Sweden – The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is assisting the government in establishing the country’s first national waste prevention programme. Among the proposed measures and objectives is the implementation of tax breaks for repair and maintenance work to help reduce the volume of e-scrap generated throughout Sweden.
Eurostat data shows that municipal waste generated per capita in Sweden has fallen from 482 kg in 2009 to 465 kg in 2010 and 460 kg in 2011. However, EPA describes this as a ‘short-term phenomenon’ caused by the ongoing economic crisis. Although recycling gains are being made, waste volumes are still set to increase over the coming years ‘unless prevention measures are put in place’, it adds.
To counter waste growth, the agency says discussions need to be held with the country’s manufacturers so that ways of increasing the life expectancy of appliances can be identified; a similar debate is currently taking place in the French senate.
The EPA has also recommended encouraging sales of second-hand clothing. ‘To achieve the environmental objectives, everyone has to play their part – public agencies, companies, stakeholder organisations and, not least, each of us as individuals,’ it states.
A consultation process will run until September 2 this year and the EPA expects a Swedish waste prevention plan to be completed by the end of the year, ahead of the EU-wide deadline of December 12.
For more information, visit: www.swedishepa.se
Source: ENDS Europe