Zero Waste Europe

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Zero Waste Europe was created to empower communities to rethink their relationship with resources.

In a growing number of regions, local groups of individuals, businesses and city officials are taking significant steps towards eliminating waste in our society. Zero Waste Europe engages these groups at two levels:

  • Supporting local groups with independent knowledge and streamlined tools to drive change more efficiently,
  • Structuring the movement internationally to better represent the interests of our communities at the EU level and engage policy makers with a unified voice.

We are both a knowledge network and an advocacy group, representing active communities in countries across the EU.

We want to re-design our society so that all superfluous waste is eliminated and everything that is produced can be re-used, repaired, composted or recycled back into the system. Anything that can’t be repaired, composted or recycled should be re-designed and replaced or banned from entering the market.

What we do

Since 2011 European Zero Waste groups have collaborating on a voluntary basis organising events, and building off of the work done by the European members of the GAIA network.

We have been hold annual meetings for these local, regional and national groups to come together to strategize and plan for a zero waste future, since Brussels in 2011. Since then we have met in Gipuzkoa in 2012, the European Parliament in 2013, Paris in early 2014 and Sofia in 2015.

Despite holding many events and working with dozens of groups until 2013 we were organised on an entirely informal basis. This changed when we formally registered as a foundation in the Netherlands in December 2013, and 2014 marked our first year of official operations. This leap forwards was the result of many years of organising with the support of members from the network, the contributions of our first donors and Board as well as everyone who has supported the zero waste community in Europe.


Who We Are

The Staff Team

  • Joan Marc Simon, Director

    Joan Marc is based in Brussels where he coordinates the work of Zero Waste Europe. He has been a leading voice for Zero Waste in Europe since 2007, dramatically increasing the visibility and policy impact of Zero Waste efforts in this time. He is a regular keynote speaker in many industry and NGO meetings in Brussels but also at local level as well as internationally. In 2015 he has authored the Zero Waste Case Study “The Story of Contarina” and “The Story of Guipuzkoa” as well as the book “Zero Waste – How to reactivate the economy without trashing the planet”. With training in Economics and Development Cooperation, he has more than 10 years of experience working with governmental and non-governmental organisations in the field of good governance, new economics, social justice, and environment.

  • Director, Joan Marc SimonDirector, Joan Marc Simon
  • Mariel Vilella, Associate Director & Climate Policy Campaigner

    Based in Manchester, UK, Mariel assists with the management and the coordination of the network activities in collaboration with GAIA members worldwide that are promoting zero waste policies and practices with special emphasis on the participation and inclusion of waste workers and communities. She leads the GAIA’s work on zero waste project guidelines for major sources of climate finance, and international energy policy with impacts on the waste sector. In 2011, she was the lead author of the report ‘The European Union’s Double Standards on Waste and Climate Policy’. Mariel has training in Sociology and Communication Studies, and has broad experience in environmental issues, publications development, and research.

  • Associate Director Mariel VilellaAssociate Director Mariel Vilella


  • Xiaowei Liu, Operations Manager

    Xiaowei joined Zero Waste Europe in July 2015. Between 2001 and 2014, Xiaowei was Finance Manager, Financial controller and project manager for different international companies/organisations. As well as working for Zero Waste Europe she is the finance manager for Seas at Risk, an umbrella organisation for European NGOs promoting ambitious marine protection legislation. She also owns a non-profit organisation which is specialized in cultural exchanges, workshops and language coaching. She has a Master degree of Applied economic science and a Master of Business Administration degree with a particular focus on multicultural issues.

  • Xiaowei Liu, Operations ManagerXiaowei Liu, Operations Manager
  • Ferran Rosa, Policy Officer

    Ferran joined the team in May 2015 after several months of collaboration with Zero Waste Europe. He has previously worked for the European Commission, supporting the design of policy alternatives to current waste-related legislation, for the Green European Foundation, spreading the main ecologist ideas and proposals at the European level and for GOB Mallorca on sustainable use of land and natural resources. Ferran holds a Master in European Studies from the Université Libre de Bruxelles. 

  • Policy Officer, Ferran RosaPolicy Officer, Ferran Rosa
  • Matt Franklin, Communications & Programme Officer

    Matt joined Zero Waste Europe in July 2015, moving to Manchester, UK after living in Bologna, Italy, and working as a freelance campaign communications consultant. Before Bologna he worked for People & Planet as a Corporate Power Campaigns Co-ordinator, supporting UK student groups campaigning around workers’ rights in the garments and electronics industries. He has been long been involved in grassroots social movements, and campaigns for social and environmental justice. Matt graduated from the University of Birmingham with a degree in Anthropology and Classical Literature & Civilisations.

  • Janek Vahk, Development and Policy Coordinator

    Janek joined Zero Waste Europe in August 2015. As Development and Policy Coordinator, he manages the relationship with Zero Waste Europe’s funders and supports climate policy advocacy work towards EU institutions. Previously, he worked for the Friends of the Earth Europe (FoEE) in Brussels where he coordinated fundraising efforts on behalf of FoEE and its 6 programmes. Prior to the FoEE, Janek worked for the Justice and Environment (J&E) where he provided leadership for the development of strategic grant partnerships. He holds an Msc in Environmental Sciences and Policy from Central European University and Postgraduate degree in Charity Marketing and Fundraising from Cass Business School. Janek has worked in Spain and Guatemala and speaks fluent Spanish.



  • Pawel Gluszynski, Associate Campaigner

    Pawel joined Zero Waste Europe in September 2015. As Associate Campaigner he supports international processes, as well as implementation of Zero Waste approach in his home country Poland. Pawel has over 25 years experience helping local communities in their efforts to reduce waste at source and manage it without compromising health and the environment. For several years he chaired a Polish Waste Prevention Association but was also involved in Greenpeace International’s Toxic Trade, and Clean Production Campaign in CEE region, GAIA, and HCWH-E for which he co-ordinated a working group. During last 7 years, he worked as an expert for international agencies (EC, UNDP, WB, MDTF) in development of projects on healthcare waste in Europe, Africa, Asia, and an Caribbean Island. He holds an Msc in Social Sciences from Pedagogical University of Krakow.

  • Associate Campaigner, Pawel GluszynskiAssociate Campaigner, Pawel Gluszynski


The Board

The members of the board are not paid for their services to Zero Waste Europe. However they do get expenses reimbursed.

  • Rossano Ercolini, President of the Board

    Rossano is a primary school teacher, and passionate Zero Waste leader. He has more than 20 years experience in the waste field and is a leading name of the zero waste movement in Italy. As a result of his efforts his home-town Capannori was the first European city to declare the goal of zero waste by 2020. He has helped the Zero Waste movement grow beyond the Italian borders into what is now the Zero Waste Europe movement. In 2013 Rossano was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize, considered the “Green Nobel Prize” for his contributions to the Zero Waste movement in Italy.

  • President of the Board, Rossano ErcoliniPresident of the Board, Rossano Ercolini

Evgenia Tasheva, Secretary

Huub Scheele, Treasurer

Elena Rastei, Board Member

Victor Mitjans, Board Member

Scientific Committee

The Scientific Committee ensures the technical consistency and feasibility of our policies and gives advice to the Board. The Committee is composed of renowned experts in the field of waste management.

  • Enzo Favoino, Chair of Scientific Committee

    Enzo is a technical expert and researcher at the Scuola Agraria del Parco di Monza, and has decades of experience of separate waste collection, recycling, composting and prevention. Enzo is an expert in EU waste legislation and is highly knowledgeable in the field of European policy-making. He is one of the founders of the European Compost Network, and the coordinator of the Scientific Committee of the Zero Waste Research Centre in Italy.


Advisory Committee

Our Advisory Committee serves to help define strategic priorities regarding EU policy and advice the Board.


The Advisory Committee is composed of representatives of local Zero Waste groups and the international organisations the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), Friends of the Earth Europe (FOEE), RREUSE (a European umbrella for social enterprises with activities in reuse, repair and recycling) and the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA)

Funding & Governance

To achieve a zero waste Europe, we rely on funding from a wide range of sources and are continuously looking to raise funds to further increase the effectiveness and scope of our work.

In 2014 our major donors included the Adessium Foundation and GAIA, as well as contributions from members and support from other charitable foundations.

In 2015 we received funding from the EU LIFE program, and continued to benefit from essential support from the Adessium Foundation, GAIA and other donors.

We are committed to full transparency and will be publishing our annual report including audited financial accounts on the site shortly.

Zero Waste Europe gratefully acknowledges financial assistance from the European Union: Commission Directorate General (DG) Environment and the Europe for Citizens programme of the Education, Audiovisual & Culture Executive Agency, the Adessium Foundation, GAIA and other donors. The sole responsibility for the content of this website lies with Zero Waste Europe. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the funder(s) mentioned above. The funder(s) cannot be held responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.

Co-funded by the European Citizes Programme of the European Union & the EU Life Programme

We are registered on the Transparency Register for the European Union with the identification number: 47806848200-34


Zero Waste Europe Foundation under Dutch Law (RSIN 853338115) is governed by the board.

Statutes of Stichting Zero Waste Europe in DutchStatutes of Stichting Zero Waste Europe in English

Zero Waste Europe is also registered as an Association under Dutch Law (RSIN 854196274, KvK reg. No 61078719) and is governed by the assembly of members who elects the board of the organisation.

Statutes of Zero Waste Association in Dutch

We are registered on the Transparency Register for the European Union with the identification number: 47806848200-34

Office & Bank Details

Official Address

Nieuwe Keizersgracht 45,
1018 VC Amsterdam

Office in Brussels, Belgium

Zero Waste Europe,
Rue de la Pepiniere 1,

Tel: +32 2503-4911

Office in Manchester, UK

Zero Waste Europe,
Bridge 5 Mill,
22a Beswick Street,
M4 7HR

Bank Details

Triodos Bank

Utrechtseweg 44
Postbus 55 / 3700 AB / Zeist / HOLLAND

IBAN: NL88 TRIO 0197 7618 60