Each year the European Union disposes of 3 billion tonnes of waste - some 90 million tonnes of it hazardous.
This amounts to about 6 tonnes of solid waste for every man, woman and child. It is clear that treating and disposing of all of this material - without harming the environment - has become a major headache for Member States.
Most of what we throw away is either burnt in incinerators or dumped into landfill sites (67%). European policies are based on the "polluter pays" principle, proximity in waste management and choosing the best option (hierarchy of waste management):
- first prevention, then energy and waste recovery and last landfilling. Incentives to adopt good waste management practices include landfill and incineration taxes.
Other polices include increased use of secondary materials, e.g. by products, use of composite materials and to work with suppliers.
The newsletter provides information to directors, technical managers, company environmental specialists and national industry associations on best practices for waste management and minimization in industrial and medical gas plants.