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Environmental impacts of production-consumption systems in Europe
Building a resource-efficient and circular economy in Europe: We are extracting and using more resources than our planet can produce in a given time. Current consumption and production levels are not sustainable and risk weakening our planet’s ability to provide for us. We need to reshape our production and consumption systems to enable us to produce the same amount of output with less resource, to re‑use, recover and recycle more, and to reduce the amount of waste we generate.
The H2020 Mediterranean Report is a joint effort of the EEA and UNEP/MAP resulting from the creation of a regular review mechanism of environmental progress in the three H2020 policy priorities. These are municipal waste, urban waste water and industrial pollution. The report also serves as a contribution to the mid-term review of the H2020 initiative.
Improved waste management is an essential element in efforts to make Europe more resource efficient. One key means of achieving that is by shifting waste management up the waste hierarchy. In recent years these important goals have been integrated into European environmental policy. But national efforts to shift up the waste hierarchy have been under way for longer. Together, these instruments establish a range of waste management targets and broader goals for the years to 2020.
This report presents movements of hazardous and certain non-hazardous wastes across borders between EU countries and to and from countries outside the EU. It analyses patterns of waste exports and imports and the driving forces behind them.
Update to the European Environment State and Outlook 2010 (SOER 2010) thematic assessment
Signals 2012 brings together environmental issues such as sustainability, green economy, water, waste, food, governance and knowledge sharing. It is prepared in the context of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development — Rio 2012. This year's Signals will give you a flavour of how consumers, forward-thinking businesses and policymakers can make a difference by combining new technological tools — from satellite observations to online platforms. It will also suggest creative and effective solutions to preserve the environment.
This short report explains the role of recycling in the green economy and examines the evidence of its contribution in Europe, focusing primarily on the economic benefits that recycling offers.
Waste opportunities — Past and future climate benefits from better municipal waste management in Europe29 Aug 2011
Using a life-cycle perspective, this report analyses the greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from municipal solid waste management in the EU, plus Norway and Switzerland. Three scenarios illustrate how waste management and associated GHG emissions might develop until 2020.
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.
Taking stock of EU initiatives
A framework for indicator-based reporting
Issued in 1999, the Landfill Directive marked a decisive shift from landfill towards the EU's new waste hierarchy, which prioritises waste prevention, followed by re-use, recycling and recovery, and seeks to avoid landfilling wherever feasible. The Landfill Directive set targets for progressively reducing the amount of biodegradable municipal waste landfilled in the period to 2016. A decade on from the Landfill Directive's enactment seems a fitting time to review progress and extract key lessons for policy-makers in Europe and elsewhere. Through individual and comparative analyses of waste management in five countries and one sub-national region (Estonia, Finland, the Flemish Region of Belgium, Germany, Hungary and Italy), as well as an econometric analysis of the EU–25 Member States, this report seeks to answer a number of important questions, including: To what extent was waste management practice changed in the last decade? How much of the change was due to the Landfill Directive (and other EU instruments)? What measures and institutional arrangements did countries introduce? Which measures and arrangements proved most effective in different national and regional contexts?
This report presents data on waste shipments within Europe and out of Europe (mainly EU countries are covered) for both so called notified waste (mostly hazardous and problematic waste) as well as for non-hazardous waste. It presents drivers for shipments but also gaps that still exist in our knowledge as regards some waste streams (such as e-waste) or what influence shipments have on the environment. It also presents some illegal shipments issues. A main conclusion is that more detailed reporting on waste shipments to the EU Commission would enable us to obtain a better understanding of shipments and their nature.
For references, please go to www.eea.europa.eu/soer or scan the QR code.
This briefing is part of the EEA's report The European Environment - State and Outlook 2015. The EEA is an official agency of the EU, tasked with providing information on Europe’s environment.
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