The Zero Waste Masterplan

Turning the vision of Circular Economy into reality

10 years since the first formal commitment towards Zero Waste from a European city, and the subsequent support of the Zero Waste Europe network, today we have all the knowledge and examples necessary to make this philosophy go mainstream. This is why we created the Zero Waste Masterplan: a framework for action to promote the Zero Waste model in Europe.

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Get the full Masterplan in one handy PDF document

Whether you are already “in-office”, preparing a campaign or building a movement, the Zero Waste Cities Masterplan offers the building blocks that can truly help solidify you programme.

Waste is a central aspect of effective city management, and a highly emotive topic for many European cities. There are countless examples ‘waste crises’ where citizens are faced with collection strikes, air pollution issues, or community opposition to big infrastructure projects. But despite these obstacles waste management doesn’t have to be a ‘dirty’ topic. The Zero Waste Masterplan aims to provide you with the tools that you need to implement ‘clean’ waste management, catapulting your city to become a European leader in the circular economy.

So what are you waiting for? Get started today by putting together your city’s Zero Waste Masterplan…


What is inside?

The Masterplan contains all of the information you need to start implementing zero waste projects today. We will continue to create and update new modules for the Masterplan covering new and exciting topics and zero waste strategies.

The Zero Waste Cities Masterplan is divided into 4 sections to get you started on your journey:

Map and understand

This section of the Zero Waste Cities Masterplan is about understanding where your city is right now. Where the existing trends in city planning and management are going. And what obligations and requirements there are for your city coming from the European legislative arena. Once you have a clear grasp of the situation in your city it becomes far easier to implement effective zero waste programmes and projects.

The current modules in this section are:

  • Tool MU1 – 10 Questions to get you started
  • Tool MU2 – Starting point for your roadmap
  • In focus: Zero Waste vs. the old way: What the data says
  • Tool MU3 – Understand the benefits of Zero Waste
  • Tool MU4 – The new European waste legislation


The next stage of the Zero Waste Cities Masterplan takes a deep-dive look at what it means to “go Zero Waste”, what the guiding principles of Zero Waste Cities are and how you can begin to take the first steps towards this goal. The ‘Learn’ section of the masterplan aims to give you all the knowledge that you need to fully understand and promote zero waste strategies, goals and practices.

The current modules in this section are:

  • Tool L1 – The Zero Waste commitment in practice
  • Tool L2 – The Zero Waste hierarchy
  • Tool L3 – Zero Waste guiding principles
  • In focus: Waste prevention in practice
  • In focus: Energy & Waste

Set the stage

By this point you already have a clear understanding of what Zero Waste means, and how you can begin to implement it in your city. But how do you build the citizen engagement, community buy-in and team of experts which you need to make such a project successful. This section of the Zero Waste Cities Masterplan takes a look at how you can communicate the Zero Waste Cities strategy to your wider constituents, and begin to put together a Zero Waste ‘dream team’ to implement your plan.

The current modules in this section are:

  • Tool S1 – Narratives citizens will understand
  • Tool S2 – Ten punchlines for your campaign
  • Tool S3 – Building your Zero Waste ‘dream team’