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Constitution of the Catalan Zero Waste strategy (Residu Zero) in Barcelona

The composition of the Catalan Zero Waste Strategy (Residu Zero) of in Barcelona.

Take Italy and the United Kingdom as examples. Last Friday, March 4, Catalonia’s zero waste strategy was successfully launched in Barcelona, ​​Catalonia, Spain!

More than a hundred people representing local organizations, companies, universities and research centers gathered for a whole day to discuss goals and objectives and set up a forum for Catalonia’s zero waste strategy. Please note that in Spain, waste management is a delegated authority, while Catalonia—just like any other Spanish autonomous region, can determine waste management—.

This initiative is made possible thanks to the cooperation of all Catalan universities, the association of home collection municipalities, municipalities that have developed the “Residu Mínim” (minimal waste) model, and local and international organizations such as GAIA, CAPS, etc., Ecologistes de Catalunya, Cepa and other members of the steering committee.

In the conference we have the opportunity to learn about the best zero waste practices in the world (such as San Francisco in the United States or Kovalam in India) and best practices in Europe, such as the first zero waste town in Europe; Capannori. Rossano Ercolini, head of Rete Italiana di Rifiuti Zero and Capannori Zero Waste Research Center, was present to explain the success of the Italian experience.

"Estratègia Catalana pel Residu Zero" (Catalonia Zero Waste Strategy) will organize a synergy between academia, practitioners, policy makers and civil society to guide the paradigm shift from a recycling society to a zero waste society. In this sense, Catalonia’s ZW strategy hopes to move towards more effective resource management, more environmental justice and economic decarbonization.

Catalonia's zero waste strategy was born in the context of unsustainable urban, construction and demolition, and industrial waste management.

Although Catalonia has adopted a very good decentralized collection method in some cities and towns, it still sends 70% of its waste for disposal, which clearly shows the inefficiency of the use of materials, the large amount of avoidable greenhouse gas emissions and the threat to citizens’ health .

The solution is not to build new incinerators or burn municipal waste in cement kilns, but to strive to replicate the best practices of separate collection (more than 80% in some cases) to increase prevention and recycling.

A paradigm change is necessary, which is exactly what the citizen-driven Catalonia zero-waste strategy pursues.

The meeting discussed that zero waste means: advancing a circular economy, in which waste can become the future raw material, avoiding any avoidable waste, and prohibiting the disposal of any waste that can be reused, recycled or recycled. Composting redesigns and replaces waste that cannot be reused, recycled or composted.

Proposals for Catalonia’s Zero Waste Strategy:

1. Reverse the trend. In 2020, 70% will not be processed and 30% will be recycled, and the trend will be reversed, and we will move towards the goal of recycling 70% and 30%. Achieve zero waste by 2030-the per capita disability is less than 10 kilograms.

2. Establish a network of organizations, institutions, companies, and universities to plan and implement this paradigm shift.

3. Promote local and international best practices in source separation, separate collection, waste prevention, etc., in order to replicate these practices in other parts of Catalonia.

4. Promote innovation in production and legislative processes to create a suitable environment for the zero waste strategy.

5. Create a zero-waste research center where residues can be inspected to detect defects in the design, thereby justifying the replacement of newly designed recyclable products.

In addition to the high level of participation and enthusiasm from all walks of life, the most important point of this event is the commitment of the participants and the concrete measures to be taken in the next step to make it possible to move towards a zero-waste future.

Catalonia’s ZW strategy hopes to move towards more effective resource management, a fairer environment and decarbonization of the economy.

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