"The measure of success is not whether you have a tough problem to deal with, but whether it is the same problem you had last year."
John Foster Dulles
When I get out of office late and rush to do the grocery shopping it happens from time to time that I forget to bring a carrier back. Then I try to bring all items home with my bare hands. This can look extremely ridiculous but at least I saved one plastic bag. As a now published EU research paper proofs I am not as crazy as someone might think.
“Domestic waste, industrial waste… the population of the EU throws away 2.7 billion tonnes of it every year, of which 98 million tonnes are hazardous. The greatest waste stream comes from construction and demolition waste.” 2.7 billion tonnes every year! That means about 7.4 million tonnes per day. When faced with these facts avoiding more plastic waste is not crazy, it is our duty.
“Europe urgently needs to find ways to increase the supply of secondary raw materials available to its industries. The challenge is to develop better waste-management practices and technologies that can meet this need through recycling and reuse, and to transfer this technological and organisational know-how to other countries”, so a statement of the paper “Waste as a resource”. The EU’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) is funding research which tries to find innovative ways of using waste as a resource and supports research and innovation based solutions at transnational and international level. The paper also includes a project list that might inspire others. You can download “Waste as a resource” here.
And when you enter the super market tomorrow, remember 7.4 million tonnes waste per day!
By Christin Schmidt
Picture © Crosslens via Flickr