Zero Waste Europe Strategic Framework 2022-24

Europe is in the midst of a transition and zero waste is part of it.

Ten years ago, the concept of zero waste was laughed at. Today, zero waste is mainstream, from being considered a practical approach to implementing a circular economy to a trending lifestyle globally. The efforts from civil society groups in Europe and around the world pushed the debate higher in the waste hierarchy. If at any time over the last twenty years reuse and prevention had a chance, it is now. And ZWE is committed to bringing that change forward.
From a content perspective, for the next 3 years, we will focus on bringing IN incentives and funding for the transition, phasing OUT toxics, lifting UP reuse, pushing for BETTER recycling and bringing waste disposal DOWN.

Our Strategic Framework for 2022-24 outlines the ZWE roadmap and goals for the coming years, with the ultimate aim of helping us achieve a zero waste future for Europe (and for the world, while we’re at it).

 

Available in English.

Chemical Recycling and Recovery – Recommendation to Categorise Thermal Decomposition of Plastic Waste to Molecular Level Feedstock as Chemical Recovery

The objective of this briefing is to provide a recommendation for categorising thermal decomposition of plastic waste into feedstock molecules as chemical recovery. This covers mainly pyrolysis and gasification techniques.
The European waste hierarchy for a circular economy must be operationalised to favour reduction, reuse, and, as a last resort, recycling. It is, thus, essential to distinguish plastic waste recycling operations from recovery techniques. As such, pre-treatment of plastic waste into feedstock molecule shall be classified as chemical recovery and not chemical recycling.

 

Available in English.

Designing for real recycling, not plastic lock-in

Most plastic packaging today is not recycled nor recyclable. Designing for chemical recycling endangers the actual recyclability of plastics and prevents efforts to phase out hard-to-recycle plastics. Products must be designed using materials that can be treated through sustainable, efficient, low-carbon operations.
This position paper by Zero Waste Europe, ECOS and Rethink Plastic Alliance provides recommendations to prevent plastic lock-in.

Available in English.

Recycled content in plastics – the mass balance approach

If the label on the bottle in your hand said it was made from recycled plastic, would you believe it? Depending on the method behind the claim, the bottle might contain little to no recycled content at all.

This booklet presents infographic renditions of the recommendations from the “Determining recycled content with the ‘mass balance approach’ – 10 recommendations for development of methods and standards” position paper, originally published on January 2021.

 

Available in English

Determining recycled content with the ‘mass balance approach’ – 10 recommendations for development of methods and standards

If the label on the bottle in your hand said it was made from recycled plastic, would you believe it? Depending on the method behind the claim, the bottle might contain little to no recycled content at all.
This position paper highlights recommendations to ensure that the methodologies for determining recycled content are developed in a manner which contributes to a circular economy.

 

Available in English

Chemical Recycling Technical Assessment

The Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, GAIA, has released a new technical assessment revealing that chemical recycling is polluting, energy intensive, and has a track record of technical failures.

 

Available in English & Czech (translation by Arnika Association)

10 Priorities to transform EU Waste Policy

Almost 90% of material resources used in the EU are lost after their first use (1). A lot more effort is needed to accelerate a systemic transition to a circular economy, to drastically reduce the EU’s absolute natural resource use and greenhouse gas emissions, respecting the planetary boundaries and striving towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

To achieve this, the Prevent Waste coalition of European civil society organisations advocate for the improvement and enforcement of EU policies on waste prevention and product design.

 

Available in English

El Dorado of Chemical Recycling, State of play and policy challenges

Zero Waste Europe releases a study on Chemical Recycling looking into the the state of implementation of the technologies in the European context and giving policy recommendations to ensure Chemical Recycling complements, rather than jeopardises, a real Circular Economy.

 

Available in English