The report is our annual showcase of the progress that continues to be made on Zero Waste Cities in Europe, and around the world. 2022 saw continued growth in the number of zero waste cities in Europe, nearly 500 now, and the impact that these cities are positively having on waste prevention.
As always, the State of Zero Waste Municipalities Report includes updates from countries where we are working on Zero Waste Cities in Europe. These chapters have been written by the leaders themselves from our members and globally at GAIA who are working at the local level, sharing the challenges they faced and victories they had in 2022.
This third edition looks back at what happened in 2022, highlighting how despite significant challenges, progress can still be made towards our circular and net-zero goals – shown most evidently by the continued dedication and work being done by our members in Ukraine despite having to cope with the atrocities of war.
This year’s report also includes a special focus on best practice examples of reuse models, with case studies highlighting Europe’s best examples in this field from Gent, Geneva, Paris, Tübingen and Hamburg. Given the urgent need to tackle our consumption of materials as a whole, cities must begin looking at the growing number of options available to them to help install reuse systems for products and materials locally. The examples included in this report provide a snapshot of the best practices on how to do this.
To conclude the report, we identified 3 key priorities for cities regarding resource management in the upcoming year. These include:
- Better organics collection and management
- How to transition away from waste incineration which is clearly no longer compatible with our climate and circular economy goals
- The need for better local data and support on how to use this effectively
Each priority will ask important questions of municipalities, the answers to which will truly define their commitment to sustainable resource management and ultimately zero waste.
We hope you enjoy the third edition of our State of Zero Waste Municipalities Report. Our aim with the report is to both inspire hope for a better future and provide both tangible details and data on how this hope can be channelled into impactful policies and initiatives.
We wish you find it useful in your own journey towards becoming zero waste.