Denmark aims for climate-neutral waste sector by 2030

The Danes currently produce the most waste per citizen in all of Europe

The government today reached an accord with a broad spectrum of Parliament to see Denmark’s waste sector attain climate neutrality by 2030.

The agreement is expected to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by 0.7 million tonnes by the end of this decade – the equivalent of removing 280,000 fossil fuel-powered cars from the roads.

“We are launching a very green transition of the waste sector. For 15 years we have failed to solve the waste incineration dilemma,” said the climate minister, Dan Jørgensen.

“It’s time to stop importing plastic waste from abroad to fill empty incinerators and burn it to the detriment of the climate. With this agreement, we are increasing recycling and reducing burning, making a significant difference to the climate.”

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Up in smoke
Denmark currently holds the dubious honour of being the European country that produces the most waste per citizen – about 800 kilos household waste annually, which is well above the EU average of 490 kilos.

Almost one third of all Danish waste is burned in 23 incinerators across the nation.

In 2016, Denmark imported about 364,000 tonnes of waste to incinerate, resulting in about 0.36 million tonnes of CO2 emissions.