Zero Waste Cities is the Zero Waste Europe’s Programme dedicated to help cities and communities transition towards zero waste. It brings together a European platform of knowledge for local stakeholders to implement best practices, as well as a mentoring and recognition programme for municipalities. Zero Waste Cities is run jointly by Zero Waste Europe and its member organisations.

The Zero Waste Cities Programme’s aim is to accelerate the transition towards zero waste at the city level – specifically small and medium-sized municipalities – with the implementation of the latest EU legislation and zero waste strategies based on citizen-centered models, leading to a substantial decrease in waste generation and increase in separate collection and recycling.

Zero Waste Europe (ZWE) applies a bottom-up approach to change that is at the heart of the zero waste model. The ZWE team actively engages local groups and communities to redesign their relationship with nature and resources, working towards a goal of zero wasted resources. They offer support to local groups and communities to become zero waste, helping to bring several benefits beyond just protecting the environment, but also by creating thriving local economies and more cohesive communities.

The Zero Waste Cities programme works with ZWE members to help guide and support European municipalities in the implementation of effective local zero waste strategies. The programme is implemented in collaboration with several local ZWE members, provides the tools, knowledge and expert mentoring required for municipalities who wish to become zero waste and reap the environmental, economic and social benefits of doing so.

The Zero Waste Cities programme brings communities together in impactful partnerships, using the ZWE framework, which will significantly reduce waste and save costs for municipalities while contributing to the local economy. ZWE has an active network of zero waste experts across Europe ensure support is offered for communities to join the Zero Waste Cities movement.

The Zero Waste Cities team is working to scale their efforts by collaborating with ZWE members working at the local level on citizen-centred zero waste models applied by municipalities. Partners include: Zero Waste Bulgaria, Zero Waste Croatia, Friends of the Earth (Cyprus), Zero Waste Kiel (Germany), Ecological Recycling Society (Greece), Zero Waste Italy, ZERO (Portugal), Zero Waste Romania, Alizanza Residuo Cero and Rezero (Spain), Ekologi brez meja (Slovenia), and Zero Waste Alliance Ukraine.

A key resource developed is by this initiative is Zero Waste Masterplan – a guidance and knowledge platform created by ZWE and its members to support the further development of the zero waste model on a local level and turn circular economy in reality in Europe.


The European Union (EU) project on Reducing Plastic Waste in Canada