The European Week for Waste Reduction (EWWR) is an annual campaign to promote sustainable consumption, circular economies, and waste prevention in regions and communities throughout Europe. The campaign aims to spread the message of the now familiar '3 Rs' - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle - and facilitates the collaboration of various European committees to address issues regarding waste management across the continent.
Much of the work that needs to be done involves creating systems that allow for efficient and sustainable waste prevention and management. This is conducted by government organisations, businesses and educational institutions, but community volunteers also play an integral part in spreading the message and collaborating with community members to build more sustainable systems on a local level. The joint effort of all parts of society is needed to create and maintain circular economies.
What are the 3 'R's?
REDUCE Waste: - How can we avoid buying or creating unnecessary things? - How could the packaging be minimised or avoided? - Could we borrow, repurpose, fix or share an object rather than buy a new one?
REUSE Products: - What reusable alternatives can we find for single-use items that we frequently use? - How can we repair or repurpose things that we no longer need, before resorting to disposal - Can someone else make use of the items we no longer need?
RECYCLE Materials: - How can we avoid producing waste and having to recycle? - If we end up with waste, how can we ensure it is safely and efficiently disposed of or recycled?
What is a circular economy/community?
A circular economy is a system of producing and consuming in a way that utilises existing products and materials for as long as possible. This extends the life cycle of products through sharing, reusing, repairing, recycling etc and reduces waste to a minimum.
What are some actions we can take?
Take action for European Week for Waste Reduction from 20th to 28th November 2021
Support the movement for a universal Right to Repair, and challenge the practice of planned obsolescence
Help to build Reuse systems
Participate in Restart Parties
Where can we learn more?
Learn more about European Week for Waste Reduction
Play a game and jump on the Circular Community Express Train!
Find out about local and regional projects
See what the European Parliament is doing about waste
What is Novel Notes doing for EWWR?
Novel Notes as a business is founded on environmentalist principles with the goal of normalising ethical and sustainable practices in the stationery industry. This means that sustainability and waste reduction are core considerations in the fundamental business goals, production of Novel Notes products and daily operations of the business.
Novel Notes utilises existing materials by using recycled paper and board to make new stationery items
Harm to animals and unnecessary loss of life is minimised through the use and manufacture of vegan products
Waste and unnecessary use of resources is reduced by producing small batches or making items on request
Care is taken in the packaging and postage of orders to avoid damage and waste - always using an appropriate amount of packaging for the purpose
Novel Notes promotes sustainable product use and supports environmentalist actions and organisations
There is continuous review of designs, materials, systems and processes to improve efficiency of production and distribution, in order to reduce waste and unnecessary use of resources
Novel Notes products are designed to last and be reused
Products are made with removable parts, so that items can easily be disassembled, repaired, repurposed, and parts replaced or recycled as needed
Novel notebooks can be used with other brands' products or home-made refills, so materials are not wasted by the user maintaining various proprietary systems
Unused or damaged production or packaging materials are repurposed on site
The materials used in Novel Notes products can be easily recycled local to the user, avoiding additional shipping and packaging materials
Any unused or damaged materials that could not be repurposed at Novel are thoughtfully disposed of and recycled if possible
Only recyclable or biodegradable materials are used in the manufacture and packaging of all Novel products - no single use plastics! Even the clear baggies used to package Novel binding discs are biodegradable and made from plants.
Using uncoated recycled paper and board for products and packaging maximises biodegradability of products when they can no longer be reused or recycled
As an initiative for EWWR, Novel Notes is trialling new Eco Saver packs at reduced prices to encourage having fewer shipments and less packaging waste. If you are regularly refilling your notebooks, please consider reducing on waste by buying multiple items at one time. Feel free to get in touch if you would like to discuss custom Eco Saver Sets or bulk orders.
It is necessary to acknowledge that all of our actions have an effect on others and we all have a part in developing sustainable systems for existing together. This is why it is important to share the message of campaigns like European Week for Waste Reduction and participate in action wherever you are, because you are part of the chain. What we do next with the stuff that we produce and use does affect what will happen to us all.
There are things that can be improved at Novel Notes and as a small business it can be difficult to always make the most sustainable or efficient choices but as a business rooted in strong ethical principles, progressive change and continuous improvement is an important factor in Novel Notes' journey and growth.
What actions will you be taking for EWWR?
What do you do in your day-to-day life that contributes to a circular economy?
Is there anything not mentioned in this article, that we could do to reduce waste?
Do you work with paper and board and would you be interested in discussing how as businesses we can more effectively contribute to a circular economy? It would be amazing to hear from you!