Cities & CommunitiesZero Waste France

Meet our members – Zero Waste France


17 Apr 2020

Written by

Rossella Recupero


Zero Waste Europe is happy to introduce the blog series “Meet our members”. Through this series of monthly interviews, we want to give you a chance to get to know our members and the work they are doing.

Meet Marine Foulon from Zero Waste France (ZWF), France

Hi Marine, can you give us a brief introduction to Zero Waste France?

Created in 1997, Zero Waste France  (known before under the name of Cniid) is an independent and grassroots NGO that advocates for waste reduction amongst a variety of stakeholders at a local and national level: citizens, local associations, policymakers, municipalities, entrepreneurs, and businesses.

Its main missions to contribute to reducing waste in France are:

  • Explaining the challenges of waste management and informing the citizens about solutions.
  • Calling on public authorities to improve regulations in favour of a zero waste approach and make the voice of citizens heard in the development of public policies.
  • Supporting actors in the field (local authorities, entrepreneurs and local associations) by helping them to implement zero waste strategies.

How long have you been in the field and what got you into (zero) waste?

I discovered the zero waste world four years ago during my internship in another association while I was studying business. I joined Zero Waste France as a communications officer in order to promote the zero waste approach, which is obviously linked to both environmental and social issues.

It really matters to me that the zero waste approach involves citizens, political leaders and actors in the field. In other words, the problem has to be tackled at different levels. 

What is your current role in the organisation?

I work as Communications Officer, that means that my role is to promote the association, its actions and campaigns, to inform but also engage citizens in the battle against waste and to call out to policy makers and the media. Strategy and creativity are my keywords 🙂 

Tell us more about one ongoing campaign/activity you’re working on?

Currently, I am working on the Nothing New Challenge. Zero Waste France launched it in 2018 for the first time. The 3rd edition, the current one, gathers more than 40,000 participants. The goal of the Nothing New Challenge is to buy as few new products as possible. Firstly, we help people define what they really need. Secondly, we suggest alternatives to buying new products (second-hand, repairing, DIY, borrowing, renting…). For example, make a new smartphone uses 183 kg of raw materials, so you can imagine that such a challenge could have a huge impact on preserving resources and reducing waste. 

To participate, people can register on our website. By registering, they have access to a personal account where they can note the new products they managed not to buy.

If there was one thing that you would like your organisation to be known for, what would it be?

In 2017, Zero Waste France opened the first venue dedicated to the zero waste movement. La Maison du Zéro Déchet (Zero Waste House) which organises many events (conferences, workshops, screenings…) and includes a shop where you can find products to replace single-used products and avoid packaging. After two years of success, Zero Waste France will open a new venue, five times bigger! It will allow us to host more people, diversify our programs (for example by organising events for professionals) and invite other organisations to build bridges with other projects and actors.

This project shows that more and more people are interested in being informed on waste management and the actions they can implement individually and collectively to reduce waste. It’s also an exemplary place where citizens, political leaders, actors in the field, entrepreneurs and associations can meet to develop zero waste projects at different scales. Zero Waste France will use as many second hand construction materials and furniture as possible, thanks to partnerships with other collectives. This new model will be presented through an exhibition.  

When you want to fight climate change and inequalities, you first have to open your eyes, face the truth and become informed about the solutions.

You can find more about Zero Waste France, and their work here.