What we do

We work on a wide range of projects and policy areas with the single objective of advancing the zero waste future for Europe. This holistic approach enables us to effectively influence European policy and the grass-roots implementation of zero waste projects.


Waste Policies

Find out about our policy work on waste and zero waste best practice

We work at the European level to push for ambitious waste policy which drives Europe towards a zero waste future. Our work on this also involves the monitoring and supporting of implementation in various member states. Work which is driven by our members who are actively involved in many projects at a city and national level.

Find out more about our work on this policy area


Cities & Communities

The Zero Waste Cities Programme is a structured approach to take our cities on the journey to zero waste.

The Zero Waste Cities programme helps municipalities across Europe to transition towards Zero Waste Strategies. The project provides the tools, knowledge and expert mentoring required for municipalities to begin their journey to zero waste. Whichever stage your city is at the Zero Waste Cities Masterplan can help you take the next step towards zero waste.

Find out more about our work on this programme.


Consumption & Production

Find out about our policy work on products good design & plastics

Good product design is a prerequisite to make zero waste a reality; it allows embodied energy to stay in the system for longer effectively preserving the value of materials and allowing for a circular economy that is resilient, creates local jobs and does not harm people.

Zero Waste Europe engages with citizens and municipalities to identify problematic design and mobilises designers, researchers, companies and policy-makers in order to find appropriate alternatives.

Find out more about our work on this policy area


Climate, Energy & Air Pollution

Find out about our policy work on climate, energy & air pollution

Zero Waste Europe works for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution through zero waste solutions and supports local impacted communities to raise their voices against waste-burning sources of contamination, providing and advocacy platform to address relevant policy at the EU and international level and minimising any financial support towards such polluting activities.

Find out more about our work on this policy area

Break Free From Plastic

Find out more about our work on plastic pollution

Plastic pollution has become a ubiquitous aspect of twenty-first century life. A form of pollution that will last for hundreds of years it has penetrated every aspect of our environment. Any serious zero waste solution needs to address this problem. We are working as part of the global Break Free From Plastic movement and the European Rethink Plastic coalition to tackle plastic pollution on a policy, city and lifestyle level.

Find out more about our work on plastic pollution


Chemical Recycling

Find out about our work on the new Industry buzzword

Zero Waste Europe is engaging with many stakeholders to better understand the impacts of this new industrial “fix”, and warning against unnecessary distraction from a circular economy and zero waste approach to waste management. We also launched a Chemical Recycling report. 

Find out more about our work on Chemical Recycling


Waste Trade

Find out about our work on waste shipment

Zero Waste Europe will work to highlight the injustices of the waste trade, while promoting real solutions to waste management at the city level, through increased traceability, a shift to a circular economy, zero waste societies and waste prevention across Europe in general.

Find out more about our work on Waste Trade

Past Projects & Campaigns

Zero Waste Europe has been around a while, and there are a few projects and campaigns that we’ve worked on in the past that now lie outside our programme areas. See some examples below.

In 2016, Zero Waste Europe launched a new edition of the Lab, where European citizens can come together and help change design. A laboratory for ordinary folk, experimenting with design. It’s a place for people who care about reuse and recycling, a place to address industries who create “stuff” in the first place and say “look, we’re doing our bit, what about you?”


Find out more about the People’s Design Lab

We support the LIFE ECOPULPLAST project recycling pulper waste into plastic pallets. The project uses recovered paper waste from facilities which use recovered paper to develop long-lasting plastic products, and avoiding the incineration of such waste.


Find out more about our work on this project