Whilst the focus of national and local policy has been on boosting recycling, Eunomia seeks out opportunities to increase the emphasis on the upper reaches of the Waste Hierarchy.

We have carried out a number of influential studies on the effectiveness of waste prevention measures, whether at the level of national policy interventions or on a more local scale. For example, we undertook a review for Brussels Environment looking at the evidence that  different fiscal instruments, such as direct and variable rate charging for waste collection, product taxes, packaging taxes, subsidies for certain products and the use of deposit refund schemes, have a waste prevention impact.

We have also examined the specific impact of specific local measures on waste, for example looking at the environmental costs and benefits of the use of reusable rather than disposable tableware and glasses for event catering.

Our experience means that we are well versed in the challenges of assessing the prevention impacts of different, where recurring difficulties are the limited availability of data and the problem of establishing what would have occurred had there been no waste prevention policies in place. We have distilled some of this experience into the Waste Prevention Toolkit we have produced for local authorities, to assist them in assessing the potential benefits of waste prevention.