Plastic Prevention and Reuse Training in Berlin

We recently had the incredible opportunity to attend an exclusive training course on waste prevention and reuse organized by Zero Waste Europe in Berlin.

The first day was dedicated exclusively to Zero Waste members, where we delved deep into the Zero Waste Certification program. We explored the intricacies of the Certification process, from mentoring cities to promoting the Certification to municipalities, and discussed the myriad benefits and tools available to those embarking on the journey towards Certification.

We also had the chance to discuss our progress in the ERIC project, which aims to elevate reuse in cities through the establishment of plastic prevention plans with municipalities. It was enlightening to see how this project can align with and complement the Zero Waste Certification process. In Cyprus, we are proud to have two municipalities, Nicosia and Ypsonas, participating in the ERIC project at the moment.

🇪🇺 The following two days, we welcomed city officials and other representatives (over 40 people from more than 25 countrie) , offering a valuable perspective on implementation. We heard inspiring reuse stories from Geneva, Berlin, and Paris, each showcasing innovative strategies tailored to their unique contexts. These cities emphasized the importance of stakeholder engagement, determination in implementing EU legislation, and effective communication adapted to local needs.

One highlight of the training was a presentation on strategies to change people’s behavior concerning waste prevention. We learned about various types of “nudges” and the fascinating role of neuroscience in influencing habits. The training ended with two insightful site visits: one to VYTAL (https://en.vytal.org/) , a sustainable reusable packaging system in Berlin which has now more than 6000 partner businesses across Germany and at Nochmall (https://www.nochmall.de/) to the first second-hand mall in Berlin. Here, items are collected, repaired, and resold in a welcoming community space that hosts repair cafes and other events.

Overall, the three days of training were full of content and experiences filled with learning, inspiration, and practical insights. We are excited to apply what we’ve learned to our work back home and continue our journey towards promoting waste prevention as a srattegy to achieve zero waste. 

A special thank you to Jack, Manon, Gulia and Sean for organisasing and supporting the training on behalf of ZWE  and also the Zero Waste Germany team for all the logistical support.

Little secret: Keep an eye out on Zero Waste Europe’s media channels for something special; a video featuring members of Zero Waste Europe (including us!) where we’ll be discussing the importance of reuse in our cities and what zero waste truly means.

Blogpost written as experienced by Sara Mariza Vryonidi, representing Friends of the Earth Cyprus at the training.