Actions in 2019

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Meet the #EWWRAwards Finalists: La Louvière's zero waste week

The EWWR Awards finalists have been announced! In each category, the Jury has selected their top 3 finalists . The winners will be revealed on 15 May in Brussels during the EWWR Awards Ceremony. In the days and weeks to come, we will introduce you the nominees one by one. Today, we would like you to present you the action organised by the municipality of La Louvière in Belgium to promote zero waste among local residents. The action has been nominated in the Public administration category.

Zero waste cooking workshop in La Louvière
Zero waste cooking workshop in La Louvière

What did the action you organised consist of?

For several years, the City of La Louvière has committed to implementing a responsible policy of waste reduction by investing in actions and awareness campaigns to promote prevention, re-use and recycling.

Thus, in the context of the EWWR 2018 and just like in previous years, the Environment Department has proposed to provide information, advice and tips to enable citizens to produce less waste when shopping without trading off their comfort.

To do this the Environment Department organised the campaign La LouvièR³ week: zero waste objective! that included different parts:

1. Primary schools :

The City of La Louvière organised a “Zero Waste Week at School!” activity from November 19 to 23 in municipal schools. First, from November 5 to 9 (reference week), students didn’t change their habits, but the quantities of waste were checked and summarised in a table. Second, during the European Week of Waste Reduction, each student from the participating classes was adked to come to school with the least possible waste. From a practical standpoint, the teacher checked each morning the schoolbag of each student to assess the amount of waste per student. These quantities were then included in a table and compared to the reference week. At the end, each student that participated in this week received a gift: a reusable straw.

Overall, 10 schools with a total of 1,329 students took part in the project. We observed an average decrease of 39.3%
in the total waste production between the reference week and the EWWR.

2. Citizens component:

To mark the EWWR 2018, we organised various activities for citizens.

Thus, on November 17, the Environment Service organised an Awareness Stand at the local market, which reached 100 people. We also organised workshops about natural cosmetics on November 17 and 26 to teach attendees how to make products like deodorants, shower gels, tooth pastes and face masks from natural ingredients. This activity had a total of 39 participants. On November 19 and 22, we organised another workshop – about household products, which taught the 31 participants how to make multi-use cleaning products the natural way.

We also organised a zero-waste cooking lesson, which was attended by 21 people and which featured a professional chef that gave tips about sustainable cooking habits (e.g.: how to peel vegetables, using fruit and vegetables that are in season, etc).

On November 21, we also organised two waste sewing workshops: one to teach participants how to make bee wrap and tawashi and a second to teach them how to make bulk bags, make-up removers, baby wipes and towels. These two workshops had 35 participants.

We decided to extend the week a bit until November 28 and were able to wrap it up with a talk about Zero Waste Families by Jérémie Pichon, who is the “daddy” of the zero-waste family. The event was free of charge.

3. ‘Plastic is dramatic’ waste reduction guide

In order to ensure that our initiative was properly communicated, we added a Waste Reduction Guide in the local newsletter. The theme was “Plastic is dramatic” to encourage alternatives to plastic and especially the decrease the use of plastic straw.

4. Salon c’est Bon, c’est Wallon

In order to open the hostilities and launch an assault on waste, the Environment Service was invited to manage the discovery space of the Salon c’est Bon, c’est Wallon held on November 10 and 11 November.

The opportunity to promote zero waste was immediately obvious to us. The 60m² dedicated to the City of La Louvière were therefore used to highlight local zero-waste merchants, but also to recreate a practical space of demonstration for zero waste where those interested could make washing products. Furthermore, we also had a conference area, where Sylvie Droulans came to share her experience as a zero-waste family and to promote her book “zero carabistouille”. Almost 300 people came to our booth. A real success!

How did you come up with the idea?

This project has been long in the making. La Louvière has been active in the field of waste prevention since 2000. It has always targeted three stakeholder groups: citizens, schools and administration. In order to inspire behavioural change in these groups, the Environment Service:

- communicates and informs through monthly articles in the municipal newsletter, guides on waste reduction and other channels

- raises awareness through animations for children, shows and stands during events, among others

- trains through workshops about composting and other topics

- implements specific projects responding to citizens’ initiatives or specific themes.

The idea to organise the “La LouvièR³ week: zero waste objective!” was crystallised gradually, based on our experiences with different activities. Our aim was to promote waste reduction by accentuating waste prevention during a week.

Why is waste reduction important for La Louvière?

Waste reduction is important for the city of La Louvière because it limits the impact of waste on the environment by encouraging citizens to change their habits in a sustainable way. Waste prevention enables the avoiding of environmental impacts related to waste treatment, but also intervenes upstream of the product life cycle. It can reduce health impacts associated with the production and management of many waste streams and covers all the stages of the product life cycle. Waste reduction also allows citizens to have a better quality of life by improving health and financial outcomes.

Where can people reach you if they have questions?

Website: https://www.lalouviere.be/ma-ville/services-communaux/environnement/zero-dechet

E-mail: zerodechet@lalouviere.be

Phone: +32 064/277.811

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