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Ready to lead Europe towards a zero waste future by Jack McQuibban & Rossella Recupero

Jack McQuibban and Rossella Recupero

are ready to lead Europe to a zero waste future. Last week, around the charming cobblestone streets and beautiful cathedrals, participants from the 16 countries of the Zero Waste European Network met in the beautiful city of Prague in the Czech Republic. Over the course of two days, members shared their knowledge and experience in supporting efforts to implement a zero waste policy in the community with the staff of Zero Waste Europe.

This gathering of members from Zero Waste Europe aims to connect with each other, identify key issues that hinder Europe’s further progress in zero waste, and develop plans and platforms to find solutions to overcome these obstacles to achieve further success.

Jack McQuibban, the coordinator of the Zero Waste City Initiative, started the meeting. First, he set up the scene and shared the latest updates of the EU waste and circular economy legislation, emphasizing that the legislation will have and have had an impact on the work done by members at the local level. The discussion focused on The three key themes include challenges and opportunities related to the implementation of the EU Single-use Plastics (SUP) Directive, EU member states' requirements for separate collection of waste, and instructions on how the EU can start to stay away from waste incineration.

Enzo Favoino, chairman of the European Zero Waste Scientific Committee, also introduced that municipalities have implemented effective recycling and waste prevention policies to avoid opportunities to increase incineration capacity, instead of requiring member states to landfill no more than 10% of their waste. Waste by 2035.

Thibault Turchet, Director of Legal Affairs for Zero Waste in France, presented the latest book Zero Waste in France, Zero Waste City, a practical guide to transforming waste management at the local level (read more here), adding some to the conversation Extra value. This book was written before the French local municipal elections in March 2020. It professionally breaks down the concept of zero waste and how municipal officials can implement effective strategies at the local level.

In the afternoon, the participants were divided into two groups and began to identify potential next steps and future activities around two key themes—supporting municipalities to implement the EU's SUP Directive at the local level through measures such as deposit return systems; and determined to support municipalities' implementation The best tools and policies for an effective separate collection plan to meet the EU's mandatory requirements for organic waste collection by 2023.

The next day, Jaka Kranjc started his speech at Ecologists Without Borders in Slovenia. He gave a speech during his study tour in Slovenia earlier this year and provided participants with some practical tools on how to design a zero waste plan. From supporting the collection of baseline data to best practices on how to involve local communities, the conference provided a template that members can use to hold seminars and trainings with local municipalities to raise awareness of the practicality of implementing local zero waste strategies .

In the afternoon, activists had the opportunity to visit the first unpackaged store "Minimum Waste" opened by MIWA in Prague. In fact, MIWA is a unique technology that is used to help manufacturers, retailers and households prevent waste from the entire supply chain. MIWA is a good example of how innovative business models can help the transition to zero waste across Europe and beyond-in the near future, please pay close attention to MIWA case studies!

Our activist meeting in Prague provided two days of inspiring discussions and fruitful exchanges about what we can do to turn off the flow of garbage into our society directly at the tap. The activists shared their expertise and knowledge, establishing a closer connection between what happened in Brussels on the European level and the work done by local members and municipalities.

Although our joint struggle throughout Europe continues, it is obvious that by establishing a zero waste leader movement and promoting the transition to a zero waste and sustainable Europe, we all have the collective power to demand and create real change.

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