on average, according to the latest data.
  • Waste generates almost 3 % of greenhouse gas emissions in the EU.

Photos, cartoons and videos should be accompanied by a short text. The deadline for submissions is 30 September 2013 at 12:00 Central European Time. See the conditions of entry for more details.

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Greenhouse gas emission trends (CSI 010/CLIM 050) - Assessment published May 2013 Greenhouse gas emission trends (CSI 010/CLIM 050) - Assessment published May 2013 In 2011, EU-27 greenhouse gas emissions decreased by 3.3 % compared to 2010. This was mainly due to the milder winter of 2011 in many countries, leading to lower heating demand from the residential and commercial sectors. In general, emissions from natural gas combustion fell, while emissions resulting from solid fuel consumption increased due to higher coal consumption in 2011 compared to 2010 levels. This decrease in emissions continues the overall decreasing trend since 2004, with the exception of 2010, when emissions temporarily increased due to increased economic growth in many countries coupled with a colder winter. With respect to 1990 levels, EU‑27 emissions have decreased by 18.4 % ( Figure 1 ). At a sectoral level, emissions decreased in all main emitting sectors except transport and production and consumption of fluorinated gases (F-gases), where they increased considerably in percentage terms. CO 2 emissions from public electricity and heat production decreased by 15.9% compared to 1990. In the EU-15, 2011 GHG emissions decreased by 4.2 % compared to 2010 – a decrease of 159.6 Mt CO 2 - eq in absolute values. This implies that EU‑15 greenhouse gas emissions were approximately 14.7 % below the 1990 level in 2011 or 14.9 % below the base-year level. CO 2  emissions from public electricity and heat production are also decreased by 9.3% with respect to 1990. The European Union remains well on track to achieve its Kyoto Protocol target (an 8% reduction of its greenhouse gas emissions compared to base-year level, to be achieved during the period from 2008 to 2012). A detailed assessment of progress towards Kyoto targets and 2020 targets in Europe is provided in   the EEA's 2012 report on Greenhouse gas emission trends and projections and will be updated in October 2013.

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European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Denmark
Phone: +45 3336 7100