21 May 2024

Written by

Giulia Lodi

ZWE Annual meeting 2024: a gathering to remember – Highlights from the Fair Resource Foundation


This year, the Zero Waste Europe Network Wide Gathering (NWG) took place in Ghent, one of Belgium’s oldest cities and a leader in festival cup reuse, involved also in the ReuSe Vanguard (RSVP) project.

Fair Resource Foundation (FRF), the Dutch member of Zero Waste Europe active in both The Netherlands and Belgium, enthusiastically joined this annual event, which serves as a platform for ZWE members to collaborate, learn, connect, and strategize on the organisation’s priorities for the coming years.

Maïté Liekens, FRF Project Officer Reuse, loved meeting so many passionate individuals focused on reducing waste and protecting the environment. Having previously attended the plastic prevention and reuse strategies training in Berlin, she seized the chance to reconnect with fellow trainees in Ghent, strengthening these relationships and meeting new members.

“It was amazing to meet all these like-minded people, their passion and fire were so inspiring. Some of them had to fight such uphill battles in dire circumstances, it makes me appreciate our conditions a lot more. I loved the stories from the network, seeing all of the great work that’s happening in Europe as well as in Asia, which was a great way to shake up the eurocentric views that unfortunately are so entrenched in our systems.”

NWG featured insightful poster presentations and lively discussions on sustainability initiatives, providing a forum for knowledge exchange and collaboration. The event reignited participants’ enthusiasm and commitment to sustainability, fostering learning from diverse perspectives and backgrounds.

In addition to the substantive sessions, NWG offered moments of joy and discovery, such as bingo, cultural exchanges, and a heartwarming activity where attendees wrote positive feedback and thoughts on each other’s backs. These experiences, coupled with the discovery of similar projects in Estonia, Luxembourg, and Asia, ignited excitement for future collaborations.

As NWG 2024 drew to a close, attendees departed with new connections, insights, and a renewed sense of purpose. The event underscored the collective power of collaboration in advancing sustainability efforts. Here’s to the connections forged, lessons absorbed, and the onward journey toward a more sustainable future.

Read more about the 2024 ZWE annual gathering.