Supporting Local Communities in Protecting the Environment
civic activity
City (headquarters):
Voivodeship (headquarters):
01-01-2021 - 31-01-2023
Project cost:
61 550,00 EUR
61 550,00 EUR
Types of activities:
environmental protection activities, action for change/establishing new legal solutions
Target groups:
decision makers, local government, society

In 2018, the European Union adopted a package of directives on the circular economy, introducing radical changes in resource management. The goal of these directives was to reduce the use of primary resources, extend the lifecycle of products, and promote their reuse as a source of raw materials once their lifecycle ends. The package also introduced new, elevated levels of municipal waste recycling. EU member states were required to recycle 55% of municipal waste by 2025, whereas in Poland, the recycling rate did not exceed 20% in 2020, and there was a real risk that the country would not meet the obligations set for the following years. This was also due to the fact that decision-makers’ actions focused on plans to build waste incineration plants rather than on resource recovery for further economic use.

We responded to these challenges by providing substantive and legal support to willing local communities from 49 towns across Poland that opposed the construction of waste incinerators and other environmentally burdensome investments in their areas. In total, we were involved in administrative proceedings and planning work related to 65 projects. We identified and supported alternative solutions in line with the principles of the circular economy. We established STOP Krajowy, a group of 54 activists from the most active towns, tasked with supporting other local communities and conducting national-level activities. We also organized workshops for four local governments on the topic of the circular economy.

The result of our efforts was the prevention of 21 waste incinerators and three other waste-related projects from being implemented. From conversations with engaged residents, we know that they have increased their knowledge about waste issues and environmental protection. The project’s activities contributed to the activation of many of them – as evidenced by their participation in parliamentary committee meetings and meetings with representatives of the European Commission.

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