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Proposals for targets and indicators for waste prevention in four waste streams

image of Proposals for targets and indicators for waste prevention in four waste streams

This project, commissioned by the Nordic Council of Ministers, had the objective of providing first proposals for targets and indicators that can be used in the Nordic countries’ waste prevention programmes. Four waste streams were considered: food waste, construction- and demolition waste (C&D waste), waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) and textile waste. The project took the following two-step approach. Firstly, a literature review of international experiences was conducted regarding waste prevention policy, waste definitions, target setting and use of indicators for the respective four waste streams. Secondly, based on the findings from the literature as well as experiences of the project team, proposals for targets and indicators were developed.

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Proposals for Food Waste Prevention Indicators and Targets

Due to the nature of food waste (i.e. lack of hazardous content) indicators measuring food waste prevention should ideally focus on part a) of the waste prevention definition (see Box 2 at the beginning of chapter 4) i.e. reducing amounts of food waste arising from the whole food chain. Part b) on measures taken before a product has become waste, that reduce the adverse impacts of the eventually generated waste on the environment and health also has some importance. Here though the focus should be on initiatives which reduce upstream environmental impacts caused by food waste rather than downstream impacts. This can be done for example through initiatives which reduce the share of products in food waste which cause a particularly high environmental impact during their production phase. Meat and dairy products are a prime example.

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