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The consumption of goods and services in EEA member countries is a major driver of global resource use and associated environmental impacts. Growth in global trade is resulting in an increasing share of environmental pressures and impacts from European consumption taking place beyond Europe. Food and drink, housing, mobility and tourism are responsible for a large part of the pressures and impacts caused by consumption in the EU. Achieving significant reductions in environmental pressures and impacts will require changing private and public consumption patterns, to supplement gains achieved through better technology and improved production processes.
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.
Summary report of the conference held on 27–29 September 2007, Ljubljana, Slovenia. The objective of this report is to present the outcomes of the conference by focusing on the potential solutions and actions proposed and the recommendations developed in the Focus Labs and the Exchange Labs as well as the panel discussion of the final conference plenary session. A brief analysis of the conference outcomes is also provided. This focuses on a comparison of the types of recommendations made in the Focus Labs on the areas of housing, food and drink and mobility.
Sustainable consumption and production in South East Europe and Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia - Joint UNEP-EEA report on the opportunities and lessons learned11 Oct 2007
This report was jointly prepared by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the European Environment Agency (EEA) to support the development of sustainable consumption and production policies and implementation activities in the countries of South East Europe and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia. The objective is to identify opportunities for and barriers to more sustainable consumption and production in the SEE and EECCA countries, and to highlight relevant experience which could be replicated throughout the region.
Environmental pressures from European consumption and production - Insights from environmental accounts04 Jul 2007
The environmental pressures analysed in the project are: global warming potentials, acidification potentials, tropospheric ozone forming potentials and resource use.
Review of life cycle assessment and cost-benefit analysis on the recovery and disposal of paper and cardboard
This report was prepared in recognition of the importance of the sustainable use and management of natural resources on the policy agenda. Given the broad coverage of 'natural resources', it was decided to focus on a handful of natural resources: fisheries, forestry, water, fossil fuels, metals and construction minerals, and land use.
Household consumption and the environment
The European environment - State and outlook 2005
For references, please go to http://www.eea.europa.eu/themes/waste/publications/publications_topic or scan the QR code.
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