Meet the team

Meet the team that works to support the Zero Waste Europe network

We are a network made up of our members. In addition to those members working to create zero waste on the national level, we also have staff working from the Zero Waste Europe offices in Brussels, Belgium and Manchester, UK. These staff work to support the zero waste movement, and to drive ambitious policies at the European level. Since the founding of the Zero Waste Europe network, the organisations has grown significantly, with new staff joining the team and bringing their experience and expertise to our fantastic team. Find out more about them and get in touch below.

The Zero Waste Europe network and staff receive technical advice and insight from the Scientific Committee. Consisting of renowned scientific experts in the field of waste management, this board ensures the technical consistency and feasibility of our policies and gives advice to the Board. Their insight is used to inform our positions and stances on a number of zero waste issues. The committee is chaired by Enzo Favoino.

Our Board offers vision and expertise for the Zero Waste Europe network and organisation. Democratically elected from the network membership at the Zero Waste Europe Annual General Meeting. They work to ensure that we are heading in the right direction to achieve zero waste strategies on the European level. Our board members are not paid for their role, but do have travel expense covered.

Meet our staff
Meet our Scientific Committee
Meet our board

Meet the staff

Find out more about the staff at Zero Waste Europe...

Joan Marc Simon

Executive Director

Joan Marc is based in Brussels where he directs the work of Zero Waste Europe. He has been a leading voice for Zero Waste in Europe since 2007 and he is a regular keynote speaker in many industry and NGO meetings in Brussels but also at local level as well as internationally. He is member of the Steering Committee of the Break Free from Plastics movement.
Among many other publications he has authored the Zero Waste Masterplan for cities as well as the book “Zero Waste – How to reactivate the economy without trashing the planet”. With a background in Economics, he has more than 10 years of experience working with governmental and non-governmental organisations in the field of good governance, new economics, social justice, and environment.

Send an email to Joan Marc

Esra Tat

Associate Director

Esra leads on the strategic development of Zero Waste Europe as a network and organisation, and manages the implementation of the vision with the team and member organisations. She coordinates the development of European campaigns in partnership with Zero Waste Europe’s members across the continent, and acts as the European Regional Coordinator towards GAIA International to further promote zero waste models worldwide.  Previously, Esra was the Network and Development Coordinator, in charge of the Zero Waste Cities Programme. Before joining in April 2017, with a background in Economics and Project Management, Esra co-directed a social enterprise developing energy efficiency and co-housing programmes in France. She worked as a sustainability Programme Manager and a Facilitator, mostly with international networks. Esra has extensive experience in organisational and network development in the field of resources, climate and environment. She holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and Management.

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Mariel Vilella

Director of Global Strategy

Mariel is currently driving the global work of Zero Waste Europe as Director of Global Strategy, building bridges and identifying opportunities for collaboration across borders to promote zero waste policies and practices with members worldwide. Prior to this role, between 2014-2019 she was the Managing Director of Zero Waste Europe, during its foundation and early development. Before 2014 she was the lead climate policy campaigner for the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA). Today she continues to guide GAIA’s work on zero waste project guidelines for major sources of climate finance, and international energy policy with impacts on the waste sector. She has extensive experience in research, publication development and project management. Key recent publications include ‘Zero Waste Circular Economy: A Systemic Game-Changer to Climate Change’. Mariel has a BA in Sociology from the University of Barcelona, a MA in Discourse Analysis and Argumentation from the University of Amsterdam, and a MA in Social Communication Studies from the University Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona.

Send an email to Mariel

Janek Vähk

Climate, Energy and Air Pollution Coordinator

Janek joined Zero Waste Europe in August 2015. As Development and Policy Coordinator, he manages the relationship with Zero Waste Europe’s funders and leads on climate and energy policy advocacy work towards EU institutions. Previously, he worked for the Friends of the Earth Europe (FoEE) in Brussels where he coordinated fundraising efforts on behalf of FoEE and its 6 programmes. Prior to the FoEE, Janek worked for the Justice and Environment (J&E) where he provided leadership for the development of strategic partnerships. He holds an Msc in Environmental Sciences and Policy from Central European University and Postgraduate degree in Charity Marketing from Cass Business School. Janek has worked in Spain and Guatemala and speaks fluent Spanish.

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Delphine Lévi Alvarès

European Coordinator of the Break Free From Plastic movement

Delphine is the European coordinator of the Break Free From Plastic movement. She has been a driving force behind the development of the movement’s holistic strategy, linking to the broader global movement. She has played a central role in the foundation of the movement since its inception in 2016, uniting more than 90 European organisations under a common vision. Since 2017, Delphine is also the coordinator of the Rethink Plastic alliance, the Brussels based, policy coalition working on plastic pollution issues across the European Union, and which played a crucial role securing ambitious legislation on single-use plastics at the European level.  Delphine is based out of Zero Waste Europe which leads the way in connecting the growing zero waste movement to the work of Break Free From Plastic.

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Jack McQuibban

Cities Programme Coordinator

Jack is a young professional leader working in the field of environmental campaigning and movement building. Jack is currently the Zero Waste Cities Programme Coordinator at Zero Waste Europe (ZWE), responsible for supporting local municipalities across Europe, via the network of ZWE’s members, to design and implement effective zero waste strategies in their community. Currently, the programme works with nearly 400 municipalities who have committed to go zero waste, and Jack has been behind the creation of Europe’s first ever Zero Waste Cities Certification. Previously, Jack has over 5 years experience working for organisations in the field of sustainability and youth-led development, successfully building campaigns and movements to influence policies at the United Nations, European Union and British Government level. In his spare time, Jack is a keen environmentalist and sportsman – ideally combining the two. He volunteers for the UK Green Party and represents Europe on the Zero Waste International Alliance Board.

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Kaisa Karjalainen

Mission Zero Academy Coordinator

Kaisa has an educational background in environmental engineering and she’s about to graduate with an MBA focusing on leadership and service design. Previously, she worked as a consultant for companies, organisations and events on how to establish environmental management systems, she conducted sustainability training, life cycle assessments, and she designed waste management plans. Designing different campaigns and making environmental matters visible in a company or store settings have been part of her work as well. She spent the last years working for a reuse centre and environment school designing services related to sustainability education in order to keep discarded materials in use for longer. She will now use her expertise to coordinate the development of Zero Waste Europe Academy.

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Nathan Dufour

Consumption and Production Coordinator

Nathan has an educational background in political sciences and EU studies and holds a Master in EU International Relations and Diplomacy from the College of Europe in Bruges. Nathan has nine years of experience spread between the European and African continents, working for public, private and international institutions, both as an employee and independent consultant. Based in Cape-Town (South Africa), between 2016 and 2018, he also contributed to the research, business development, and advocacy work of the African Climate Finance Hub. He now leads the development of the Consumption and Production programme, focusing on the upstream tier of waste generation, not least by helping to build bridges between designers, researchers, companies and policy-makers in order to promote new zero waste business models.

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Photographer in Brussels, Belgium. Portrait Photography for Enhesa. Photography by Dani Oshi.

Larissa Copello

Consumption and Production Campaigner

Larissa has a background in Law and she worked as a Legal Consultant on environment, health, and safety policies. She is passionate about environmental protection and sustainable development practices. She is a zero waster at heart, and enjoys running campaigns and empowering people towards sustainable consumption patterns. She also likes cooking and preparing her zero waste cosmetics and products, while fostering her creativity!

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Justine Maillot

Consumption & Production Campaigner and Policy Coordinator of Rethink Plastic Alliance

Justine has an educational background in International, European and environmental law. She worked at the EU Unit of Greenpeace for four years on EU ocean and fisheries policy. After an eighteen month break travelling and getting involved in different small local projects, she joined Surfrider Foundation Europe, where she mainly worked on plastic pollution and contributed to the work of the Rethink Plastic alliance. Besides the work on plastics for the Rethink Plastic Alliance she joins our team on Consumption and Production where she will be leading our work on food contact materials, particularly the health impacts from single use packaging.

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Pierre Condamine

Waste Policy Officer

With an educational background in political science and a Master in Sustainable Development, Pierre decided to dedicate his professional life to protect the environment. As he grew up near the Atlantic coast he has a special connection to nature and thus will seize every opportunity to support the ecological transition. He is then determined to make change towards a Zero Waste society happen at the European level, along with promoting citizen’s empowerment at a local level.

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Ana Oliveira

Communications Coordinator

Ana joined us in 2020 to lead the communication activities of Zero Waste Europe and provide communications advice to the Rethink Plastic alliance. Her previous work experiences include EU institutions, NGOs, and private sector communication companies, where she was responsible for strategic communications, business development, and project communications. Environmental topics have been a constant throughout her career, be it through the link between health and environment, sustainability in the building sector, and the promotion of eco-innovative business practices. Ana holds a BA in Communications Sciences from the University of Porto and a MA in European Studies from KU Leuven. She speaks Portuguese, English, Dutch, French, and Italian.

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Lys Mehou-Loko

European Communications Officer for the Break Free From Plastic Movement

Lys is a French-Beninese Communications professional with a background in Economic Development and Sustainability. Prior to joining us, she worked in access to healthcare, inclusive business, renewable energy access, and sustainable production and consumption/green economy gaining experience from private companies, international organisations, startups, and non profit organisations on five continents. She holds Masters degrees in Media Management from Sciences Po Paris and in Economic Development from Sciences Po Toulouse. Lys is passionate about travelling, cooking, and writing.

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Niamh Cullen

Communications Officer & Communications Coordinator of the Rethink Plastic alliance

Niamh joined us in 2021 as a member of the Comms team. She has a background in communications and campaigning, and holds a Masters in Journalism. She spent two years as a graduate journalist in her home country of Ireland before arriving in Brussels four years ago, working mostly in EU institutional and NGO settings – primarily in communicating education, culture, youth and LGBTI policies. She’s held a lifelong passion for social justice, conversation, community, and writing.
Niamh is going to contribute her communications experience to both Zero Waste Europe and the Rethink Plastic alliance, and hopes to bring an intersectional lens to her work.

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Theresa Bonnici

Communications Officer

Theresa joined Zero Waste Europe’s Communication Team in 2021. She plays a crucial role in the implementation of communication activities, with a special focus on those related to our Cities & Communities and Membership programmes.
She has a background in journalism and experience in communications within the non-profit sector in Malta, and has been involved in a number of voluntary projects. She has a passion for promoting the protection of our planet and all its inhabitants.
Theresa holds a Bachelor in Communications and an MSc in Digital Marketing. Besides English and her native Maltese, she is currently taking up French.

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Berta Corredor

Press Officer

Berta joined us in 2021 as the new ZWE Press Officer. With a background in Journalism, and extensive experience in developing international press campaigns and working in different media, Berta thrives in multicultural contexts where she can raise awareness of environmental projects.
Berta holds a BA in Journalism and a MA in International Relations from Complutense University. In addition to her native Spanish, she speaks English, French, some Italian, and a little bit of Russian. Given her love of chocolate and rain, Berta finds Brussels to be the perfect working spot.

Send Berta an email

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Iveta Cadrova

Movement Coordination Officer

Iveta has an educational background in languages and project management. She has previously worked as event manager in the private sector. She has now decided to leave that sector and use her energy and skills for a cause that she is passionate about: fighting against plastic pollution and protecting the environment. Iveta’s main strengths are her organisational skills and a positive attitude. She speaks English, French and Slovak.

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Katleen Verhelle

Operations Director

Katleen has a Master in Business Engineering from the University of Antwerp. She has more than a decade of experience in European operational management positions in the private sector. She moved into the non profit sector in 2018, managing the supply operations for MSFBelgium (Medecins sans frontieres) in South Sudan. Katleen will be responsible to lead and develop the operational side of Zero Waste Europe to keep up with the expanding work done. She speaks Dutch, English, French and (some) Spanish. She loves going to concerts, travelling, eating and tries to do sports when timing allows (including racing around on her electric bike).

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Desislava Borisova

Finance Officer

Desi joined us in 2021 to support the financial aspect of our operations, ensuring that the organisation runs smoothly and within the projected framework. Her financial expertise comes from her previous work in the healthcare sector, where she became passionate about working on projects that improve people’s life and have low environmental impact. Desi has an academic background in International Relations and an MSc in Economic Development and Growth from the UK and Sweden. In her free time she likes travelling, learning new languages, and gardening.

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Heli Pärna

Grants and Operations Officer

Heli has a background in translation and literature and she has previously worked in the European Commission as Assistant in the Interpretation Directorate and Project Coordinator in the Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Unit (DG ECHO). She first learned about Zero Waste Europe whilst volunteering for the Estonian NGO Let’s Do It. She loves nature and animals and has always been very vocal about environmental issues and animal rights. She is very happy to be joining the ZWE team, because working in the environmental field has been a goal for her for some time now. Apart from nature and animals, Heli loves theatre and literature. She is part of the Brussels English language theatre group and a member of ImproBrussels.

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Alexandra Clipa

Admin Assistant

Alexandra has a background in International Relations and European Studies and a Master in Political Science from Université libre de Bruxelles. She has always been interested in topics such as sustainability, economics and development studies. She has previously worked for a company specialized in the production of organic, fair trade and sustainable ingredients from the Amazon Rainforest, and through this activity she has become more aware of the importance of climate protection and the necessity to adopt a much healthier and eco-friendly lifestyle. Working for Zero Waste Europe is the perfect opportunity for her to reach this goal. Alexandra’s strengths are her organized nature and her ability to adapt to new environments fast and with ease. With her experience in administration, finance and HR she is going to act as one of the contact points for the organization. Alexandra speaks English, French and Romanian.

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Caroline Cullière

Interim Associate Director

Caroline joined ZWE as Interim Associate Director in February 2021.
She has over 10 years experience as a ‘launcher’, working in both the profit and non-profit sectors. She is adept at leading operations, and at general strategy and implementation methodologies to improve team performance in complex environments. She is also an experienced campaigner and a local policy catalyst, with particular expertise in French and Middle East politics. Caroline graduated from ESSEC Business School and from Tel Aviv University with a MA in Public Policy. She owns a certificate in counter-terrorism from Leiden University and is a certified mediator.

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Chiara Padovani

Digital Marketing Intern

Fascinated by languages, international communication, new technologies and how they can impact our culture, society and therefore our market and business, Chiara graduated with honors (being awarded as academic excellence within the walls of the Italian Parliament) as a Doctor in English and Spanish languages and cultures with a Second Cycle Degree in Language, Society and Communication at the University of Bologna. She challenged herself many times living, studying and working abroad which helped her better understand the environmental crisis we are facing nowadays and the urgency to get involved, helping communities to be sensitive about the matter and to implement more renewable strategies to preserve our world and future. After her studies, she completed a Master in Web and Social Media Marketing and gained experience within the Marketing & Sales department of a BTB consulting company specialised in occupational health and safety, environment and legal counseling, helping other Italian SMEs to comply with the national legislation in terms of waste management & pollution. She is joining the team as Digital Marketing Intern to help develop, launch and promote from a digital perspective the Mission Zero Academy.

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The Board of Zero Waste Europe

Working on the governance level of the organisation...

Zero Waste Europe Board

Rossano is a primary school teacher, and passionate zero waste leader. He has more than 20 years experience in the waste field and is a leading name of the zero waste movement in Italy. As a result of his efforts, his home-town Capannori was the first European city to declare the goal of zero waste by 2020. He has helped the zero waste movement grow beyond the Italian borders into what is now the Zero Waste Europe movement. In 2013, Rossano was awarded the Godman Environmental Prize considered the “Green Nobel Prize” for his contribution to the zero waste movement in Italy.

Xiaowei holds a master degree of applied economic science, as well as a postgraduate degree in business administration with a focus on multi-cultural communication. She has more than 10 years working experiences on finance, HR and administrative management of different EU grants and private/public foundations. Currently, Xiaowei works as Operations Manager at Seas at Risk and she is also the treasurer of ZWE board, she is very much concerned with protecting and preserving the natural environment as well as passionate about intercultural communication.

Huub Scheele is Treasurer of the Board and works for Both Ends in the Netherlands. He has experience in environmental science and pollution and has worked extensively in Eastern Europe. He also has experience working in Latin America and has been involved in numerous environmental organisations.

Elena Rastei works as an architect and volunteers as President of Zero Waste Romania and board member of the Green Building Council in Romania.

Antigone Dalamaga is the Director of the Ecological Recycling Society. She represents the NGO both in Zero Waste Europe and in the RREUSE (Reuse and Recycling European Union Social Enterprises) where she has been president for the last 7 years. She has over 20 years’ experience in the field of Sustainable Waste Management at the local, national, and international levels and how it links to to job creation.

Alexandra works as Director at Zero Waste Montenegro and is the owner of Znuggle, a social enterprise active in the field of circular economy. She studied chemical engineering and environment and resource management.

The Scientific Advisory Committee

Enzo Favoino, Chair of Scientific Committee

Enzo is a technical expert and researcher at the Scuola Agraria del Parco di Monza, and has decades of experience of separate waste collection, recycling, composting and prevention. Enzo is an expert in EU waste legislation and is highly knowledgeable in the field of European policy-making. He is one of the founders of the European Compost Network, and the coordinator of the Scientific Committee of the Zero Waste Research Centre in Italy.