The award-winning initiatives come from cities and regions in Spain, Germany, Belgium, France, Bulgaria, Finland, Italy and Romania.
The most outstanding awareness-raising actions on waste reduction implemented during the 2020 European Week for Waste Reduction were announced on 1 June 2021 in an online ceremony, held as a pre-conference event of the European Green Week 2021. Six winners, out of a total of 10,696 actions in 33 countries, were awarded, one in each of the following categories: publication administration and organisation, business/industry, association/NGO, educational establishment, citizens, as well as a European Special Prize for the action that showcased the most marked European spirit.
The ceremony was held as a pre-conference event of the European Green Week 2021 focused on “Zero pollution”, one of the key aspects of the European Green Deal. The EWWR Awards will contribute to celebrating best practices and highlighting the link between waste and pollution. Virginijus Sinkevičius, European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Françoise Bonnet, Secretary General at ACR+ and Tjisse Stelpstra, member of the European Committee of the Regions and member of the Council of the Province of Drenthe, opened the ceremony and welcomed the participants to this great celebration of the European Week for Waste Reduction.
Tjisse Stelpstra , member of the European Committee of the Region, declared: “There is no waste! We need a mind shift in how to look at resources. Too often in our linear economy, materials are simply discarded and tossed away. But materials we no longer use, are the resources of our future. Governments at all levels have to lead in regulating and stimulating to make a fair transition to a circular economy possible. The Action Plan of the European Commission says good things on re-use and the right to repair. We can prevent a lot of waste if products are designed accordingly. Many people have excellent ideas, but more than that, there is a lot of activity. So this award ceremony is for me also a ceremony of hope and confidence.”
Virginijus Sinkevičius , European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, stated: “The circular economy is a core priority and it’s one of the pillars of the European Green Deal. Our new Circular Economy action plan offers a model to reduce consumption and to double the use of circular materials in the next ten years. The transition towards a circular economy will not be easy but people like you are showing it can be done. In a moment, the most outstanding actions carried out during the Wee will be rewarded, but every action counts and the biggest award is to be part of the movement that brings about a more sustainable future.”
Françoise Bonnet , Secretary General at ACR+, said: “The 12th edition of the EWWR was a great example of how much this campaign can be powerful. Regardless the Covid19 restrictions, more than 10,600 actions were registered. The involvement and commitment of many action-developers and coordinators makes this initiative very impactful in promoting the waste prevention at local level and spreading the message of a transition towards a circular economy.”
Out of the 16 finalists pre-selected by the EWWR Jury in March 2021, six actions were awarded during the ceremony. As a recognition, the winners received a recycled wood trophy crafted by a Maltese local artist. For the first time, the EWWR Secretariat awarded an additional action voted by the participants of the Ceremony.
- Public administration and organisation category: Prevention of Marine Pollution in Barcelona: #beuresenseplastic challenge and “the sea starts here” campaign implemented by Zero Waste working group and Barcelona City Council in Spain. A combination of two campaigns: the involvement of local organisations in reducing the single-use items and clear messages written on the streets to raise the awareness about the consequences of our behaviour on the sea.
- Business/industry category: Against food Waste: Act differently implemented by Corporación Alimentaria Peñasanta S.A. (CAPSA) in Asturias, Spain. CAPSA, a nationally recognised dairy company in Spain, focused its action on the topic of food waste producing interesting impacts both internally that externally.
- Association/NGO category – awarded by Piotr Barczak, EEB: Making the invisible visible: EWWR 2020 implemented by Mannheim Climate Protection Agency, in Germany. An online campaign to inform about the invisible waste hidden behind everyday activities and behaviours, also providing solutions to reduce this type of waste.
- Educational establishment category: #MissieMinder (#MissionLess), implemented by MOS Vlaanderen, in Belgium. A campaign on food waste that involved 29 schools that took action to promote a less-waste world.
- Citizens category: TOYS STORIES: Re-have fun!, implemented by a 10 years old girl, Teresa Monguilod Villa from Zaragoza in Spain. A set of tutorials to build toys by using waste material to highlight the importance of imagination and the waste produced by new branded toys.
- European Special Prize category: Visible actions for invisible waste board game, implemented Col·legi Sant Josep, Navàs, Catalonia (Spain), E.P. Saint Paul, Cesson (France), Su Ekzarh Antim I, Kazanlak (Bulgaria), Oulun Yliopisto, Oulu (Finland), Istituto comprensivo Statale “R. Trifone”, Montecorvino Rovella (Italy), and ScoalaGimnaziala “Nicolae Lorga”, Sibiu (Romania). In the framework of an Erasmus+ project on the Sustainable Development Goals, students across Europe worked together to create a board game to promote waste prevention and sustainable development.
- The best action for the EWWR audience: Re’Compota (Re’Jam) implemented by ADCE – Associação de Desenvolvimento do Concelho de Espinho, Portugal.
The European Week of Waste Reduction (EWWR) is the biggest campaign to raise awareness about waste prevention in Europe. Driven by local and regional public authorities, brings together different actors, such as citizens, schools, businesses, NGOs and associations, who organise activities to raise awareness about waste reduction. The initiative was born in 2009 as an EU-funded LIFE+ project. The funding partners were ACR+, the Association of Cities and Regions for sustainable Resource management; AICA, the International Association for Environmental Communication (Italy); ARC, the Catalan Waste Agency (Catalonia, Spain); Bruxelles Environnement/Leefmilieu Brussel (Belgium); NWMD, the National Waste Management Directorate for Hungary; and ADEME, the French Environment and Energy Management Agency.
The European Committee of the regions supports the European Week of Waste Reduction initiative and is a member of its steering committee.