The Zero Waste Case Studies are the testimonies of the successful development and implementation of zero waste strategies in Europe. Today, these case studies show that, in contrast with the outdated idea of burning or burying our waste, preventing, reusing and recycling it create jobs and resilience, save money, and protect the environment and public health. Moreover, these Zero Waste efforts go hand-in-hand with clean production, producer responsibility, and waste minimization programs for dangerous and hard-to-recycle materials. Together, these practical, bottom-up strategies provide some of the best decentralized urban solutions for reducing climate pollution and conserving energy and natural resources.   

In November 2016, Freiburg decided to stop the flood of disposable coffee cups.

Less than two years later, Freiburg has proven how a mid-size city can push for alternatives to the throw-away society and define the political agenda.

Available in: English and French. Other languages coming soon!

Recircle has arrived to transform take-away restaurants. In two years, more than 400 restaurants across Switzerland are already using Recircle’s 70,000 reusable meal boxes.

A winning solution that prevents waste and saves money to restaurants and cities.

Available in: English and French. Other languages coming soon!

Burning waste in cement kilns is a widespread practice, but what is its impact on citizens’ health and the environment?
The story Calusco d’Adda shows how waste-based fuels can increase pollutants emissions with significant effects on human health.

Available in: English.

 

Fifteen years ago Sardinia was Italy’s worst performing region in waste management. Today, it is the best performing island in the Mediterranean. Who said Zero Waste cannot work in tourist destinations?

Available in: English, French and Spanish. Other languages coming soon!

Located in Eastern France, the city of Besançon has rolled out an extensive system of decentralized composting, managing to cover 70% of its population and to significantly reduce the waste sent for disposal. Learn how they did it!

Available in: English, French, Slovenian, Croatian, Italian and German. Other languages coming soon!

Lacking the power to implement waste collection and management practices, Roubaix had to find new ways to transition to zero waste. The Town is addressing waste at source, by creating a vibrant constellation of actors committed to reducing their waste, including families, schools and businesses.

Available in: English and Hungarian. More languages coming soon!

In the North of Italy, the City of Parma presents a vivid example of a transition from traditional waste management to Zero Waste in only 4 years. The key for their success: political will, involvement of civil society and a strategy based on minimising residual waste.

Available in: Catalan, English, French, Polish & Slovenian. Other languages coming soon!

The province of Gipuzkoa, in Spanish Basque Country, has managed to almost double their recycling rates in 4 years. In 2011 they struggled to meet EU targets and now they are above the 2020's goals and intend to keep improving.

Gipuzkoa still has a long way till Zero Waste, but is already proving that laggards can move very quickly. Do you want to know how?

Available in: Catalan, English & Polish. Other languages coming soon!



The Slovenian capital is the first capital in Europe to declare the Zero Waste goal and in 2014 separately collected 61% of its municipal waste. The city has committed to halving the amount of residuals and increasing separate collection to 78% by 2025.

How did Ljubljana manage to become EU's best performing capital when 10 years ago had barely started implementing separate collection?

Available in: Bulgarian, Catalan, Croatian, English, Slovenian, Polish & Spanish. Other languages coming soon!