“Zero Waste Europe” Conference (at the European Parliament)
Brussels, 7 March 2013
Ladies and Gentlemen,
“Zero Waste”… How far are we from it? In fact this week we received the latest data from Eurostat, so I can tell you.
In Europe we generate just over 500 kilos of municipal waste per person each year. If you think that the average weight of a person in Europe is 72 kilos, that means on average we throw away 7 times our own weight.
What happens to that waste? Well if you look at the picture across Europe, 37 % – more than a third – goes to landfills, and only one-quarter is recycled. That doesn’t sound too good, but the better news is that we are moving in the right direction.
Just 10 years ago more than half of that waste – 56 % – went to landfill, and less than a fifth – 17 % – was recycled. Our rates of composting are also improving, up from 10 % to 15 %.