Focus Area

Circular economy  

European cities have extensive experience in providing sustainable waste management as a service of general interest and play a crucial role in achieving the European waste management objectives, particularly with regard to separate collection, resource recovery and final disposal. Given that around 90% of the waste we currently generate can be recycled or reused, cities are well placed to raise awareness of sustainable consumption locally, and involve all sectors. Cities consume over 75% of natural resources, produce over 50% of global waste, and emit between 60-80% of greenhouse gas emissions. The circular economy in Europe has the potential to increase EU GDP by an additional 0.5% by 2030 and to create around 700,000 jobs, while decreasing our environmental footprint and GHG emissions. We need to rethink our way of making and using products and services while exploring new ways of ensuring long-term wellbeing for all. As major engines for economic development, cities can drive the circular economy agenda forward to unlock economic, environmental, and social benefits. Our European projects in this area include The European Green Capital Network, The Green City Accord, The Covenant of Mayors, COLLECTORS, and The Urban Angenda for the EU. Read more on our statements and positions:


Louise Coffineau Policy Advisor (Water, Circular Economy, Climate)