Our Impact: Looking back at 2015

/Our Impact: Looking back at 2015
Our Impact: Looking back at 2015 2019-06-06T13:53:38+00:00


I’m proud to present to you what is our first interactive, online annual report as Zero Waste Europe (ZWE). Indeed, whilst the zero waste movement has been around for decades the creation of ZWE as an organisation is rather recent. However, despite our very limited resources we have already managed to have an impact that is remarkable for an organisation our size.

During 2015 we have driven substantial change at local, national and European level. We have created a network of European municipalities moving towards zero waste together, we have produced groundbreaking research in the fields of waste and climate, and producer responsibility, we have denounced breaches in EU law by waste management installations, we have run international campaigns such as the plastic bag free day, supported the creation of new local groups and effectively lobbied European policy-makers in the field of waste, climate and products policies.

In December we co-organised the GAIA Global Meeting in Paris, along with Zero Waste France. This event brought together 80 representatives of the GAIA network from 35 countries, providing the opportunity for planning further collaborative campaigning on key areas such as zero waste cities, plastic and air pollution prevention, and climate justice. The meeting identified key trends in waste management in the different regions and common tactics to promote our zero waste vision worldwide.

From an organisational perspective we have seen how the growing interest in zero waste has allowed us to increase our budget and our staff in the course of 2015. We have opened a new office in Brussels and in Manchester and we have started working in new countries such as Poland.

Nevertheless, waste, with all its might, continues to be one of the most iconic features of our civilisation; it is ubiquitous and it continues to grow in tonnage and complexity. In 2015 we have illustrated with real examples and citizen mobilisation that there is another way; that it is possible to create jobs, resilience, prosperity, fight climate change, close the loop and many other things without trashing the planet. Above all we have proven that zero waste is about respecting ourselves and the future generations.

Because there is no ‘away’, I can only expect that the traction and interest that zero waste has caught in Europe will continue to grow. And we will be there to help it.

Joan Marc Simon – Director of Zero Waste Europe

Work Areas



Climate. Energy & Air Pollution


Income & Funds Raised


EU Grants


Foundation Grants


Study Tours


Grants from Private Companies


Other Income

Costs & Spending




Travel & Subsistence


External Assistance & Subonctracting



Our Funders

Zero Waste Europe gratefully acknowledges funding support for the following institutions in 2015. Thank you! Without the support of our donors Zero Waste Europe’s work would not be possible. We would like to thank & acknowledge the following institutions and foundations which have helped to fund our work:

  • EU Commission Directorate General Environment
  • Adessium
  • Global Green Grants Fund
  • Education, Audiovisual & Culture Executive Agency
  • Patagonia
  • XminusY
  • GAIA (Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives)


Zero Waste Europe’s Board are elected at the Annual General Meeting and are not paid for their roles, only having necessary expenses covered.

Rossano is a primary school teacher, and passionate Zero Waste leader. He has more than 20 years experience in the waste field and is a leading name of the zero waste movement in Italy. As a result of his efforts his home-town Capannori was the first European city to declare the goal of zero waste by 2020. He has helped the Zero Waste movement grow beyond the Italian borders into what is now the Zero Waste Europe movement. In 2013 Rossano was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize, considered the “Green Nobel Prize” for his contributions to the Zero Waste movement in Italy.


Flore Berlingen, Secretary of the Board and Director of Zero Waste France speaking in Paris at the COP21

Flore Berlingen was elected as Secretary of the Board at the Ljubljana AGM in 2016, and is the Director of Zero Waste France and the Co-Founder of OuiShare.


Huub Scheele is Treasurer of the Board and works for Both Ends in the Netherlands. He has experience in environmental science and pollution and has worked extensively in Eastern Europe. He also has experience working in Latin America and has been involved in numerous environmental organisations.


Elena Rastei is a Member of the Board

Victor Mitjans is the research coordinator for the Fundació Prevenció de Residus i Consum and a member of CEPA (Centre D’Ecologia i Projectes Alternatius). He is a member of the Zero Waste Europe Board, and provides expert knowledge on zero waste issues.


Our Staff

Pawel Gluszynski

Our Network

Zero Waste Europe’s Network as of 2016

The United Kingdom Without Incineration Network (UKWIN) was central to the coordinated efforts that in 2015 brought repeated successes in derailing numerous gasification proposals associated with Clean Power Properties.

We believe that we managed to delay at least 9 of these projects beyond their subsidy cut-off date. This was achieved through actions taken in conjunction with member groups and directly as UKWIN, e.g. UKWIN evidence submitted to inform local planning decisions, national planning inquiries, and environmental permitting consultations.

In 2015 UKWIN also held a successful Campaign Strategy Workshop that brought anti-incineration, anti-biomass and pro-zero-waste campaigners together to compare notes and to engage in strategic discussions regarding how to build our Zero Waste movement in the UK.

The Hungarian Network of Zero Waste Towns was been launched with 10 municipalities already signed by the end of 2015.

Between 2-4th November the first international Zero Waste Conference was organized in Budapest. During the three days more than 200 people participated from various fields: municipalities, businesses, kindergartens, schools, universities and NGOs.

We have coordinated the national network of Green Kindergartens and Ecoschools and thanks to our work and the work of our member organisations, hundreds of teachers had been mentored and trained and many kindergartens and schools had won the ‘Green’ title.

A competition was started for citizens to redesign old stuff into something new. From the best works we made an exhibition that toured around Hungary. It was a great success and this year we will be able to continue it.

European Environment Commissioner Karmenu Vella made a statement at the Italian Parliament that some of our zero waste communities (including Treviso and Capannori) are the best examples of “Circular Economy made real”

Our Paper on Landfill Bans (making the case against them) proved that Zero Waste schemes are minimising disposal much more than incineration-based schemes.