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European Commission

Statement

Brussels, 8 May 2014

Statement by Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik on his participation at the clean-up action in Brussels organised in the context of Let's Clean Up Europe initiative

"It is a real pleasure to take part in this initiative and to contribute actively to cleaning up Europe! The action fits well with the fact that the European Commission actively implements EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) to improve its environmental performance and connect with stakeholders in the process. Through EMAS, the Commission has already decreased its waste generation per person by 21% during the last 8 years. Across the entire Commission around 80-100 volunteers are helping to clean up the neighborhoods around Commission’s buildings in Brussels and reach out to local communities at the same time! We hope that many others will follow this example on the 10th of May as well. We clean, because we care… Let's get rid of litter!”

Background

Litter is waste in the wrong place. Every year, millions of tonnes of litter end up in oceans, beaches, forests and elsewhere in nature. The primary causes are our societies’ unsustainable production and consumption patterns, poor waste management strategies and the lack of awareness of the population. In order to reduce littering in nature and to give visibility to the issue, the EWWR (European Week for Waste Reduction) is coordinating the first Europe-wide annual clean-up day.

Commission’s staff and trainees are today participating in this initiative and helping clean up the areas surrounding Commission’s buildings at four different location in Brussels. The Commission is cooperating with "Leefmilieu Brussel/Bruxelles Environnement" and "Bruxelles-Propreté", to ensure a proper separation and disposal of the collected litter. Clean-up sessions -combined with information sessions on waste sorting- are taking place in several parks in the city centre and around the Beaulieu area in Auderghem.

The European Commission actively implements EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) to improve its environmental performance and connect with stakeholders in the process. This action is being coordinated by the EMAS team within the Commission, with the support of volunteers and trainees. Through EMAS, the Commission has already decreased its waste generation per person by 21% during the last 8 years. Across the entire Commission around 80-100 volunteers have helped clean up the neighbourhoods around Commission’s buildings in Brussels and reach out to local communities at the same time.

For more information:

IP/14/437: "Let's Clean Up Europe" on 10 May

Let’s Clean Up Europe: http://www.ewwr.eu/lets-clean-up-europe

Facebook page: Let's Clean Up Europe 2014

Twitter: #CleanUpEurope

EMAS in EC: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/emas/emas_ec/index_en.htm

Contacts for the press:

Joe Hennon (+32 2 295 35 93)

Andreja Skerl (+32 2 295 14 45)

For the public: Europe Direct by phone 00 800 6 7 8 9 10 11 or by e­mail


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