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Over 16 500 actions to "reduce, reuse, recycle, and clean up" at EWWR 2019

The European Week for Waste Reduction (EWWR) is back for another intensive week of awareness-raising events from November 16-24, 2019. For its 11th edition, over 16 500 actions related to waste reduction, products reuse, materials recycling, as well as cleanups will be carried out across 30 countries in Europe and beyond.

The European Week for Waste Reduction (EWWR) is back for another intensive week of awareness-raising events from November 16-24, 2019. For its 11th edition, over 16 500 actions related to waste reduction, products reuse, materials recycling, as well as cleanups will be carried out across 30 countries in Europe and beyond.

The European Week for Waste Reduction  (EWWR) is a leading international campaign to promote waste prevention through awareness-raising actions organised during a single week in November. The objective of these actions is to change the behaviour surrounding consumption patterns and waste generation habits.

Waste education and communication

In 2019, a record number of 16 570 actions, as registered per November 14, will be carried out thanks to the efforts of 40 national and regional coordinators in 30 countries. Each year, the EWWR selects a specific aspect of waste reduction on which to focus.

For the 11th edition, the chosen theme is “Waste education and communication”. While policymakers and businesses have a key role to play in changing unsustainable consumption patterns, consumers also share part of the responsibility for what they purchase and how much waste they generate.

Food scrap collection at a lunch restaurant in Skellefteå, Sweden, where the city has separate collection and processing of organic waste to produce biomethane which is then used as fuel to run the city buses. The plastic bag used is bio-based.

Under the slogan “Change your ways, Reduce your waste”, the EWWR challenges participants to identify the problem areas in their consumption and learn how to tackle them.

A renewed sense of urgency

As the EWWR enters its second decade, its core message — 3Rs (reduce, reuse, and recycle waste) and a clean-up — is more relevant than ever.

In per capita terms, waste generation in the EU, which is the mainstay of EWWR, has doubled since the 1970s. Unsustainable levels of production, consumption, and waste generation are accelerating the advent of catastrophic climate change.

The new EU legislature and executive arm — the ninth Parliament and the incoming von der Leyen Commission — have signaled the fact that the climate, including waste prevention and the circular economy, will constitute the centrepiece of their term.

Against this backdrop, the EWWR, which impacts participants as diverse as schools, public administrations, companies, NGOs, and citizens, is more important than ever.

In order to accomplish the waste and climate targets, a wide variety of stakeholders need to take action at different levels: local, regional, national, and international.

Post-consumer, industrial and construction and demolition wood waste awaiting further processing at a recycling facility in Sweden. According to a recent IEA report, Germany and Sweden stand out as the main importers of both hazardous and non-hazardous wood waste in north-western Europe.

Post-consumer, industrial and construction and demolition wood waste awaiting further processing at a recycling facility in Sweden. According to a recent IEA report, Germany and Sweden stand out as the main importers of both hazardous and non-hazardous wood waste in north-western Europe.

About EWWR

The European Week for Waste Reduction (EWWR) is led by the EWWR Steering Committee (ESC). Its members are: ACR+ (Association of Cities and Regions for sustainable Resource management), ADEME (French Environment & Energy Management Agency), Bruxelles Environnement-Leefmilieu Brussel (Belgium), EMWR (The Eastern-Midlands Regional Waste Office, Ireland), the Catalan Waste Agency (Spain), the Environment communication association – AICA (Italy), the European Commission, the European Committee of the Regions, Lipor (Intermunicipal waste management of Greater Porto, Portugal), the North London Waste Authority (UK), the German Association of Local Utilities – VKU (Germany), and WasteServ waste management company in Malta.

The EWWR brings together such actors at different levels in dozens of countries. That the EWWR message resonates is clear from the traction the campaign has received. Over the past 11 years, the EWWR has gone from strength to strength, reaching millions of people across more than 40 countries, and preventing thousands of tonnes of waste from being generated.

The number of actions, countries, coordinators, and action developers has steadily increased. The first edition in 2009 saw 2 672 actions implemented in 14 countries, while the 2019 one will comprise of 16 570 actions carried out in 30 countries.

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