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Publication Material resources and waste — SOER 2010 thematic assessment
The European economy needs huge amounts of resources to function. Apart from consuming minerals, metals, concrete and wood, Europe burns fossil fuels and uses land to satisfy the needs of its citizens. Demand for materials is so intense that between 20 and 30 % of the resources we use are now imported. At the other end of the materials chain, the EU economy generates around six tons of waste per person every year. With the boom in international trade, EU consumption and production may potentially damage ecosystems and human health not only within but also far beyond its borders.
Located in The European environment — state and outlook 2015 Thematic assessments
SOER Key fact (Deprecated) Consumption and the environment - key fact 1
Private consumption expenditure grew by 35 % in the EU-27 Member States between 1990 and 2007 with the greatest growth in the EU-12 Member States (75 %).
Located in The European environment — state and outlook 2015 Consumption and the environment - SOER 2010 thematic assessment Key facts
SOER Key fact (Deprecated) Consumption and the environment - key fact 2
One-person households consume, on average, 38 % more products, 42 % more packaging and 55 % more electricity per person than four-person households.
Located in The European environment — state and outlook 2015 Consumption and the environment - SOER 2010 thematic assessment Key facts
SOER Message (Deprecated) Consumption and environment — key message 1
Consumption of goods and services in the EEA member countries is a major driver of global resource use – and associated environmental impacts – as the levels of European demand exceed the continent’s ability to meet them from within its borders.
Located in The European environment — state and outlook 2015 Consumption and the environment - SOER 2010 thematic assessment Key messages
SOER Message (Deprecated) Consumption and environment — key message 2
Europeans spend most on food and drink, housing and mobility, three areas that also cause the greatest environmental pressures per Euro spent. Tourism is a fourth area with high and growing environmental pressures from European consumption, both within the EU and elsewhere. Overall consumption trends in the areas of housing, mobility, and tourism generally seem to be environmentally unfavourable. Further analysis is required regarding food consumption trends.
Located in The European environment — state and outlook 2015 Consumption and the environment - SOER 2010 thematic assessment Key messages
SOER Message (Deprecated) Consumption and environment — key message 3
The growth in global trade is resulting in an increasing share of the environmental pressures and impacts caused by consumption in EU countries being felt beyond their borders. While some of this shift is between EU countries, a large part is outside the EU and beyond the remit of current EU production-related policies.
Located in The European environment — state and outlook 2015 Consumption and the environment - SOER 2010 thematic assessment Key messages
SOER Message (Deprecated) Consumption and environment — key message 4
There is major potential for reducing environmental pressures caused by European consumption. Examples include shifting from car use to collective transport and bicycles, choosing high-quality and eco-labelled products and energy-efficient housing solutions. Another option is to channel additional income towards consumption areas with low environmental pressures per Euro spent, e.g. communications, education and sustainable leisure activities.
Located in The European environment — state and outlook 2015 Consumption and the environment - SOER 2010 thematic assessment Key messages
SOER Message (Deprecated) Consumption and environment — key message 5
Instigating such changes and making more resource-efficient and environmentally sustainable consumption patterns mainstream is a significant challenge. It requires public authorities to put the framework conditions in place to enable business and consumers/citizens to act sustainably, and business and citizens need to take action by adopting more sustainable production and consumption patterns.
Located in The European environment — state and outlook 2015 Consumption and the environment - SOER 2010 thematic assessment Key messages
SOER Message (Deprecated) Consumption and environment — key message 6
Achieving significant reductions in the environmental pressures related to consumption will require sophisticated policy packages, including regulatory and voluntary instruments, providing sustainable infrastructure, technological support; consumer education and information; and green public procurement. Getting the prices right through ecological tax reform could provide the critical fiscal element of such policy packages. Information to consumers is unlikely on its own to result in significant changes to consumption patterns.
Located in The European environment — state and outlook 2015 Consumption and the environment - SOER 2010 thematic assessment Key messages
Figure Variation of the consumption per dwelling (1990-2009)
Variation of the consumption per dwelling (1990-2009)
Located in Data and maps Maps and graphs
European Environment Agency (EEA)
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