About the project, and our goals.

EU is currently focusing on resolving the issues related to the waste management, involving immediate act and attention, by transitioning form the linear to circular economy, with the help of all the involved stakeholders (including municipalities and SMEs). A Waste Management Framework is in place serving as a basis for the development of a sustainable waste management system, so that the EU recycling goals can be achieved as the current recycling rate is only 38%. EU municipalities are considered main actors as they are in charge of the waste management (separate collection, sorting and recycling). Yet, based on the DIRECTIVE (EU) 2018/851 – European Directive on Waste – it seems that there is a large gap in knowledge and training for reaching certain goals.

Municipal authorities are requested to catch up with the EU requirements, as they are described in the EC Directives 2018/850 and 2018/851 and the Commission’s Circular Economy Action Plan. This can be done by identifying relevant circular economy approaches, mostly including reuse, recycle and recover operations while also enhancing their separate collection systems. Food waste is a critical factor in the urban ecosystem and represents an essential part of the bio-waste stream. UN has set a target for all member states to reduce food losses along the production and supply chain and halve per capital global food waste at the retail and consumer levels, by 2030. In this regard, the HoReCa sector (e.g. Restaurants, Hotels, Cafés, etc) must also play a significant role in delivering sustainable solutions towards the reduction of food waste. Yet, the conventional food system enables the complexity of the food wastage issue, thus the adaptation to major changes is needed, supported by the alliance between the municipalities and the HoReCa SMEs, while shifting to a circular economy model.

ADVANCE will develop a Baseline assessment of the current food waste management practices in Municipalities and HORECA SMEs as well as a benchmarking of existing best practices in the EU. Furthermore, a Gap Analysis methodology and tool will be developed, including waste management practices relevant to food waste. Development of a Roadmap will be structured, providing the design and the development of a step-by-step methodological framework for implementing the food waste targets. In addition, an ADVANCE Course will be developed, covering certain learning modules for waste management adapted to the needs of target groups. Finally, in order to encompass all the results and training content, the ADVANCE Online Platform (Open Education Resource) will be developed, including and interactively hosting all of the above.