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Sardinia paves the way towards Zero Waste on islands

Sardinia paved the way for zero waste on the island

The example of Sardinia shows that zero waste is possible in islands and tourist resorts.

Zero Waste Europe today released its latest case study on Sardinia in the Mediterranean, demonstrating the rapid transition of the tourist area to zero waste and a circular economy. The case study revealed that Sardinia had been backed by Italy and Europe in waste management until 2003, with a separate collection rate of only 3.8%, and the rest was sent to landfills and incinerators. Sardinia is now at the forefront of Italy and Europe, with a separate collection rate of 60% in 2016, and the goal of reaching 80% by 2022, making Europe's goal seem empty and absurd.

The publication explains the importance of developing correct policies, including extensive separate collection of biological waste and door-to-door collection, increased disposal taxes, and municipal economic incentive systems related to the phased goals of cities and towns to reward or punish their waste management results . The island’s outstanding zero-waste cities have also promoted this shift, encouraging others to follow their path.

In addition, the case study emphasizes the importance of flexible treatment and disposal facilities so that municipalities can not only cope with the seasonal peaks caused by the tourism industry, but also reduce the amount of waste. According to Ferran Rosa, ZWE’s Waste Policy Officer, “Sardinia is the island with the best waste management performance in the Mediterranean, and it is a model for other tourist attractions.”

"The best thing about Sardinia is that this is just the beginning. With the island's major cities just joining the strategy, the island can quickly improve these good results," Rosa added.

In October 2017, in order to disseminate knowledge of best practices in waste management and prevention, Zero Waste Europe organized a study tour to Sardinia for city officials, civil society organizations and entrepreneurs in the waste sector. Zero Waste Europe also regularly organizes study tours to other high-performance regions. This case study is part of waste management and prevention best practices that have successfully inspired changes throughout Europe and beyond.

"The best thing about Sardinia is that this is just the beginning. As the major cities on the island have just joined the strategy, the island can quickly improve these good results."

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