European Environment Agency (EEA)

The road from landfilling to recycling: common destination, different routes


Courtesy of Courtesy of European Environment Agency (EEA)

There is an important body of EU policy on waste which influences policy actions in the Member States. Increasingly, policy makers — not least the European Parliament — and the public want to know the extent of this influence and its effects. For example, do policy actions in Member States deal effectively with the problems for which the EU policy was designed? If not, is this because the EU policy is flawed or are Member States' policy actions inappropriate? Does it stem from a lack of will to make what has been put in place work? Or are there other reasons?

It is increasingly important to provide answers to these questions because waste volumes in the EU are growing, driven by changing production and consumption patterns. It is also important because there is a growing interest in sharing best practice and exchanging national-level experience across Europe, with the common goal of achieving more cost-effective solutions to the various problems being faced.

This brochure is a first step by the EEA. It informs discussions on the effects and effectiveness of selected waste policies in Europe by providing a picture of the different approaches taken by countries to tackling growing waste volumes, focusing in particular on municipal waste, and by comparing these to the trends we observe in waste generation and treatment.


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