'Null Offall Lëtzebuerg': the waste prevention strategy Concrete measures for sustainable development

Luxembourg aims to significantly reduce the amount of waste produced nationwide. In this context, a roadmap has been drawn up to achieve this target. The strategy is based on the principle of the circular economy. 

The best waste is waste we don't produce. In theory, this behaviour is the best way to combat waste production, but given our current economic model, putting it into practice remains a major challenge. 

Yet, the willpower to walk away from the linear consumerism model and commit to a circular economy has never been as palpable as now. With its strategy known as 'Null Offall Lëtzebuerg', Luxembourg set itself the objective of drastically reducing waste and manage its resources more responsibly and sustainably while relying on principles of the circular economy.  

This roadmap is a cornerstone in the process, and waste prevention is one of its main pillars. 

Themes and objectives of the 'Null Offall Lëtzebuerg' strategy

  1. Eise Buedem, eis Bëscher an eis Gewässer besser schützen an notzen (better protect and use our soil, forests and bodies of water)
    • Reach 'zero littering' and contribute to the cleanliness of our public and natural areas
    • Getting the most out of our food
    • Recovering nutrients from biowaste
  2. Eis Saache besser notzen (making better use of our things)
    • Design for better use
    • Developing a culture of repair and reuse
    • Transforming recycling centres into resource centres ('centres de ressources' or 'CRES' in French)
  3. Eis Produkter sënnvoll apaken (packaging our products wisely)
    • Packaging to preserve resources
    • Promoting reusable packaging and bulk distribution
    • Ensuring high quality recycling
  4. Eis Gebaier richteg op- an ofbauen (building and dismantling our buildings correctly)
    • Designing buildings as deposits of materials
    • Promoting construction methods avoiding excavations
    • Extending the usefulness cycle of buildings
    • Creating markets for deconstruction products and materials

The crusade against food waste

The 'Null Offal Lëtzebuerg' presents concrete measures to reach certain targets and sustainable development objectives. It describes the key themes to be developed and proposes specific avenues for each of these themes.

One of these themes is food waste, which, given its high rates in the Grand Duchy, became part of 'Null Offall Lëtzebuerg'. Every year, thousands of tons of food end up in the bin - and almost half the losses could be avoided.   

Every citizen or consumer contributes to this waste on a daily basis, which affects the entire food production and consumption chain, from the field to the plate, including the preparation (industrial or otherwise) of meals.

In figures, a Luxembourger produces 193.7kg of waste (grey bin) per year, including around 88.5kg that can be attributed to household consumption (food waste). 53,250 tons of food are eliminated each year. For the approximately 603,000 inhabitants (2018 status), this figure represents around 75% of overall food waste. 

Moreover, an analysis of 2018/2019 by the Administration of the Environment also reveals food waste in the fields of gastronomy (5,250 tons per year), collective restauration (7,100 tons) and retail (5,150 tons).

Each year, together with households, these three sectors produce 70,800 tons of food waste in the Grand Duchy. Each citizen throws away 118kg of food on average per year, of which about 48kg is presumably avoidable.