Brussels, 23th November 2021
The Capital-Region of Brussels (Belgium) announced today their commitment to become a Zero Waste City Region with Zero Waste Europe, becoming the first Belgian city and the first Northern European capital to do so. The decision comes after year-long conversations between the region and Zero Waste Europe together with its Belgian member, Zero Waste Belgium.
The Region’s zero waste strategy includes a commitment to reduce waste by 20% per capita by 2030. By the end of 2022, and amongst other measures, bio-waste separate collection will be mandatory for households and enterprises, which follows the recent implementation of a policy to extend the types of plastic possible for collection and recycling. For several years now, Brussels has been actively promoting its zero waste strategy with citizens, with a yearly Zero Waste Challenge and an open call for projects from all community stakeholders interested in implementing their own zero waste initiatives.
Commenting on Brussels’ zero waste journey, the Minister for the Climate Change, Environment, Energy and Participatory Democracy of the Brussels-capital region, Alain Maron, said: “Climate ambitions are being raised at European level, and having just returned from COP26, I am even more convinced of the importance of drastically reducing the impact of our consumption. We are working on changing behaviour at source, with our citizens, with our administrations, but also with our companies.”
Joan Marc Simon, Executive Director of Zero Waste Europe, said: “We’re thrilled to be able to welcome the Region of Brussels into our Zero Waste Cities programme. In doing so, Brussels becomes the first capital city in Northern Europe, the first in Belgium and the largest city within our programme to commit to being zero waste. We look forward to working with the City to help implement its zero waste strategy in the coming months and years.”
Laurène Provost, President of Zero Waste Belgium, said: “We are proud to be part of the first regional entity participating in the Zero Waste Cities approach within Belgium and Northern Europe! That’s a huge opportunity for the region to achieve the objectives set in the Resource and Waste Management Plan in line with the waste hierarchy principle. We really look forward to helping the region move towards a more circular economy and achieve even greater ambitions in the future !”
Brussels will now join Zero Waste Europe’s Zero Waste Cities network, currently counting 445 cities and municipalities across the continent. The Belgian city is also the second European capital to join the network and committing to become a Zero Waste City, after Ljubljana (Slovenia).