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You are here: Home / Media / News / Case studies point towards solutions to Europe's waste problems

Case studies point towards solutions to Europe's waste problems

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Many of the problems linked to Europe's growing waste volumes can be solved if countries learn from others that have pioneered solutions, argues a new report published today by the European Environment Agency.
The report focuses on 10 case studies of some of the most significant initiatives undertaken in Europe during the 1990s to promote and encourage waste minimisation.

 

"EEA countries as a whole are able to present solutions to a lot of the problems such as increasing waste generation, excessive landfilling, lack of recycling and recovery etc, where one country is behind and another is ahead," the report says.

 

"Thus, the challenge for countries in the coming years will be to utilise each others' experiences rather than to find new solutions," it adds, while cautioning that not all initiatives can easily be transferred from one country to another.

 

The report, Case studies on waste minimisation practices in Europe, aims to support the European Union's policy goal of minimising waste. The studies are drawn from eight countries and cover five themes: producer responsibility, voluntary agreements, legislative requirements, information programmes and waste taxes.

 

The report draws several general conclusions:

  • Waste quantities are continuously increasing; two-thirds of the waste is landfilled, whereas waste recycling rates have shown a rather limited increase over recent years;
  • Solutions encouraging separation at source, reducing landfilling, increasing recycling and waste prevention have been developed in many EEA countries;
  • Continuous cooperation and exchange of technological and organisational experience is needed to achieve major progress in waste management;
  • Several cases of waste prevention have been successful but are still only applicable at the local level;
  • Most of the case studies show promising results and may serve as inspiration for future initiatives.

The report is available from the EEA website at http://reports.eea.eu.int/ topic_report_2002_2. Printed copies are available on request.

 

Note for Editors

 

Description of case studies in the report

 

Country

Focal area

Prevention/

recycling

Case description

Austria

Landfilling

Biodegradable municipal waste

Recycling

Minimisation of biodegradable waste going to landfills

Austria

End-of-life vehicles

Voluntary agreements

Recycling

Voluntary agreement concerning end-of-life vehicles

Denmark

Construction and demolition waste

Landfilling

Waste tax

Recycling

Recycling of construction and demolition waste

Denmark

Waste tax

Municipal waste

Recycling

Weight-based charges

Germany

Packaging waste

Producer responsibility

Recycling

Producer responsibility on packaging

Greece

Packaging waste

Prevention

Prevention and minimisation of packaging waste

Ireland

Cleaner technology

Prevention

The cleaner production demonstration programme

Netherlands

Biodegradable municipal waste

Recycling

Collection of biodegradable waste from households

Sweden

Packaging waste

Producer responsibility

Recycling

Producer responsibility on packaging and other materials

United Kingdom

Cleaner technology

Prevention

Envirowise (formerly the environmental technology best practice programme)



 

About the EEA

The European Environment Agency is the main source of information used by the European Union and its Member States in developing environment policies. The Agency aims to support sustainable development and to help achieve significant and measurable improvement in Europe's environment through the provision of timely, targeted, relevant and reliable information to policy-making agents and the public. Established by the EU in 1990 and operational in Copenhagen since 1994, the EEA is the hub of the European environment information and observation network (EIONET), a network of around 300 bodies across Europe through which it both collects and disseminates environment-related data and information.

 

The Agency, which is open to all nations that share its objectives, currently has 30 member countries. These are the 15 EU Member States; Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein, which are members of the European Economic Area; the 12 EU accession countries, namely Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland (since 1 January 2003), Romania, Slovenia and the Slovak Republic. The EEA is the first EU body to take in the accession countries. In addition Turkey, an EU candidate country, has just completed ratification of its EEA membership and is expected to join by 1 April 2003. Negotiations on EEA membership are also under way with Switzerland.

 

For further information

Tony Carritt
Media Relations Manager
Phone: +45 3336 7147
Fax: +45 3336 7198

For public enquiries:
EEA Information Centre
information.centre@eea.eu.int

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