Green society

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


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.


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!


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.


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.


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


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



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



    The proportion of plastic waste that comes directly from packaging.

    4.2 million


    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


    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

    #EUandME Stories

    The story of Jael

    #EUandME Thanks to the EU, she was able to reduce her plastic footprint and work in a packaging-free grocery store.

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    “I’m dreaming of a world without food waste”

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    The Story of Josephine

    #EUandME Thanks to the EU, she has set up a company to manufacture eco-friendly cloth bags in order to curb plastic waste. 

    The story of Sandra

    #EUandME Thanks to the EU, she was able to study abroad which inspired her to combine her hobby of painting with ecology to reduce plastic bag usage.

    The Story of Demetra

    #EUandME Thanks to EU funding, she is able to utilise her InnovOleum project to promote healthy, environmentally friendly schools.

    The story of Jill

    #EUandME Jill is passionate about protecting nature and creating a sustainable Europe. The EU supports her every step of the way.

    The story of Ev

    #EUandME Thanks to EU support, Ev set up her company, Straw by Straw, to fight against plastic straws and other single-use plastic products. She uses dried grain stems as straws in 50 locations around Europe.

    The story of Valters

    #EUandME Thanks to the EU, Valters is able to educate consumers on reducing daily waste and help implement EU initiatives to encourage responsible eating.

    What else are you passionate about?

    For a happy society, we should preserve more than just the environment

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    People need protecting!Information is power – we should keep our data safe