In an article published on January 31, 2019, non-governmental organization (NGO) European Environmental Bureau (EEB) informs about new statistics showing that EU countries generated on average 487 kg of municipal waste per person in 2017. The data was reported by the European statistical office Eurostat.

The EEB article notes that this is “only eight kilograms less than the 496 kg generated in 1997, when figures were first compiled.” In their investigation, EEB also finds that “overall in the EU, 30% of the waste was recycled, 17% composted, 28% incinerated and 24% landfilled in 2017.”

Waste reduction is reported to be a key part of the European Commission’s strategy towards transitioning to a circular economy, however the article highlights incinerators as a challenge to this given their demand for “large amounts of mixed waste to serve their purpose and justify the investment.” EEB goes on to say that “[u]ntil we stop funding incinerators, we’ll continue to generate and burn waste at the expense of prevention and recycling.”

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Mauro Anastasio (January 31, 2019). “Europe’s waste problem in numbers.European Environmental Bureau

Eurostat (January 23, 2019). “487 kg of municipal waste generated per person.