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Trends in household spending patterns from 1995 to 2010 are mixed but have shown some tendency towards an increasing share of consumption categories with lower environmental pressure intensities. Almost all consumption categories have also seen reductions in environmental pressure intensities. Together these two developments are likely to have had the effect of relatively decoupling environmental pressures from growth in household consumption expenditure.
One of the most
important objectives of the EU policy is to decouple waste generation from
economic growth. Data shows that Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) generation in the
EU-27 has been stabilising after around 520 kg/capita since 2000, despite the
continuous economic growth until 2008. The effect of the recent economic crisis
can be a reason of the further reductions in 2008-2009.
The share of household expenditure on transport has been broadly stable over time (when aggregated across countries and income bands). Data suggest that increased fuel prices have given rise to increased expenditure on operational costs, and decreased purchases of vehicles in recent years. High income groups and economically developed countries spend more on car purchase and transport than do low income groups and countries.
The European Environment Agency (EEA) is an agency of the European Union.