Members of the European Parliament and other leaders discussed successful regional zero waste practices and analyzed ways to achieve 50% recycling goal.
Currently in Europe, only 40% of waste is recycled, while 37% goes to landfill and 23% to incinerators. Despite a commitment to recycle 50% of municipal solid waste by 2020, recycling in Europe is not supported the way it should be, and financial incentives still go to promote incineration, directly undermining the EU waste hierarchy.
Pål Mårtensson, Coordinator of Zero Waste Sweden, explained the urgency of moving toward zero waste: “This is a very important and clear message, we have to take care of all the recyclable items we can. We can’t burn or landfill these resources, we have to be careful with all things we call waste, because most of it is not waste, it´s very valuable products that we can reuse and recycle in a modern and intelligent way—and we have to do so, we can´t wait, we have to do it now!”