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Resource efficiency and waste

An average of 5.2 tonnes of waste from all sources was generated per person in the EU-27 in 2018

We need to fundamentally transform the way we produce, consume and live in order to preserve nature’s ability to provide for us. Let’s produce more with fewer inputs and see waste as a resource.

Country profiles on resource efficiency and waste

This map contains information on countries’ performance and policies around municipal waste management, waste prevention, and resource efficiency and circular economy. Select one of the EEA member or cooperating countries in order to view its country profile for each of these policy areas.

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While companies have huge influence in framing and shaping demand for products, consumers play a key role in raising demand for goods and services that have adopted circular economy principles, according to a European Environment Agency (EEA) briefing published today.

The European Union (EU) circular economy action plan aims to halve the amount of municipal waste in the EU that is not recycled by 2030. According to a European Environment Agency (EEA) briefing, published today, achieving this target requires both reducing waste generation and considerably increasing recycling, possibly even beyond the binding recycling target of 60%. A second EEA briefing reviews municipal waste management in the Western Balkan countries.

Addressing the links between natural resources like food, energy, water, land, materials and ecosystems services is key to supporting Europe’s ambitions in shifting to a sustainable future, according to a European Environment Agency (EEA) briefing published today.

Published: 26 Apr 2022

Municipal waste, if not managed properly, is a source of pollution. However, it also contains valuable materials that can be recycled. As in the EU, in the Western Balkan countries municipal waste has been the target of waste policies for several years, mainly aimed at improving waste management. This briefing reviews current waste issues across the region, key initiatives being implemented, and remaining obstacles to preventing municipal waste generation and to its appropriate management.

Published: 26 Apr 2022

Municipal waste accounts for 27 % of the total waste generated in the EU (excluding mineral waste). Due to its complex composition and ubiquity, it can have significant negative impacts on human health and on the environment if not managed properly. The 2020 EU Circular Economy Action Plan has established an objective of halving the quantity of municipal waste that is not recycled or prepared for reuse by 2030. At the same time, all EU member states will have to recycle or prepare for reuse at least 60% of generated municipal waste by 2030. This briefing explores how these two targets are linked and how more ambitious waste prevention actions will be key for achieving them simultaneously.

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