The European Green Deal


11 Dec 2019


In the end of 2019, waste incinerators are still being built from Lithuania to Spain, we ignore the impacts that plastics are having on our health and we are finding out that what we thought was being recycled was in fact being burned or exported overseas.

The system is broken and a transition is indeed needed. The European Green Deal published on December 11 is a step in the right direction and will help us move towards a Zero Waste Europe. This is why we are committed to accelerate the transition by empowering communities to rethink their relationship with resources.

  • Because recycling is not enough and we need a reuse revolution
  • Because the products that cannot be reused, repaired or recycled should not be allowed in the market
  • Because waste trade needs to be banned and the proximity principle should prevail
  • Because doing the right thing should always be cheaper and easier than doing the wrong thing
  • Because we need to relocalise production and phase out pollution
  • Because rules are made in Brussels but real change needs to happen at the local level
  • Because any business should be zero waste by design
  • Because there are no sustainable products but sustainable systems
  • Because what nature did through millennia of evolution, Europe will have to do by design, and we don’t have much time… we need a European Green Deal that works.

Zero Waste Europe welcomes the new European Green Deal, it is a timely declaration with the right level of ambition. We note that it will require revisiting most EU policies produced to date, some of them having to be completely reversed. With current EU governance structures it will be difficult to deliver unless proper reforms are put in place to allow for the right legal and economic incentives to be established. We warn that given the scale and the speed of the changes proposed it will also demand changing how EU policy-making works today. This is an enormous challenge that will put us all to a test. Zero Waste Europe will engage in the process bringing our expertise, network and resources to make the European Green Deal work for a Zero Waste Europe.

Joan Marc Simon, Executive Director, Zero Waste Europe