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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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The coronavirus pandemic has challenged European societies in many ways. The European Environment Agency’s (EEA) briefing, published today, analyses the pandemic’s effect on the use of certain single-use plastics products, which cause greenhouse gas and other emissions and can end up littering the environment. It also brings useful lessons to improve our response to future disruptive events.

Digital technologies like robotics, cloud computing and artificial intelligence will help improve the sustainability of Europe’s waste management systems. According to a European Environment Agency (EEA) briefing released today, increased use of these technologies can help deliver more effective waste management across Europe, improving logistics, recycling rates and enable better purchasing and sorting decisions by consumers.

The ever-increasing amount of plastic, its impact on biodiversity and contribution to climate change, and how to deal with it in a circular economy perspective have been on the European Union’s policy agenda for years. The COVID-19 pandemic has only increased the attention for plastic waste with images of masks in our seas, and large amounts of single-use protective gear. In the circular plastics economy report, published today, the European Environment Agency (EEA) analyses the need and potential for a shift to a circular and sustainable approach to our use of plastics.

Published: 29 Mar 2021

Monitoring and reporting results for Horizon 2020 regional initiative

Published: 03 Feb 2021

Digitalisation is transforming the 21st century, affecting every area of daily life, including the environmental technology sector. Digital technologies will deliver more effective waste management regimes. They will allow Europe’s economy to recover more of the valuable materials present in waste streams, reducing the amounts of raw materials mined or imported and avoiding the associated environmental and climate impacts.

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