Article 11 of the European Union (EU) Waste Framework Directive obliges Member States to take appropriate measures to promote reuse and preparing for reuse such as encouraging the establishment and support of reuse and repair networks. But in how far can waste prevention programmes of the EU-member states fulfil this task?
The new European Environment Agency (EEA) Report "Waste prevention in Europe — policies, status and trends in reuse in 2017" is dedicated to this question. It is the fourth report in a series of annual reviews of waste prevention programmes in Europe as stipulated in the EU Waste Framework Directive. The lead authors Dr. Henning Wilts, head of the Research Unit Circular Economy, Bettina Bahn-Walkowiak, research fellow of the same unit, and Ybele Hoogeveen of the EEA therefore assessed 33 national and regional waste prevention programmes that had been adopted by the end of 2017. The report investigates the existing programmes, looking at their scope and reuse objectives, measures and indicators, as well as the sectors and stakeholders addressed. In practical terms, key product groups – like textiles, electrical and electronic equipment, furniture, vehicles, buildings and building components – are examined in regard to their reuse status and potential.
"Reuse business and trade in products such as clothing, children's toys and furniture is growing due to better marketing channels on the Internet and in the social media. However, reuse is still a niche activity for most products. The increasing complexity of products and shorter innovation cycles, which lead to a rapid loss in value of the products, prevent the potential for reuse from being fully exploited as long as no corresponding incentives are in place", the authors say.
The EEA Report and an additional country factsheets can be downloaded for free from the page below.