NGO letter to REACH Committee June 2022

In this letter led by the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) to the REACH Committee, ZWE joined a wide group of NGOs advocating for health and environmental protection. The letter flags the outstanding issue of delays in relation to the intentionally added microplastics and the lead in PVC restrictions, as well as the identification of resorcinol as a substance of very high concern (SVHC).

Available in English.

Packaging Reuse vs. Packaging Prevention

When dealing with packaging there seems to be a confusion between the actions referring to reuse and to prevention. Despite the fact that both contribute to reducing waste arisings, from a policy-making perspective, they should be treated as different concepts.

In view of the upcoming revision of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD), this paper aims to clarify what should be defined as packaging reuse and what should be defined as packaging waste prevention and which are the policy measures that encompass one and the other.

Available in English.

The need to set essential criteria for setting up managed pool systems

Well-managed pool systems for reusable packaging are a key instrument to make efficient and effective reuse systems work, and should be an essential accompanying tool to any reuse targets. This paper intends to provide guidance on this topic and propose policy proposals to take into account when creating EU legislation on reuse.

Available in English.

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.

ReuSe Vanguard Project (RSVP) – Deciphering the EU’s Packaging Landscape

In spring 2021, Zero Waste Europe (ZWE) started the ReuSe Vanguard Project (RSVP). The goal of RSVP is “Reusable solutions for packaging for beverages, take-away drinks, and food as well as online delivery to get to scale in Europe and become the new normal in the sectors selected”. An essential part of RSVP is to “map the packaging landscape in Europe and detect the Ecosystemic Leverage Points (ELPs)” through an iterative collaborative research. ZWE tasked Recycling Netwerk Benelux (RNB) to take the lead in this iterative collaborative research.

Out of the 20 original products, seven were selected for additional qualitative assessment, namely: cleaning agents, dry food, soda drinks & (sparkling) water, postal services, take-away & delivery meals, take-away warm drinks, and wine.


Available in English.

A New Look for the Fashion Industry – EU Textile Strategy and the crucial role of Extended Producer Responsibility

In the first half of 2022, the European Union (EU) will take the first steps in becoming a global leader in taking on an ugly problem: fast fashion and its mountains of waste.
The EU will become the first world region to target the flaws in fashion so directly, with regulations that promise to improve the circularity of textiles; stop overproduction; empower consumers to make more responsible choices; and make fashion brands accountable for their massive waste problem.
This political briefing by Changing Markets Foundation, the European Environmental Bureau, and Zero Waste Europe focuses on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), a powerful market-based tool that is expected to be at the centre of the European Commission’s upcoming Textiles Strategy.


Available in English.

Open letter on Hazardous Chemicals and Food Safety – recycled plastic in food packaging (updated rules)

Zero Waste Europe and 27 other civil society organisations across Europe have sent an open letter to the EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides, stating their concerns about some of the proposals in the draft new Regulation concerning the placing on the market of plastic materials and articles with recycled/secondary plastic content intended for use in contact with food. The signatories also urge the EU Commission to delay this proposal on the grounds of safety assurance.

How circular is PET?

In a report commissioned to Eunomia by Zero Waste Europe, we bring you an analysis of the true state of circularity of Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) in bottles in Europe – including how much material from bottles is collected for recycling; how much of it is actually recycled; and how much of recycled PET is put into new bottles.


Full report available in English.
Executive Summary available in English, Croatian, German, and Hungarian.

Open letter to the European Parliament – Liability obligations for online marketplaces must be incorporated into the DSA to protect consumers and the environment from illegal imports

With the current proposal of the Digital Services Act (DSA) continuing to fail making online marketplace responsible when illegal content is distributed via their platform, Zero Waste Europe joined Deutsche Umwelthilfe and the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) in a joint letter  to European Parliament asking for significant and impactful amendments.


Available in English.

Joint statement by business, consumer and civil society organisations: In their current shape, some compromises on the Digital Services Act (DSA) would risk harming consumers and businesses, particularly offline SMEs

In a joint statement spearheaded by BEUC, ZWE and 23 other organisations representing businesses and consumer and civil society express their deep concern about the current direction of the European Parliament’s negotiations on the Digital Services Act (DSA) and by the content of certain draft compromise amendments that exclude key platform services. We urge policymakers to avoid adopting a framework that presents significant risks for both consumer protection and businesses’ viability and reputation, especially for offline small and medium enterprises.

Joint NGO letter to the REACH Committee

Zero Waste Europe joined the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) and 12 other organisations to request a restriction on all forms of lead-contained in PVC by setting equal-stringent thresholds for lead in virgin and recycled PVC.


Available in English.

Ireland’s plan on single-use and plastic packaging

In September 2020, the Irish government adopted its national waste action plan for 2020-2025. The plan – which will have to be enacted through the adoption of a circular economy bill – has the ambition to tackle waste generation and move towards a circular economy through prevention measures. The plan contains several ambitious provisions on single-use plastic and packaging which go beyond the requirements of EU Single-Use Plastics Directive,bsuch as extended bans on certain single-use plastic products or a levy on single-use coffee cups.

France’s law promoting bulk and reusable packaging

In December 2019, France adopted an ambitious law on waste prevention and circular economy. The law touches upon a variety of topics such as plastic packaging, awareness-raising actions, or extended producer responsibility (EPR). Although not all measures in this law are ambitious, the document contains pioneering measures to support the development of bulk selling activities and the uptake of reusable packaging.