Here are the recommendations of the Waste Management working group I participated in at the European Youth Meeting for Sustainable Development in Estonia 2011. What do you think?
- 1. Challenge: Lack of awareness of waste creation and on ways to minimize it.
- Building a network of multipliers, which raises the awareness of waste prevention and reduction.
- To establish zero-waste-school programs at national level, to be implemented at local level.
- Creating mandatory “green committees/officers” in every workplace.
- 2. Challenge: Imbalanced culture of consumerism, which leads to increased waste production.
- Make the production process more transparent with labelling and standards about the whole resource lifecycle.
- Creation of uniform global labelling key to give information about resource lifecycle of each product
- Extend the resource lifecycle – increase quality and decrease the quantity of products.
- Creation of reuse centres with start-up grants.
- Support training courses that teach mending and repairing skills, co-financed by grants.
- 3. Challenge: Long-term thinking and investments versus short-term profit.
- Higher rate of tax on disposable single-use products to encourage manufacturers to make more reusable products.
- Knowledge and skill sharing with an international program with aim of assisting countries lacking recycling infrastructure.
- Training bursaries, job shadowing (incl. on local level).
- Establishing an online database of secondary resource exchange.
- 4. Challenge: Lack of responsibility for resource lifecycle.
- Create a legal framework for extended product lifecycle responsibility of manufacturers and consumers.
- Produce more versatile products and product components (e. g. universal chargers)
- Every device must have a spare parts catalogue available with listed prices
- Oblige using recycled or reused resources efficiently.
- Target: 100% of newly built apartment buildings have shared laundry facilities
- Ban resources which cannot be reused/recycled
- Obligatory environmental reports for transparency (e. g. annual mission statements; 3rd party audits) connected to implementation measures and continuous improvement.
- 5. Challenge: How to provide better economic incentives for waste reduction.
- Implement sanctions for overpackaging and non-biodegradable packaging
I welcome your comments on our policy ideas to tackle waste, and will also be going into greater depth to explain the thinking behind the proposals in future posts