Volunteers across Europe will pick up litter this weekend, but where are the strong legislative proposals that Europe needs to tackle the root of the problem, asks Ariadna Rodrigo, resource use campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe.
On 5th November, Friends of the Earth Europe organised a conference in Brussels to look at the role of targets in bringing about a reduction in the resources we use in Europe.
"We are certainly not heading to a future we can afford" opened European Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik as he reiterated his desire for a more resource efficient Europe.
On the 5th November, Friends of the Earth Europe will hold a conference at Eurocities in Brussels to look at the role of targets in bringing about a reduction in the resources we use in Europe.
Europe is using more of the planet's minerals, metals, forests, fuels, land and water than ever before. The European Union is estimated to be using 1.5 times its own area in land every year, with 60% of the land consumed coming from outside its borders.
Brussels, February 14, 2013 – Europe is failing to manage its resources sustainably, unnecessarily sending valuable materials to incineration and landfill, according to a report published today by Friends of the Earth Europe. 
The European Union currently landfills and incinerates 60% of municipal waste. Valuable materials which could be recycled or re-used are being thrown away as rubbish, contributing to demand for more raw materials.
As pressure on world's natural resources increases rapidly, European Parliament showed overwhelming support today for measuring Europe's use of resources, in a step towards a resource efficient future, including full incorporation of resource efficiency into the Europe 2020 economic agenda. However, Europe will not make the most of the environmental, economic and social benefits of resource efficiency without clear targets to reduce, in absolute terms, Europe's consumption of resources, according to Friends of the Earth Europe.
European politicians laid foundations for a resource efficient Europe today, with wide political support shown for the need to measure Europe's resource use. This is a crucial first step towards reducing Europe's resource use, according to Friends of the Earth Europe, but the European Commission must follow suit in order for Europe to gain the benefits greater resource efficiency brings.
Five thousand people in Trafalgar Square, London, received a free lunch made from fresh ingredients saved from being chucked, as Friends of the Earth help highlighted the scandal of food waste at the Feeding the 5,000 event.
The event highlighted the 16 million tonnes of food wasted in Britain every year and asked individuals, businesses and the government to stop it happening.
Europe imports huge amounts of resources; but exactly how much, and at what cost? Is Europe consuming natural resources responsibly; or irresponsibly over-consuming, without consideration of the impacts?
10:00 – 11:00 Europe's land dependency and its impacts
Stephan Lutter – Researcher, Sustainable Europe Research Institute
Anders Dahlbeck – European Campaign Coordinator, ActionAid