Waste prevention policies adopted across the continent do not have sufficient financial backing, according to the European Environment Agency (EEA).
An EEA report expressed concern that only seven of the 27 relevant programmes adopted by member states in 2014 specified a budget or financial schemes for waste prevention measures.
It found England and Northern Ireland had both set out specific budgets for waste prevention measures, but Scotland and Wales had not.
The report also revealed differences between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland tackled waste prevention overall.
Scotland was the only UK country to have implemented waste prevention schemes across all sectors, with the other three missing agriculture and raw material processing.
Only France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain also covered all sectors. All countries covered household waste.
England and Scotland had both introduced programmes across all waste types, while Northern Ireland excluded hazardous waste and Wales missed “other” types including textiles, tyres, garden, vehicles and nappies.
Brussels, Estonia, France, Ireland, Lithuania, Malta, the Netherlands and Spain were the other regions found to cover all waste types.
Scotland and Wales were the only UK countries to set targets for overall waste reduction, among only four others in Europe.
Wales led the way for the UK in setting other reduction targets, with figures for household, industrial, construction waste.
Northern Ireland’s Reuse Quality Assurance, Scotland’s ‘Supporting Zero Waste Business Models, Wales’ Waste Evidence Plan and England’s ‘The Great Recovery Project’ and ‘Sustainable Clothing Action Plan’ were mentioned as best practice models.
‘Waste prevention in Europe — the status in 2014’ is the second annual review of waste prevention programmes in Europe, as stipulated in the EU Waste Framework Directive. It covers 27 out of 36 national and regional waste prevention programmes that had been adopted by the end of 2014.