Preventing waste from being generated by making stuff last longer, repairing it or using packaging that can be refilled and reused makes environmental and common sense. Why have these activities declined over the last decades then? We focus our work on making prevention and reuse the new normal.” – Joan Marc Simon, Director-Founder at Zero Waste Europe

The solution to the (plastic) pollution crisis lies now mostly in prevention and reuse. More important than optimising the efficiency of current systems by perfecting collection and recycling, we need to promote systems that are not relying on recycling or managing legacy toxics as they have moved away from single-use applications. 

A key aspect of our plan to design waste out of the system is therefore by enabling new zero waste business models (ZWBM) to become the new norm. With this objective in mind, ZWE organises a myriad of concerted actions capable of shifting incentives, rules, perceptions, and understanding in favour of business models that have prevention and reuse at their core.

In order to make this change possible, we:

  • Contribute to the creation of a new narrative that moves away from “waste terminology” and into value creation for the community;
  • Advocate for new legal, economic, and funding settings that facilitate, encourage, and reward business models that design out waste;
  • Launch concerted and coordinated communication using the new framing;
  • Identify, support and, elevate emerging and existing ZWBM in Europe;
  • Create the conditions for these business models to work at scale across Europe.