PREVENT Waste Alliance ends 2020 with first general assembly and officially launches 8 pilot projects

Bonn • 9. December 2020

PREVENT Waste Alliance ends 2020 with first general assembly and officially launches 8 pilot projects

The PREVENT Waste Alliance came together virtually for its first general assembly. In addition to a thank you video message from the German Development Minister Gerd Müller (BMZ), the focus was on the communication of the pilot projects, which will now be implemented until June 2022.

On 9 December 2020, the majority of the current 167 PREVENT members met for their first virtual plenary meeting. The aim of the event was to reflect on important developments in 2020 as well as to gain an insight into planned activities and changes for the coming year.

The event was opened with a video message from Gerd Müller, German Development Minister, in which he expressed his gratitude to all members and emphasized: “We can only achieve the global sustainability goals for waste and circular economy through close, worldwide cooperation. With the PREVENT Waste Alliance we are on the right track”.
Peter Kurth, President of the BDE, underlined this statement in his welcoming speech: „The EU Green Deal and the EU Action Plan on recycling point out that tomorrow’s economy will become digital and circular. This must not be limited to Europe alone, but must take place worldwide, and above all in low- and middle-income countries.“

In this sense, the General Assembly highlighted important plans of the PREVENT Waste Alliance for the coming years. The German Development Minister officially announced the 8 pilot projects that were selected in the PREVENT Call for Solutions. The determined innovative solutions will now be implemented by PREVENT members and partner organisations in 15 countries worldwide until June 2022. A detailed overview of the project goals, implementing organisations and target countries can be found here.

Positive news were also reported by two working groups: The working group on waste electrical and electronic equipment has set up a model project for the financing of e-waste recycling. For this purpose, local recyclers in Northern Macedonia, Brazil and Tanzania have now been selected to receive advice and training as part of the project.
The working group on plastic packaging announced the publication of the Toolbox on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for packaging with a teaser video. The contents of this toolbox are accessible for the public.

Additionally, in a virtual panel discussion the PREVENT Steering Committee was introduced. The committed representatives of the private sector, civil society, academia and public institutions gave an overview of their roles and responsibilities and reported on their personal PREVENT highlights, existing challenges and opportunities as well as expectations for 2021. Claudia Bunkenborg, Deputy Chairwoman of the German RETech Partnership, stated: “Since the foundation of PREVENT, a considerable number of organisations has come together in our working groups to exchange and collaborate. They can create a real impact in the field of circular economy. The regular matchmaking sessions are a key element in ensuring that the cross-sectoral development of innovative solutions and project ideas can actually take place”.

At the end of the general assembly, PREVENT members were asked to vote on decisions regarding the governance structure. Among other things, this involved the reorientation of the working groups. Further details on the decisions taken will be shared for PREVENT members in the HUB shortly, as soon as all organisations have been able to cast their vote.

With the successful conclusion of the general assembly, the PREVENT members are now looking forward to the coming year, the challenges remain high. Andreas Jaron, Head of Division Circular Economy and Transboundary Movements of Waste in the German Ministry of the Environment (BMU), expressed optimism: “I have the impression that circular economy is becoming a bigger issue in political discussions, that gives me hope. Waste is no longer seen only as a problem, but also as a chance”. And Pedro Moura Costa, co-founder and head of the non-profit organisation BVRio, sees international networking as part of the solution: “The PREVENT Waste Alliance is growing rapidly through new organisations that share our principles and objectives. But we should especially focus on other international initiatives and work even more closely with them to build a powerful global network”.