Green society

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MY SUSTAINABILITY. MY LIFE.

Recycle, reuse, repair and stop plastic getting into our seas  

RETHINKING PLASTICS

When I throw away my sandwich bag, my salad box or my water bottle after lunch, they don’t disappear – they become waste. The plastic that I discard without thought is washing up in our oceans and devastating our sea life. And what enters our seas, ends up on our plate. An estimated 30% of the fish I buy might have plastics in their gut. The EU is seriously committed to reducing the amount of plastic we waste, keeping it out of our oceans, and making all plastic packaging recyclable by 2030.

REPAIR, REUSE, REPEAT

Think twice before discarding household appliances that still work – to become sustainable, we need to change the way we think about reusing things. By making the products I use more efficient through specific eco-design regulations, the EU is building a society where goods are designed to last, to be repaired easily, and, when they reach the end of their useful lives, to be recycled. So stitch up that coat, fix the vacuum cleaner and recycle the refrigerator – it’s a valuable resource for our economy, and better for the environment!

FROM ME TO YOU

Remember that power tool I bought years ago? I’ve only used it for 2 DIY projects – maybe it would have been better to share it? The EU drive towards the circular economy is encouraging citizens to be smart when it comes to saving and reusing their possessions. Borrowing shops, repair cafés and recycling boutiques are springing up all over the EU, encouraging a green, harmonious and creative way of using and reusing products.

METAL MANAGEMENT

Whether it’s a broken old TV or a laptop that’s given up, my electrical items still have a purpose - the precious metals inside them can be used again. The EU is ensuring that these precious metals are extracted properly, limiting waste and making it easy for old keyboards and broken DVD players to be useful again. So the next time my toaster bites the dust, I can help to protect the planet’s valuable natural resources by recycling it.

RAISING STANDARDS

We’ve all got to do our bit for the environment – and the EU is no different. As a direct result of EU legislation, I live in a society that is continually improving its waste management strategies. Landfill sites that fall below EU standards are closing, public buildings are now more energy-efficient, bringing down fossil fuel consumption, and more waste than ever before is being recycled. Not only this, but EU investment has helped connect 7 million people to new or improved wastewater treatment facilities. 

How it works

The EU is making the transition from a throwaway society that wastes natural resources and fuels climate change to a green, sustainable, circular economy. Under EU rules, companies are now required to design products that last longer and are easier to repair, reuse and recycle. Ambitious waste reduction and recycling targets have been set, and finding ways to turn one industry’s waste into another’s raw material is a priority.

    Did you know?

    480 kg

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    The weight of municipal waste generated per person, per year in the EU – about the same weight as a grizzly bear!

    47%

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    of municipal waste was either recycled or composted in 2016 – an increase of 30% since 1995.

    59%

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    The proportion of plastic waste that comes directly from packaging.

    4.2 million

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    The number of people in the EU currently working in eco-industries or green jobs – a sector that has grown much faster than other areas of the economy since 2000.

    €500 per year

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    The amount each household in the EU could save by reducing food waste.

    Director's Video

    /euandme/file/oona-euandme-short-film-directed-zaida-bergroth-0_enOona: an #EUandME short film directed by Zaida Bergroth

    Oona, directed by Zaida Bergroth

    After becoming lost and stranded in a menacing forest, a young girl must rely on the assistance of an unlikely friend to find her way home.

    /euandme/file/oona-euandme-short-film-directed-zaida-bergroth-0_enOona: an #EUandME short film directed by Zaida Bergroth

    /euandme/file/oona-official-euandme-trailer-0_enOona: the official #EUandME trailer

    /euandme/file/behind-scenes-oona-euandme-short-film-0_enBehind the scenes of Oona: an #EUandMe short film

    Oona
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