The awards ceremony for the 2011 European Week for Waste Reduction (EWWR) took place on Tuesday 19 June, 2012 in Paris before roughly 450 attendees, closing the final conference of the EWWR project. The conference focused on the most successful ways to communicate on waste prevention and gave the opportunity to share European expertise during a round table showing good examples of communication strategies on this key issue. The ceremony rewarded the most outstanding awareness raising actions implemented during the 2011 EWWR in each of the 5 project categories (Administration & public authority, Associations & NGO, Business & industry, Educational establishment, Other).

The EWWR confirms its success in its third edition

From 19 – 27 November 2011, 7035 EWWR actions took place in 32 countries throughout Europe and beyond with the common aim to promote waste reduction. Out of these, 89 were pre-selected by the various organisers and submitted to an independent jury made up of European waste management specialists representing each category.

Six awards were handed out in total: one for each of the five Project Developer categories plus a special prize from the Jury. They were handed out by the members of the EWWR jury. The EU Commissioner for the Environment Mr. Janez Potočnik, currently in Rio, congratulated the participants of the EWWR and the awards winners through a video message that was shown at the end of the Ceremony.

The following 6 awards were granted:

  • Administration & public authority category: The multi-use Styria Bottle - Specialised Division FA19D Waste and Material Flow Management, Styrian Chamber of Agriculture, Styrian winegrowing enterprises (Styria, Austria)
    A campaign carried out across the Styrian region as a partnership between the public administration and the private sector, to increase the quantity of “Steiermarkflaschen” (Styrian wine bottles) that are refilled after their first use.
  • Association & NGO: Waste Reduction Awareness Project - Junior Chamber International Izmir (Turkey)
    A broad campaign involving trainings in 19 schools in Izmir, a businessmen meeting on sustainable waste management, a coastal clean-up and a booth in a supermarket.
  • Business & industry: Green Week - Queen’s University Elms Village (Belfast, UK)
    Several activities implemented in a residential area housing around 1800 students, including in particular clothes, books and games swapping, a cook book and the handing over of ripped vegetables for free.
  • Educational establishment: 49% Less Food Wasted in Bjurhovda School Restaurant - Bjurhovdaskolan/IDA unit (Sweden)
    A project to reduce the amount of food waste in the school restaurant and showing the results by putting small balls in a transparent tube visible in the restaurant.
  • Other: Better take care of the environment by reducing waste - Medica (France)
    A project taking place in 162 nursing homes throughout France, which involved about 10000 dwellers and 7000 employees. Activities involved for instance cooperation with school kids to knit stoles from wool bits and give them away to the red-cross association, cooking workshops and composting trainings.
  • The Jury’s favourite: As a Jury’s favourite award this year, the Jury has decided to deliver a special prize to highlight the high and constant quality of the actions nominated in Catalonia during the 3 editions of the European Week for Waste Reduction Awards Competition. This special prize has been handed out to the Organiser of the Week in Catalonia, the ARC (Catalan Waste Agency).

For more information about the awards ceremony, the complete press file is available on the EWWR website: (Press Area)

The EWWR beyond the LIFE+ project

During the 3 editions of the project, a tremendous increase in activity was seen in all respects – more actions, more territories and more participants by 50 % every year – showing the growing success of the Week in Europe (and beyond) and the growing interest in how to reduce the waste we put in our garbage bin in our everyday life.

In 3 editions, the EWWR succeeded to involve Project developers in 32 countries in 2011, starting with 14 in 2009. It also contributed to create a lively network of public authorities and stakeholders acting in the field waste prevention at national, regional or local level and sharing their expertise and best practices to reduce waste.

Most of existing EWWR Organisers already expressed their will to continue to organise the Week in their territory during the next edition of the EWWR that will take place between 17 and 25 November 2012. Moreover, new countries and regions (namely Bulgaria, Hungary, the Greek region of Crete, the county of Merseyside in the UK and Iceland’s capital city Reykjavik) have decided to take part to edition 2012.

The EWWR has indeed become a European platform of cooperation and knowledge sharing that now just waits for a public support from the European Commission in order to secure its long term existence.

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