How it all began for us
Our journey and values
In less than 10 years, a crazy idea from a bunch of grassroots activists from all over Europe has become mainstream. Gandhi could phrase our journey like this: at first, zero wasters were ignored; then they were laughed at; today, they are fighting; and soon, we will all win a zero waste Europe.” – Joan Marc Simon, Executive Director at Zero Waste Europe
Zero Waste Europe (ZWE) is the European network of communities, organisations, local leaders, experts, and change agents working towards the elimination of waste in our society. We advocate for sustainable systems and the redesign of our relationship with resources, to accelerate a just transition towards zero waste for the benefit of people and the planet.
ZWE was created in 2014, as the European regional branch of the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA), and throughout the last years has established itself as a key environment, circular economy, just transition, and movement-building network in Europe. Building on the initial zero waste vision and code created by the Italian city of Capannori, the ZWE network now includes 35 members from 28 European countries and works with topics across the whole chain.
From product design to reusability to end-of-pipe waste management solutions, from the phase-out of plastics to waste trade and municipal zero waste strategies, our scope has significantly expanded but our mission and vision remain the same – a zero waste, fairer, inclusive, circular Europe for all (and planet, too, while we’re at it).