In line with WINPOL's main theme, the European Environement Agency released a briefing on digital technologies and their contribution to deliver more efficient waste management in Europe.

Sounds familiar? Discover below the key messages, which can all be illustrated with the WINPOL Good Practices.

Key messages

An increased use of digital technologies is crucial to shifting European waste management
towards more sustainable materials management. Such technologies improve recycling,
facilitating the use of recyclates by producers, enabling better purchasing and sorting
decisions by consumers, and improving waste sourcing options for recyclers.

Advanced digitalisation in waste management and treatment is currently mostly in the
innovation phase. New business models, such as waste e-trading platforms, and waste-
specific software and business analytics are emerging.

Digital technologies can be found in all steps of the waste management process, with some
already in widespread use. The current situation in Europe, however, is heterogeneous, with
different technologies being applied at various scales.

The digital transformation of the waste management sector should be aligned with plans to
make greater use of digital technologies in the development of a circular economy.

A digital transformation of the European waste management sector?

The briefing, providing an overview of the potential for a digital transformation of the European waste management sector, is based upon on a report by the European Topic Centre on Waste and Materials in a Green Economy (ETC/WMGE). Entitled Digital Waste Management, the report analyses current approaches to a digitalisation of waste management and the current state of digitalisation in the sector. Digital technologies are also examined as enablers of a more sustainable waste management regime. Moreover, external effects of this development on the environmental, economic and social dimensions are investigated. The study also opens up a broader perspective and locates the topic at hand in the development of an encompassing circular economy.


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