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Leading the way towards waste prevention

Policy brief
By Platform
Wooden building

Waste generation in Europe is on the rise. On average, every European citizen produces nearly half a tonne of municipal waste and the annual waste generation in the EU amounts to 2.5 billion tonnes. To reverse this trend, the EU supports a defined waste hierarchy featuring waste prevention as the number one priority and clearly the most efficient way to save resources and lower the environmental impact of waste.

Local and regional authorities have an opportunity to lead the way in waste prevention and use their considerable purchasing power in various sectors (construction, transport) to change linear consumption and production patterns.

There are several ways to support waste prevention, including:

  • Establishing prevention policies and targets
  • Adopting green public procurement practices and tools
  • Encouraging active citizen participation
  • Developing awareness-raising campaigns and providing information through various outlets

The present policy brief provides an overview of EU initiatives to inspire local and regional authorities and showcase ways to support waste prevention. These include actions on food waste prevention and examples of green public procurement and training.

Furthermore, it presents a selection of Interreg Europe good practices from the projects GPP4Growth, ECOWASTE 4FOOD, CECI, CircE, LCA4REGIONS, REDUCES, and ENHANCE, with a high degree of replicability in other municipal contexts.

Circular economy
Green public procurement