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Press Release: New zero waste Roubaix case study shows ‘where there is a will there is a way’

Press release: The new zero-waste Roubaix case study shows that "where there is a will, everything is done"

This case study shows that involving all stakeholders in changing consumption patterns and waste generation habits is essential to the successful implementation of a circular economy.

For immediate release: Brussels, December 5, 2016

Today, Zero Waste Europe [1] released their latest case study [2]. It shows how the town of Roubaix in northern France can take an important step towards a circular economy. The case study highlights community projects and plans that address waste at the source, even if the town lacks waste management capabilities.

This case study shows that involving all stakeholders in changing consumption patterns and waste generation habits is essential to the successful implementation of a circular economy. The project was very successful. 25% of participating households were able to reduce waste generation by more than 80%, and 70% of households were able to reduce waste by 50%.

In previous case studies [3] Zero Waste Europe has proven that it is completely feasible to combine high recovery rates with low waste generation and low waste management costs. The latest case study of Zero Waste in Europe highlights how an integrated approach can pave the way for Roubaix's zero waste. By integrating families, institutions, businesses, schools and associations, Roubaix is ​​creating a new recycling system aimed at reducing waste at the source and creating a new waste culture.

The case of Roubaix also shows the limitations faced by some European cities. Like other cities in France, Roubaix lacks direct control over waste collection and management policies, which means that all changes need to be approved by the municipal union. In this case, the municipal union has been reluctant to approve progressive policies. Therefore, the town decided to take an alternative approach, reaching out to Roubaix’s various stakeholders to minimize waste at the source.

Ferran Rosa, European Zero Waste Policy Officer, said: “If there is a will, it will come true. By challenging families to directly reduce waste, Roubaix has proven that we can all adjust our lifestyle to a more sustainable model. Save economic costs."

Roubaix is ​​considered to be the poorest town in France, and it demonstrates that political will and civic participation can drive major changes in any situation, even in the absence of capacity and resources.

In order to successfully transition to a zero-waste society and circular economy, Zero-Waste Europe demonstrated best practices and supported local transformation. The new campaign of Zero Waste Europe "Make your city zero waste!" [4] calls on the public to support the coverage of more cities in 2017 and share zero waste best practices.

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