Product reuse and lifespans to cut waste in Europe

The European Environment Agency (EEA) reports that product reuse and longer lifespans hold untapped potential to cut waste in Europe. In its recent report on ‘Waste prevention in Europe – policies, status and trends of reuse in 2017’ measures to promote the reuse of products in European countries and regions are reviewed. Reusing products means using them again for their original purpose, hence retaining more of the products’ value, compared with, for example, recycling the product for raw materials. However, the review finds that measures to promote reuse are in their infancy across Europe, many measures are voluntary, and few have quantitative targets for reuse.

The EU Waste Framework Directive states that Member States should take appropriate measures to promote reuse, and preparing for reuse, such as encouraging the establishment and support of reuse and repair networks. New EU rules on waste management, adopted on 22 May 2018 as part of the EU’s wider circular economy policy framework, include obligations to monitor waste prevention measures in the EU Member States, and to report on reuse.

For some more information regarding reuse in Ireland, take a look at the following websites:

Community Reuse Network Ireland

SMILE Exchange

Boomerang Recycling

The Baby Market

The Rediscovery Centre






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