RREUSE and the Zero Waste Cities Programme by Zero Waste Europe partnered to create a briefing aimed at providing support to local municipalities to help design effective and ambitious local re-use strategies.
Despite good progress in recent years with increasing levels of waste being recycled rather than sent to landfill or incineration, European countries are still consuming vast amounts of resources and materials that are simply unsustainable in the long-term. Action is therefore urgently needed, and on a greater scale, to reflect the waste hierarchy and prioritise opportunities for reusing and repairing products, keeping their value and prolonging their lifespan, rather than being disposed of after one or a few uses.
Progress on recycling within the EU has been facilitated by the adoption of ambitious EU targets, both for individual waste streams and within total municipal waste generation. With the EU increasingly likely to introduce binding targets on the volume of raw materials placed onto the market, with the aim of reducing the ecological footprint of the EU’s consumption and production, prioritising systems and policies that facilitate greater re use and repair are becoming of increasing importance to governments. Recognising this, many local municipalities and regions throughout Europe are already implementing strong re-use strategies and policies, showcasing that they do not need to wait for action in Brussels to tackle the volume of waste their communities generate.
In light of this, the guidance outlines the key principles that every re-use strategy should prioritise, the benefits these strategies can bring for a municipality and highlights examples of how similar policies have been successfully implemented throughout Europe.