Environmental Engineering Reference
Figure 6. Manufacturing waste generation in Europe compared to gross value in the manufacturing
This means that overall objective of decoupling waste generation in Europe from
economic development has failed as regards manufacturing waste. The European
manufacturing sector is very diverse and the individual countries have had very different
trends in the period analysed. The growth at European level can mainly be explained by the
massively rising waste amounts in the three countries Italy, Netherlands and Poland, while
most other countries have stagnating or even falling waste amounts.
Figure 7 shows the national differences in manufacturing waste generation per capita as
well as the temporal trends for 1996-2002 for a range of European countries. In nine countries
a declining or steady trend can be observed, while seven countries have increasing amounts of
manufacturing waste per capita. The manufacturing waste generation per capita is generally
higher in the CEE countries (1000 kg per capita) than WE countries (ca. 700 kg per capita).
Finland has a very high manufacturing waste generation per capita. However, Figure 7 does
not reveal the reasons for the observed trends and distributions, and establishing causal
relations to driving forces are beyond the scope of the indicator framework.
Theoretically, a given level of generation per capita could be explained by two factors:
the reliance of a country on the manufacturing sector (measured, e.g., as the share of the
sector in the total economy);
the resource efficiency of the manufacturing sector and the structure of the manufacturing
The above figure shows how important it is to also be aware of the trends inside the
countries since this varies a lot and perhaps shows how the resource efficiency varies and
changes within the countries.