Our November e-newsletter is out!

Under the Spotlight

Celebrating European Week of Waste Reduction
(19-25 November 2022)

November is a key zero waste month across Europe because - you guessed it - it’s when the annual European Week of Waste Reduction (EWWR) happens! This year's EWWR has textile waste as its focus, but many other topics related to waste reduction are being highlighted.

As usual, ZWE took this week to highlight the important role of zero waste actions in the path towards a circular Europe and society. 

During this year's EWWR, we published:
- A factsheet on Finland’s law on textile waste separate collection and implementation pilots;
- A factsheet on Austria’s federal law on refill quotas.

We have also shared inspiring EWWR activities from our members throughout the week on social media, such as:
  • Zero Waste North West’s sessions at Repair Cafe Foyle in partnership with Artitude;
  • Zero Waste France’s “Fast-fashion: the real cost of low-cost fashion” screenings;
  • Zelena Akcija/FoE Croatia’s National Clothes Swap Day.
  • Humusz Szövetség’s EWWR event which included a DIY creative workshop;
  • Friends of the Earth Cyprus’ presence at the Cypriot Department of Environment’s EWWR event, where they led a presentation on Zero Waste Cities.
  • Amigos de la Tierra/FoE Spain’s movement-building event on the right to repair.
  • Ekologi brez meja’s awareness-raising activities on textile waste and the presence of plastics in clothes.
Keen to learn more about these activities? Be sure to visit the “Our Network” page on the ZWE website to get in touch directly with our member organisations.

Zero Waste News 

ZWE Live! Webinar: (Future of) recycling and use of recycled plastics in food packaging

Despite its many beneficial properties, food packaging raises concerns due to its high production volume and problems related to waste management. Evidence shows that while virgin plastics contain known hazardous chemicals and untested chemicals which can be hazardous, recycled plastics (almost always) contain higher levels of hazardous substances; in both cases, these chemicals can end up in the human body due to their migration from food contact materials (FCM).

The presence of harmful chemicals in FCM is impacting both our health and our environment. Moreover, they hinder safe recycling. This calls for caution and a strong harmonised regulatory framework in the EU, to protect human health, prevent toxic recycling and guarantee clean material cycles in a circular economy.

This webinar aims to answer the following key questions: 
  • What does current scientific evidence show regarding hazardous substances in recycled plastics used in FCM, and what are the challenges in the safety assessment of recycling processes/chemical contamination risk assessment?
  • How can the EU, through new legal requirements, ensure clean and safe plastic content intended for use in contact with food?
Register now

Stories From Our Movement

GAIA - Zeroing in on Zero Waste at COP27

With 2022 marking the 30th year since the first global climate gathering in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), world leaders, environmental activists, think tanks and industry meet in Sharm el-Sheikh (Egypt) to discuss actions for tackling the climate crisis. 

This year, waste was at the forefront of the agenda as the delegates discussed how best to reach the Global Methane Pledge. GAIA participated with a diverse international delegation of advocates, academics, city policy-makers, grassroots activists, and wastepickers. Throughout COP27, they pushed for zero waste as a vital part of the plan for reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. 

Learn more
Friends of the Earth Cyprus - FOODprint networking event held in Limassol

On 27 October, our member Friends of the Earth Cyprus organised a networking event in Limassol as part of the EU-funded project LIFE – FOODPRINT, which addresses the environmental problem of food loss or waste. The event was attended by project stakeholders and businesses active in the hospitality and tourism sector, local authorities, NGO representatives and academics. The event discussions focused on EU food waste targets, composting, and new methods of reducing food waste, including through digital recording.

Learn more
Zero Waste France - Spreading the zero waste vision during European Week of Waste Reduction

During the European Week of Waste Reduction, Zero Waste France and its network of local groups offered a range of zero waste activities that included screenings of the film "Fast-fashion : les dessous de la mode à bas-prix" across the country. This film exposes the environmental and social consequences of fast fashion. Zero Waste France also hosted special board game nights - during which they introduced the boardgame "Rien de neuf" - as well as sewing/repair workshops.

Learn more (in FR)

ZWE Changemakers

Each month, our ZWE Changemakers campaign will put the spotlight on one of our member organisations - and each week of that given month will bring in more content, curiosities, and victories!

Za Zemiata

This month, we head to Bulgaria, home of our member Za Zemiata.

Established in 1995 to work for environmental and social justice, Za Zemiata is the coordinator of the Zero Waste Alliance in Bulgaria, bringing together various organisations to take action on waste dumping, incineration, and waste prevention methods. Over the years, the organisation has educated and mobilised thousands of citizens to advocate for zero waste practices, while continuing to lobby local authorities for systemic change.

Read the blog post

(Be sure to keep checking the blog posts, as more ZWE Changemakers content will be uploaded there throughout the month)

Media of the Month

#BFFP's Brand Audit presents the world’s worst plastic polluters of the last five years!

Since 2018, the Break Free From Plastic movement (BFFP) has been releasing an annual global brand audit to identify the world's top plastic polluters.

With 2022 marking the fifth anniversary of the brand audit, BFFP has gathered all the data from the last 5 years and found that 5 companies kept on dominating the list, with The Coca-Cola Company being the clear top polluter by a significant margin. The remaining members of this top 5 are PepsiCo, Nestle, Unilever, and Mondelēz International.

Support the campaign by sharing this video, reading the Brand Audit Report 2018-2022, or posting about the campaign on social media.

Learn more

Policy News

The most recent joint study by ZWE and Eunomia analyses the decarbonisation pathways for key material production sectors (aluminium, concrete, steel and plastics) and their ability to meet global carbon budgets. The study finds that these sectors' current plans for net zero by 2050 will not be enough to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

Read the study
Open letter to the European Commission regarding the revision of the Waste Framework Directive
With the support of 10 MEPs and 47 other NGOs, ZWE has sent an open letter to EU Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, calling for urgent action to tackle the waste crisis. In the letter, the signatories state their concerns regarding the Waste Framework Directive revision’s very limited scope. 
Read the letter
Joint letter – Inclusion of waste incineration in the EU ETS
In a joint letter addressed to the Permanent Representations of EU member states, ZWE and 17 other civil society organisations urge the EU to reduce its municipal waste incineration capacities; and to fully exploit the climate protection potential of waste prevention and recycling, in order to achieve the EU’s climate protection targets.

Read the letter

We Read

Politico covers leaked PPWD draft
Earlier this month, Politico covered the leak of a draft version of the revised Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD), which sparked a massive outcry from the industry. ZWE's Executive Director, Joan Marc Simon, was interviewed for the piece, speaking about the resilience of reuse systems seen in the context of current global supply chain issues.

Read the article
EU set to adopt mandatory recycled content targets in new packaging law
Ahead of the expected developments in the EU's revision of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD), ZWE spoke to EURACTIV about the need to ensure toxic-free materials in food packaging and about the added value of having recycled content targets.

Read the article

Join the Zero Waste Europe Team

Do you want to collaborate with Zero Waste Europe and its extended network in order to contribute to a truly circular economy?

Check out the current opportunities for collaboration:
  • Head of Operations - Zero Waste Europe is looking for a new colleague to lead the organisational side of the entity. The new Head of Operations will work on developing and fostering policies and systems for HR, finances, and administration, but also lead on future development plans for the organisation.
    Deadline: the position will remain open until filled.

  • Implementation Officer - Zero Waste Europe is also looking for a new team member to support our work on the implementation of zero waste solutions at the local level, aiming to accelerate the transition to zero waste by supporting local actors with increased knowledge, resources, capacity and finance. 
    Deadline: 15 December 2022, 23:59 CET.
Read the requirements and apply here.
Zero Waste Europe gratefully acknowledges financial assistance from the European Union: Commission Directorate General (DG) Environment. The sole responsibility for the content of this newsletter lies with Zero Waste Europe. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the funder mentioned above. The funder cannot be held responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.
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