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Resource Efficiency

European Member States are adopting waste prevention plans


According to the revised European Waste Framework Directive, all Member States are required to adopt national waste prevention programmes (WPP). These can be either part of a country’s waste management plans or other environmental policy programmes, or function as separate programmes. A number of Member States have already introduced waste prevention plans, while others are in the process of developing them. Read more…

Waste prevention is defined as measures taken to prevent a substance, material or product from becoming waste. This reduces the quantity of waste and any adverse impacts of waste on the environment and human health. It can also reduce the content of harmful substances in materials and products. A WPP must include measures that help decouple economic growth and waste generation, reducing environmental impacts as a result.

The Waste Framework Directive required Member States to establish national WPPs by 12 December 2013. The WPPs will have to be reviewed and evaluated at least every six years. The European Environment Agency (EEA) will also be reviewing the progress made by Member States in the development and implementation of their programmes every year.

Ten countries have already submitted abstracts of their WPPs to the European Commission, namely Austria, Belgium (Brussels), Finland, Germany, Ireland, Latvia, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland and Portugal. The abstracts demonstrate a wide variety of measures and show that each Member State may choose a different approach to developing an appropriate WPP.

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Waste prevention 

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