Europe relies heavily on material resources for almost all of society’s activities. Its extraction and production of material resources have significant impacts on the environment and human health, as well as the economy.
It is essential to reuse resources in European economies, keeping their value high, delivering value for longer periods and reducing the need to use virgin materials. While progress is being made in Europe, by implementing an ambitious waste policy and the Circular Economy Framework, significant amounts of valuable resources are still lost through inefficient waste management practices.
This briefing describes material losses in Europe for some key waste streams, namely waste electrical and electronic equipment, end-of-life batteries, plastic and textile waste.