2015. március 30.

A record 43% of municipal waste was either recycled or composted in the EU in 2013, according to the latest Eurostat figures published on Thursday.

Although the share of recycled waste reached 28%, 31% of waste was still landfilled and 26% incinerated.

The figures show significant differences in waste treatment methods between member states. More than two-thirds of Germany’s waste was either recycled or composted, and Slovenia, Austria and Belgium also achieved rates above 50%. By contrast, Estonia, Denmark and Sweden incinerated at least half of their municipal waste. And Romania, Malta, Croatia, Latvia and Greece landfilled more than 80%.

2015. március 27.

“We live in a disposable society. It’s easier to throw things out than to fix them.” – Neil LaBute



The problem

2015. március 27.

The current model for electronics ownership means technology companies have no incentive to provide better products.

It’s hard to deny that the smartphone has in part changed the world in favour of consumers. It helps us avoid expensive SMS costs thanks to online messaging apps, undercut taxi and hotel companies with the likes of Uber and Airbnb, and generally serves as a remote control to the sharing economy.

But when you shift the focus from what our devices help us access to how we access the devices themselves, the picture is less rosy.

2015. március 20.

There is “no point” in ambitious waste and recycling targets “if they only lead to infringements”, according to a senior European Commission official working on the new circular economy policy.

The role of targets needs to be revisited for the new package, said Sabine Weyand, director for policy coordination in the Commission’s powerful secretariat general and head of a cross-departmental steering group on the circular economy.

The more you drive up recycling targets, the higher the risk of lower quality recycled material, Ms Weyand told a briefing organised by the European Policy Centre think tank.

Targets have a role, but so do “economic instruments such as landfill taxes [and] investment projects”, Ms Weyand said.

2015. március 20.

The report Delivering Resource-Efficient Products – how Ecodesign can drive a circular economy in Europe is available for download here.

The EU should make better use of one of the most powerful tools at its disposal if it wants to reduce resource consumption in Europe and bring about a circular economy, according to a new report from the European Environmental Bureau (EEB). The Ecodesign Directive is already delivering substantial energy savings and is allowing consumers to save hundreds of euros on their energy bills each year [1]. Delivering Resource Efficient Products argues that setting requirements on resource use would be politically timely and provide further benefits to both businesses and consumers.

2015. március 19.

The world of arts and fashion maintains a very stimulating dialogue with the world of waste. Artists, eco-designers, and handcrafts professionals have found in waste materials a source of inspiration, a thrilling challenge to their creativity and even a conceptual pillar to build a whole new vision of arts, fashion and sustainability.


2015. március 19.

Plastic recycling in Europe is being hampered by the low oil price, according to industry and experts.

European recyclers are “squeezed between the price of waste, which did not decrease, and the price of recyclates which had to follow the drop of virgin plastics prices”, said Antonino Furfari of industry association EUPR.

But progress towards EU recycling targets for 2020 should not be affected, as the problem is a short-term one, Mr Furfari predicted.

2015. március 19.

Spain has introduced the first reuse requirement for waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) in Europe.

Spain’s transposition of the 2012 WEEE Directive, approved last month, will require certain waste categories to be prepared for reuse.

The law sets a target of 2% for domestic white goods and 3% for IT and telecoms equipment to be prepared for reuse from January 2017. The targets will increase to 3% and 4% respectively from August 2018. The objectives will be revised after the European Commission publishes a forthcoming study on preparing for reuse.

2015. március 16.

The world is overloaded with plastic. Consumption of disposable plastic is a major contributor to plastic pollution. These items may be used for a day, or just a minute, but remain in the world forever — plastic does not disintegrate. Wrapping fresh food in plastic is an unnecessary use of non-biodegradable materials, which is leading to the proliferation of harmful waste, much of which is ending up in our oceans.

2015. március 12.

Experts on textiles and fashion took questions on creating a more sustainable fashion industry. Here are eight key points.

So, which textiles can be recycled and how?

“The key differentiation is between ‘mechanical fibre recycling’, which will degrade with each recycling (down-cycling) and ‘chemical fibre recycling’ which in some cases can produce fibres of equal quality to virgin ones” explains senior research fellow, Textiles Environment Design, Kate Goldsworthy.