European Commissioner Françoise Bonnet Opens Online Award Ceremony : European Week for Waste Reduction Award Winners 2019

ACR+ European Week for Waste Reduction
© ACR+

The annual The European Week for Waste Reduction (EWWR) Awards Ceremony, held yesterday, revealed the names of the most outstanding awareness-raising actions on waste reduction.

Jointly organised by the Association of Cities and Regions for sustainable Resource management (ACR+) and the European Committee of the Regions, the ceremony was opened by Virginijus Sinkevičius, European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Françoise Bonnet, Secretary General at ACR+ and Kata Tüttő, member of the European Committee of the Regions and Deputy Mayor of Budapest, Hungary.

In the face of the Coronavirus epidemic, the organisers showed their spirit and for the first time the ceremony happened in an online format. Nonetheless, it did not fail to create the usual cheerful atmosphere thanks to the enthusiasm of the participants.

“The EWWR is as topical as ever, because in the EU waste policy prevention is priority number one. In March, the Commission presented a new action plan for the circular economy, aiming to keep resources in the economy for as long as possible. With sustainable products, more waste prevention and high-quality recycling we are boosting the transition to a circular economy,” commented Virginijus Sinkevičius, European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries.

Françoise Bonnet, Secretary General at ACR+ added: “With the 11th edition of the EWWR, once again we can all be proud of the work accomplished: an ever-increasing number of actions carried out, an unwavering commitment from coordinators, may they be public authorities or not… All this makes the EWWR the largest public awareness campaign aiming at reducing our production of waste and making every single one of us a player in a circular economy and ecological transition.”

Kata Tüttő, Deputy Mayor of Budapest and Member of the European Committee of the Regions said: "I am very proud to represent the European Committee of the Regions in the European Week for Waste Reduction. The challenge of building a sustainable and climate-neutral Europe for our future generations must also go through the transition to a circular economy, with new waste management practices and awareness raising actions. The award finalists show us that this is something we can only do together, as local and regional authorities, civil society organisations, schools, businesses, but first and foremost as individuals, as every person can really make the difference."

Six winners were awarded, one in each of the following categories: publication administration and organisation, association/NGO, business/industry, educational establishment, citizens, as well as a European Special Prize for the action that showcased the most marked European spirit.

Six of the Best

Out of the 16 finalists pre-selected by the EWWR Jury in March 2019, six actions were awarded during the ceremony. They are:

1. Public administration and organisation category – awarded by Kata Tüttő, CoR

National awareness campaign “We all participate in waste reduction”, implemented by ERT S.A - the Greek Public Service Broadcasting Corporation in Greece. A nation-wide waste prevention campaign that included, among others, TV shows and spots, radio shows and spots, online promotion, and articles in national publications.

2. Association/NGO category – awarded by Piotr Barczak, EEB

The language of the sea, implemented by the network of language schools ACEIAS-ACEIGA-ACCEI-ACIE in Asturias, Spain. A year-long educational project involving thousands of participating students that learned, inside and outside the classroom, about waste prevention and environmental sustainability by tuning into the language of nature.

3. Business/Industry category – awarded by Clemens Rosenmayr, Eurochambres

Act different, rethink!, implemented by Corporación Alimentaria Peñasanta S.A. (CAPSA) in Asturias, Spain. CAPSA, a nationally recognised dairy company in Spain, overhauled its operations in order to minimise the amount of waste it generates and carried out a broad communication campaign to inform its staff, customers, and suppliers about waste prevention.

4. Educational establishment category – awarded by Gosia Luszczek, FEE

The slow food garden loves the planet, implemented by 246 educational institutions in cooperation with Slow Food in Italy. Spurred by Slow Food International, 246 educational institutions in Italy carried out actions to prevent waste and create stronger bonds between the 21,000 participating students and nature.

5. Citizen(s) category – awarded by Mohammed Chahim, European Parliament

AmbiMapp, your guide to a sustainable lifestyle, implemented by Ambimente in Italy. Grouped under the name Ambimente, some environmentally conscious residents of Treviso launched AmbiMapp, a platform that maps water fountains, eco and repair shops, and other similar venues in the city.

6. European Special Prize category – awarded by Chiel Berends, European Commission

Let's celebrate a zero-waste Christmas, implemented by Saint Josep School in Catalonia and its partner schools in Bulgaria, France, Finland, Italy and Romania. In the framework of an Erasmus+ project on the Sustainable Development Goals, students across Europe worked together to create the story of an elf that goes from country to country to discover what a zero-waste Christmas looks like.