“CONSUME BETTER TO REDUCE WASTE”, LEITMOTIV OF THE EUROPEAN WEEK FOR WASTE REDUCTION
Today, a French person produces an average of 590 kg of household waste (and other similar waste) per year. In the past 40 years, this amount has doubled as we now buy more (and more frequently) products with a short lifespan (Source: EWWR, 2020).
The European Week for Waste Reduction (EWWR) is held this year from the 20th to the 28th of November 2021. Organised alongside the ADEME (the French Agency for the Environment and Energy Management), this year’s programme focuses on raising awareness on how we sometimes (often!) consume unreasonably. This EWWR sends out a clear message: the best waste is the one we do not produce!
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The European Week for Waste Reduction highlights good production and consumption practices that prevent us from generating waste. The key messages of this awareness campaign are: consuming and producing better, prolonging products’ lifespan, and throwing away less.
Six main themes of waste reduction actions are presented in this year’s EWWR:
• Waste prevention (eco-design, overpackaging, disposable products);
• Hazardous waste prevention;
• Food waste prevention;
• Promotion of composting;
• Repurpose / Repair / Reuse;
Everyone can carry out awareness-raising actions: from local authorities to administrations, charities, companies, schools, retirement homes, hospitals, and even individuals. In 2020, 3,500 actions were organised in France. Check out how you can take part, wherever you live in Europe: https://ewwr.eu/actions-db
The French Ministry of Ecological Transition’s website talks about the “ideal waste”: waste that is not even produced in the first place! When shopping, it is important to look out for products that will generate the least waste possible. We can quickly find ourselves overwhelmed with objects piling up and taking up lots of room in our daily lives. Did you know that buying a smartphone represents a carbon weight of 45 tons, the equivalent of 8 elephants?!
The PIANO method:
The first habit to adopt when making a purchase is the PIANO method (a translation from the BISOU method created by Marie Duboin and Herveline Verdeken) which is a practical tool to guide us towards responsible consumption and sobriety. Ask yourself these five questions before heading to the till:
P like Practical
Is this product useful? Will it provide me with vital comfort?
I like Immediacy
Do I need it right now? If I don’t buy this product now, will I simply forget about it?
A like Alike
Do I already have something similar at home? Or can I replace this with something I already have?
N like Necessity
Why do I need this product?
O like Origin
Where does this product come from? What is it made of? Has it been made in an ethical and eco-friendly way?
1. Rent or borrow
A drill’s average duration of use over its entire life is… 12 minutes! Many websites now offer the possibility of renting or borrowing the objects you need near you.
6. Avoid single-use products
Single-use products are discarded seconds after they have been used. Plastic bottles, cardboard cups, paper packaging, you name it. Yet many alternatives exist: have you heard of Qwetch products? 😉
7. Limit packaging
Alternatives to packaging exist, especially plastic: many products are now available in bulk or with minimal packaging. It is also possible to opt for recyclable and / or reusable packaging such as cardboard, glass, etc. All you need to do is bring your reusable bag, pouch, or basket with you to the shops!