Human activity has a direct impact on the planet and often the interests of private companies do not match environmental priorities. In the European Union, the production and marketing of chemicals is one of the most regulated human activities, with a view to better protection of the environment. Waste management is also in the crosshairs of European policy, although it is not yet an exclusive competence of the EU.

Human activity has a direct impact on the planet and often the interests of private companies do not match environmental priorities. In the European Union, the production and marketing of chemicals is one of the most regulated human activities, with a view to better protection of the environment. Waste management is also in the crosshairs of European policy, although it is not yet an exclusive competence of the EU.

Waste management

While economic growth consumes natural resources, it also produces waste whose quantity is constantly increasing. Every year, nearly 2 billion tons of waste is produced by the Member States, including extremely dangerous products whose reprocessing poses many problems. The best way to manage waste is to prevent their production and reintroduction into the product cycle by recycling their components where possible.

The Union has put in place a coordinated waste management framework in the Member States in order to limit waste production and to organize the treatment and disposal of waste.

Among the measures planned, Member States must cooperate to create an integrated network of disposal facilities, with the best available technologies. This network must enable the Community itself to ensure the disposal of its waste and the individual States to work towards that end.

Noise

Since 2002, the fight against noise pollution has been a specific policy of the European Union. Affecting the quality of life, but also human health, the noise is subject to corrective measures applicable to certain sources but also a comprehensive approach to management and evaluation.

The European approach is based on the cartographic determination of noise exposure, according to common methods, on the information of populations and the implementation of action plans at local level.

In addition, three main sources have been identified as specific nuisance factors: motor vehicles, equipment used outside buildings (both construction machinery and lawnmowers) and airports. Specific directives have been drafted on these three themes, in order to harmonize situations within the Community and to improve the quality of life of Europeans.

Noise affects not only the quality of life, but also the health of citizens from certain thresholds of sound volume: from 60 Ldn dB (A) according to the European Environment Agency.