June 24, 2016



Education families about the effect of their actions on the circular economy 

In 2015, the European Commission established a unique comprehensive strategy, the Circular Economy Package, aiming to close the resource loop by introducing measures covering the whole life-cycle of products and materials – from production and consumption to management of waste and its re-use as secondary raw materials in the economy. The suggested measures also tackle climate change with energy savings and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and include the first-ever European Strategy for Plastics. The Commission has delivered more than 90% of the 54 planned actions. A circular economy is part of the modernization and transformation needed for the EU to become the world’s first major economy to go climate neutral by 2050, as per the long-term strategy put forward by the Commission in November 2018. Furthermore, the European Commission is currently reflecting on which steps are now needed to make Europe ever more sustainable. 

Families are one of the biggest consumer groups in Europe and household waste accounts for 8.9% of all waste generated. This doesn’t take into consideration the waste created by those who produce the products and services that families consume on a daily basis. In 2016, the total waste generated in the EU-28 by all economic activities and households amounted to 2 533 million tonnes; this was the highest amount recorded for the EU-28 during the period 2004-2016 with over 5 tonnes of waste generated by each EU citizen. 

Educating families is arguably one of the most beneficial things that could be done to reduce the overall environmental footprint of each individual. However, there is little value in educating some family members in the hope that they will impact the behavior of others. Educating families about the circular economy needs to happen in a whole-of-family approach and this can only be achieved through the design and implementation of a new comprehensive family learning programme that provides different learning materials and resources that are attractive and up to date.

The 6 project partners will develop a compendium of family learning resources for all different family members in appropriate media formats for each age group. They will also provide in-service training for adult and community educators who are the main multipliers in the project and induction training for parents to help them implement the family learning model proposed. All resources will be available online through an online interactive portal.

Role:  UK Lead Partner