Poland EU leader in reducing waste

The introduction of recycling bins and garbage separation is nothing new for some parts of the country with Wrocław and Katowice introducing regulations back in 2017 but Warsaw and Krakow didn’t implement the same rules until earlier this year. Tomasz Gzell/PAP

Poland creates the second lowest amount of municipal waste generated per person in the European Union, according to the latest data released by Eurostat.

The data shows that the 315 kg per person of waste created in Poland is substantially less than the EU average of 486 kg per person and less than half of Denmark, which produces a whopping 781 kg of waste per person. 

The rate of waste produced in Poland dipped in the early 2000s from 320 kg per person in 2000 to 256 kg per person in 2004. 

New legislation plans to charge for even the smallest types of plastic bags, another measure to attempt to reduce waste and increase tax revenue. Wojciech Pacewicz/PAP

In the years between 2005 and 2012 the level remained fairly consistent at between 316 kg per person and 322 kg per person. 

The amount was reduced in 2013 to 297 kg per person and fell further in 2014 to 272 kg per person. 

It has been steadily rising again to the most recent figures released by Eurostat to the level of 315 kg per person in 2017.

Meanwhile, more businesses are implementing waste reduction measures such as Warsaw’s Stor Café . Kalbar/TFN

The Polish government has already agreed on a new law that will force food sellers to donate any unsold foodstuff to non-governmental organizations or receive a fine of 0.1 PLN per  kilo of wasted foodstuff. 

The legislation was introduced alongside plans to charge for even the smallest types of plastic bags, another measure to attempt to reduce waste and increase tax revenue. 

Meanwhile, more businesses are implementing waste reduction measures such as Warsaw’s Stor Café .CLEMENS BILAN/PAP/EPA

The new charge will cover all plastic bags over 15 micrometres with a fee of 0.25 PLN per bag, which according to the Ministry of Finance will generate 1.4 billion PLN in 2020.

Poland is becoming increasingly conscious of its waste with a Facebook group dedicated reducing waste already gaining 41,000 members and is growing each month.

The data from Eurostat shows Poland doing much better in reducing waste than most other EU countries. Eurostat

Meanwhile, more businesses are implementing waste reduction measures such as Warsaw’s Stor Café . 

The introduction of recycling bins and garbage separation is nothing new for some parts of the country with Wrocław and Katowice introducing regulations back in 2017 but Warsaw and Krakow didn’t implement the same rules until earlier this year.