This indicator consists of two figures about waste generation. Figure 1 shows indexed values of waste generation, waste generation excluding major mineral waste and GDP with 2010 taken as a reference year (2010=100%). GDP was chosen as a basic indicator of economic growth. Figure 2 shows total waste generation per capita by European country. Data presented in the form of a bar chart are displayed as a comparison of the reference year (2010) and the last available year.
Methodology for indicator calculation
Figure 1: Raw data for waste generation (total and excluding major mineral wastes) and GDP were retrieved from Eurostat. Eurostat aggregates for the EU-27 were used. Data on waste generation contain all NACE activities and households. Frequency of data publishing varies from every 2 years (for waste generation) to every year (for GDP). The aggregated figures are indexed to 2010, which means that the figure for each year is divided by the figure for 2010 and then multiplied by 100. Information on data sets uncertainties can be found directly in the metadata and explanatory notes provided by Eurostat. Only official datasets by Eurostat have been used.
Figure 2: Data for waste generation were retrieved from Eurostat. Data are displayed for country level, contain all NACE activities and households, and are expressed in kg per capita. To provide the broadest possible picture of European countries, geographical coverage was extended to the EEA-32 member countries and West Balkan cooperating countries. Frequency of data publishing is every 2 years. Gap filling was applied for three countries where 2018 data were used to fill the 2020 data gap. Information on data sets uncertainties can be found directly in the metadata and explanatory notes provided by Eurostat. Only official datasets by Eurostat have been used.
One of the symbols of the linear economy system, which predominated in recent decades, is the high consumption of resources followed by high waste generation ('take-make-dispose'). This economic model is based on increasing profits generated by the consumption of primary resources and increasing demand for short-cycle products. In 2015, 2018 and 2020, the European Commission adopted Circular Economy packages to make the transition to a circular economic model where resources are used in a more sustainable way. The waste hierarchy serves to set priorities for EU and national waste policies and gives the highest priority to waste prevention, followed by preparing for reuse, recycling, and other methods of recovery and disposal. These priorities are highlighted by recent waste and resource efficiency policies and strategies at EU and national levels.
This indicator is a headline indicator for monitoring progress towards the 8th Environment Action Programme (8th EAP) . It contributes mainly to monitoring aspects of the 8th EAP priority objective Article 2.2.c that shall be met by 2030: ‘advancing towards a well-being economy that gives back to the planet more than it takes and accelerating the transition to a non-toxic circular economy, where growth is regenerative, resources are used efficiently and sustainably, and the waste hierarchy is applied’. For the purposes of 8th EAP monitoring, this indicator assesses specifically whether the EU will significantly reduce the per capita total amount of generated waste by 2030.
The zero pollution ambition of the EU calls for a significant reduction in EU waste generation by 2030 and this indicator also monitors progress towards this EU policy objective.
No uncertainty has been specified.
Data sets uncertainty
No uncertainty has been specified.