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From Catalonia to Kharkiv – local authorities lead zero waste success stories, new report shows

Brussels, April 25, 2024 – A new Zero Waste Europe report shows that municipalities worldwide are at the heart of the fight against waste, detailing the extraordinary initiatives across all five global regions.

The report entitled, “State of Zero Waste Municipalities Report 2023” showcases a comprehensive overview of the biggest success stories from the field of zero waste today. These range from the establishment of 750 “menstruation-friendly” toilets in Catalonia, to shut down one of California’s largest incinerators, to the extraordinary courage from individuals in cities like Kharkiv, Ukraine, which reopened its EcoHub following severe city bombings.

This report highlights the significant progress carried out across the globe towards more sustainable resource management. In Europe alone, the support provided by Zero Waste Europe and its sister organization MiZAcovers a population of over 16 million living within cities implementing zero waste solutions.

The impact of this work is truly global, underscored by the pledge from 43 cities in the Asia-Pacific region, aiming for a 70% reduction in methane emissions from the waste sector by 2030. Many good practices can be found closer to home though. For example in France, the Metropolitan Area of ​​Rouen Normandy demonstrated the tangible impact of innovative waste reduction strategies by eliminating over 40kg of packaging through a deposit return system for takeaway food packaging. Croatia’s PRE-KOM witnessed a staggering increase in separate waste collection rates from 22% in 2015 to 67%, far surpassing the national average. Italy’s Treviso province boasts an impressive 88.7% rate of separate waste collection and recycling. In Slovenia, a single public institution saw a 21% reduction in food waste.

Jack McQuibbanHead of Local Implementation at Zero Waste Europe, states:

At a time when reasons to be cheerful can seem quite limited, this report is a timely and welcomed reminder of some inspiring stories. This report is a showcase of the often overlooked effort and hard work of people with boots on the ground who are making inspiring strides towards a sustainable future. The highlighted municipalities have shown that a better system, one where waste and pollution is reduced through policies that also improve the livelihoods of the local community, is possible. Their achievements are not just local successes but inspirations for communities worldwide.”

Despite the progress, challenges remain, necessitating more ambitious waste reduction targets and enhanced support for municipalities to implement zero waste strategies effectively.

We couldn’t reach this moment without cooperation,McQuibban continued, “And that’s exactly what we need more of in the future if we’re to overcome the challenges that remain.

Before upcoming elections in much of the continent, Zero Waste Europe urges policymakers, community leaders, and citizens to embrace the “State of Zero Waste Municipalities Report 2023” findings and begin their own journey towards becoming zero waste today.


Notes to the editor

The report is available for download at:

The story of Zero Waste Municipalities webpage:

Kharkiv, Ukraine has reopened its EcoHub which was severely damaged due to city bombing, now with a section dedicated to collecting demolition waste to be used in future reconstruction efforts. Their website can be accessed here:

Slovenian municipality Škofja Loka achieved 21% food waste reduction within a public institution of the Slovenian municipality. Their press release can be accessed here:

Croatia’s PRE-KOM is a waste management company working in collaboration with Zelena Akcija, a member of Zero Waste Europe. Their website can be found here: You can access Zelena Akcija’s website here:

Mission Zero Academy (MiZA) is the capacity – building hub for local decision-makers, SMEs, and other organizations wanting to take a step forward in their zero waste strategies and circular economy implementation. Find out more here:

Press contacts

Seán Flynn, Media Outreach & Communications Officer at Zero Waste Europe, (email protected) or (email protected) / +32 471 96 55 93

Jack McQuibban, Head of Local Implementation at Zero Waste Europe, (email protected)

About Zero Waste Europe

Zero Waste Europe (ZWE) is the European network of communities, local leaders, experts, and change agents working towards a better use of resources and the elimination of waste in our society. We advocate for sustainable systems; for the redesign of our relationship with resources; and for a global shift towards environmental justice, accelerating a just transition towards zero waste for the benefit of people and the planet.