As a central sphere of activity for modern environmental policy, waste prevention substantially contributes to resource conservation. Successful waste prevention strategies are backed by approaches and measures at various stages of the product life cycle, e.g., more efficient production processes, promotion of products designed to be durable, the establishment of new concepts for using products and for services, and the prolongation of the products’ use phase. These approaches and measures represent important building blocks for a sustainable transformation of traditional production and consumption patterns.
Waste prevention is at the top of the five-step waste hierarchy in accordance with the European Waste Framework Directive and the German Act on Circular Economy and Waste Management. Against this background, the Waste Prevention Programme of the German government with the involvement of the federal states, adopted by the cabinet on July 31, 2013, combines for the first time the various waste prevention approaches and measures and defines focal areas for action for further efforts towards waste prevention.
Stakeholder dialogues between the various societal actors was identified as an important approach in the Waste Prevention Programme in order to support the further development and implementation of concrete measures in the various spheres of waste prevention. Practical experiences show that a truly effective implementation of prevention measures requires joint and coordinated action of various, different actors. Such targeted action should be based on a common understanding of the existing challenges and of the adequate, effective and efficient design of possible prevention activities.
From 2015 to 2017 and in the context of the current project (research code number 3714 32 324 0) the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) and the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) will provide the opportunity to develop such a common understanding to selected experts in the area of waste prevention.