Assessment of Policy Impacts on Sustainability in Europe

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Assessment of Policy Impacts on Sustainability in Europe Recycling of plastic packaging waste in Germany Gandenberger, C.; Sartorius, C.; Klingenfuß, S.; Orzanna, R. Fraunhofer ISI
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Assessment of Policy Impacts on Sustainability in Europe Recycling of plastic packaging waste in Germany Gandenberger, C.; Sartorius, C.; Klingenfuß, S.; Orzanna, R. Fraunhofer ISI istockphoto.com/wragg Table of Contents 1. Introduction Background Methodology From EU directives to national policy instruments EU Directives and corresponding national policy instruments Selection of key national policy instruments Identification of stakeholders Effectiveness and efficiency of policy instruments Effectiveness of policy instruments Efficiency of policy instruments Cost-benefit assessment Impacts of co-effects on efficiency Expected and observed system context Defining the system context and identification of context factors Impact of expected and observed context factors on the effectiveness and efficiency of policy instruments Expected and observed policy transposition and implementation Expected policy instrument design and implementation Observed policy instrument design and implementation Explore policy instrument interaction including an analysis of stakeholder behaviour within the application system Expand and describe the stakeholder system Identifying possible policy interactions based on PI comparison Expected impact of single PI on direct stakeholders behaviour Expected impact of combined PIs on direct stakeholders behaviour Overall assessment: Expected impact of stakeholder interaction in a multi-pi environment on the ability to achieve policy objectives Synthesis and Conclusion Conclusions on effectiveness Summary of the impacts of contextual factors, implementation factors and interaction References List of Figures Figure 1: Overview EU Waste Regulation... 4 Figure 2: Plastics demand in Europe by segment. Source: Plastics Europe (2012)... 6 Figure 3: Distribution of the experts that completed the online survey... 6 Figure 4: Timeline of German and corresponding European policy instruments that are relevant for the management of plastic packaging waste in Germany... 8 Figure 5: Generation of plastic packaging waste in Germany in relation to GDP (1997 = 100). Source: gvm/uba (2003, 2009) Figure 6: Different waste management options for plastic packaging waste in Germany - given in % of plastic packaging waste (table and graph). Source: gvm/uba (2012, 2009) Figure 7: Structure of contractual agreements of the DSD and flow of revenues. Source: Duales System Deutschland Figure 8: Licensing revenues and disposal costs of the DSD (in millions of Euros).Source: Bundeskartellamt (2012) Figure 9: Direct influence of the VerpackV on stakeholder system Figure 10: Direct influence of the KrWG on stakeholder system Figure 11: Direct influence of the TaSi on stakeholder system Figure 12: Direct influence of the TEHG on stakeholder system Figure 13: Direct and indirect impacts of multiple PI on stakeholder system List of Tables Table 1: Relevance of the selected policy instruments (number of respondents assigning the respective relevance) Table 2: Different waste management options for plastic packaging waste in Germany - given in % of plastic packaging waste (table and graph). Source: gvm/uba (2012, 2009) Table 3: Impact of policy instruments on recycling of plastic packaging waste Table 4: Costs and Revenues of the DSD attributed to lightweight packaging materials. Source: Bundeskartellamt (2012), p Table 5: Impact of expected and observed context factors on effectiveness and efficiency of the VerpackV Table 6: Expected impact of policy instruments on recycling Table 7: Observed impact of policy instruments on recycling Table 8: Impact of policy implementation factors on effectiveness and efficiency of policies to promote recycling Table 9: Impacts from multiple policy instruments on stakeholders Table 10: Detailed comparison of policy instrument s design features and preliminary policy instrument interaction analysis Table 11: Impact of interactions on effectiveness and efficiency of policies to increase recycling of plastic packaging waste (VerpackV/KrWG) Table 12: Impact of system context, implementation and interaction with other policy instruments on the effectiveness of VerpackV/KrWG 1. Introduction 1.1 Background The substantial reduction of the use of natural resources is a priority of the EU's 6 th Environmental Action Programme. One of the EU's most important political strategies to address this issue is its strategy on waste. This political strategy is supported by a number of EU waste regulations. A general overview of the EU regulations on waste is provided in Figure 1. The EU waste directive establishes the legal framework for the treatment of waste in Europe as well as overriding principles for regulations pertaining to specific waste streams, treatment options and waste shipments. Framework Legislation Waste Framework Directive (Dir.75/442/EEC) Hazardous Waste Directive (Dir.91/689/EEC) Waste Shipment Regulation (Reg. (EEC) 259/93) Waste Treatment Operations Incineration 89/369 & 429 (MW) 94/67 (HW) Replaced by 2000/76/EC Landfill (99/31/EC) Waste Streams Waste oils Dir. 75/439/EEC Titanium Dioxide Dir.78/176/EEC Sewage Sludge Dir. 86/278/EEC Batteries and Accumulators Dir.91/157/EEC & 93/86/EEC COM(2003)723 Packaging and Packaging Waste Dir.94/62/EC PCBs Dir.96/59/EC End-of-life Vehicles Dir.2000/53EC Waste electric and electronic equipment Dir.2002/95EC Restriction of Hazardous Substances Dir.2002/95EC Mining Waste Com(2003)319 Figure 1: Overview EU Waste Regulation The topical EU framework directive on waste (2008/98/EC) establishes the so-called 'waste hierarchy': prevention, preparing for reuse, recycling, other recovery, and disposal. As of 2008, the total generation of post-consumer plastic waste in the EU-27, Norway and Switzerland was 24.9 Mt. Thereof, 51.3% (12.8 Mt) was recovered and the remaining amount (12.1 Mt) was disposed of, either in landfills (12.1 Mt) or in incinerators without energy recovery (just Mt). The plastic waste recovered went either to energy recovery (7.4 Mt, or 30%) or recycling (5.3 Mt, or 21.3%) (BioIntelligence Service 2011). There are several options to manage plastic waste, including recycling, thermal recovery, incineration with or without energy recovery, and disposal. The waste hierarchy gives a clear preference to recycling over energy recovery and disposal of waste in landfills. According to the definition provided in the EU waste directive (2008/98/EC, Article 3, 17), recycling means any recovery operation by which waste materials are reprocessed into products, materials or substances whether for the original or other purposes. It includes the reprocessing of organic materials but does not include energy recovery and the reprocessing into materials that are to be used as fuels or for backfilling operations. 4 Due to the environmental challenges associated with the strong growth of plastic waste worldwide, the EU Commission recently published a green paper on a European Strategy on Plastic Waste in the Environment , which highlights the challenges and opportunities that arise from improving the management of plastic waste in the EU. 1 Major environmental and health problems are associated with the landfilling of plastic waste and marine litter: According to data from 2008, 48.6% of plastic waste generated in Europe is landfilled. Landfilling of plastic waste is a highly resource inefficient practice because the material and the energy contained in plastic waste is not recovered. In contrast, recycling as well as thermal recovery can reduce ecological risks associated with extraction of crude oil and the processing of crude oil to plastic products. 2 Approximately 8% of global oil production is used for the production of plastic products: 4% as raw material and 3-4% as a source of energy (Hopewell et al. 2009). Furthermore, landfills depending on the standards for their construction and management can lead to methane emissions as well as the contamination of soil, groundwater and surface water. Marine litter is an emerging environmental issue on a global scale, which is especially emphasized by the EU Commission's Green Paper on plastic waste (COM 2013, 123 final): Dozens of millions of tonnes of plastic debris end up floating in world oceans broken into microplastic, the so-called plastic soup. Microplastics are found in the most remote parts of our oceans. Entanglement of turtles by floating plastic bags, sea mammals and birds that die from eating plastic debris and ghost fishing through derelict fishing gear produce shocking pictures. Moreover, plastic is not inert and chemical additives, some of them endocrine disruptors, can migrate into body tissue and enter the food chain. With respect to the economic and the social dimension of sustainability, the reduction of the use of primary raw materials that is achieved by increasing the use of secondary raw materials can result in reduced import dependency, cost reductions and increased competitiveness of EU businesses. As the collection and sorting of waste are relatively labour intensive activities, waste policies also have the ability to stimulate the labour market. Taking into account the overall objectives of the Apraise project and the case study, it is necessary to narrow down the scope of the analysis to a specific waste stream and to focus on one Member State. Therefore, in what follows, we will address the management of plastic packaging waste in Germany. Plastic packaging has a share of 39.4% of plastic demand in Europe and is by far the largest contributor to plastic waste (Figure 2). The management options for plastic packaging waste in Germany include recycling, thermal recovery and incineration. In 2010, 45.1% of plastic packaging waste was recycled (GVM 2011). In trying to increase this percentage, it is important to keep in mind that policy instruments that aim to increase the share of recycling will also have implications for other activities within and outside the waste management chain, which could be either positive or negative from an environmental, economic or social perspective. For example, increased 1 2 COM (2013), 123 final. For the sake of clarity and taking into account the fact that bio-based plastics are still a niche application, this case study is focused on petroleum-based plastics only. 5 recycling of plastics will reduce the amount of plastic waste available for co-incineration in the cement sector, where plastic waste is considered a climate friendly energy source. Others 26,4% Packaging 39,4% Eletrical & Electronic 5,4% 47 Mtonne Automotive 8,3% Building & Construction 20,5% Figure 2: Plastics demand in Europe by segment. Source: Plastics Europe (2012) 1.2 Methodology Policies on waste management have a strong impact on a wide range of stakeholders, e.g. producers of plastic packaging, retailers, private households, waste management authorities, waste management companies as well as operators of co-incineration and incineration plants. In order to gain new insights regarding the impacts of different policies on these stakeholders and to validate insights gained from other sources, we conducted an online survey among 71 experts in the field of plastic packaging waste management. The respondents were assigned to five different stakeholder categories: policy makers, industry associations, companies, NGOs and research institutes. 14 experts responded to the survey which equals a total completion rate of 19.7%. The distribution of the experts that completed the survey is illustrated in Figure 3. Association 1 Research 4 Policy maker 4 NGO 4 Companies 1 Figure 3: Distribution of the experts that completed the online survey 6 In addition to the online survey, data was also collected through phone interviews and correspondence with waste management experts, as well as the use of industry information services and scientific literature on waste management. 7 2. From EU directives to national policy instruments 2.1 EU Directives and corresponding national policy instruments In order to assess the impact of policy instruments on the management of plastic packaging waste in Germany and to illuminate the relationship between regulations on the European and the national level, it is necessary to narrow down the number of policy instruments analysed in this case study. The national policy instruments that will be discussed in greater detail are the Closed Substance Cycle and Waste Management Act (KrWG), the Packaging Ordinance (VerpackV), German Greenhouse Gas Emission Allowance Trading Act (TEHG), and the Technical Ordinance on Waste from Human Settlements (TaSi). These four policy instruments will be discussed in greater detail in chapter 2.2. This chapter will also provide arguments as to why these policy instruments have been selected as well as a validation of this selection by the stakeholders. Figure 4 highlights the relationship between the selected national policy instruments and the corresponding European regulations and their development over time. Figure 4: Timeline of German and corresponding European policy instruments that are relevant for the management of plastic packaging waste in Germany Besides the policy instruments mentioned thus far, further European and national regulations exist that are relevant for the recycling of plastic packaging waste, but will not be discussed in greater detail in this case study: 282/2008/EC as well as 10/2011/EC stipulates that if recycled plastic materials are intended to come into contact with food, it must be proven that the recycling process can efficiently reduce potential contamination to a level that does not pose a risk to human 8 health. The safety of the recycled plastic has to be ensured, which can constitute a considerable technological and administrative burden for recycling companies. The flagship initiative 'Resource Efficient Europe' is one of seven flagship initiatives of the Europe 2020 strategy. The aim of this flagship initiative is to provide a common framework for actions to increase resource efficiency in different policy areas, e.g. energy, climate change, innovation, industry, transport, and environment. Of particular relevance for the case study at hand are measures envisioned to promote recycling and the use of waste as a resource. The German Resource Efficiency Programme (Progress) is focused on the efficient use of abiotic, non-energy resources. The German government is striving to decouple economic growth as much as possible from the consumption of such resources in order to reduce the burden on the environment and to strengthen the sustainability and competitiveness of the German economy. The emphasis is particularly on the use of persuasive instruments, e.g. information campaigns, networks and consulting on resource efficiency. The Energy Taxation Directive (2003/96/EC) has widened the scope of the EU's minimum tax rate system for energy products, which was previously limited to mineral oils, to all energy products including coal, natural gas and electricity. According to the planned overhaul of the Energy Taxation Directive (COM 2011/169), minimum tax rates for different energy sources will be based on the energy content of the product and the amount of CO 2 emitted. Products that pollute more are taxed more heavily. The Energy Taxation Directive is theoretically relevant for the case study, because refuse-derived fuels that contain high calorific fractions of municipal waste, e. g. packaging waste, could now be taxed by national governments. However, due to the fact that refuse-derived fuels could be classified either as energy products or waste, the legal situation in Germany is still ambiguous and therefore this directive is not included here. 2.2 Selection of key national policy instruments Policy Instrument 1: Kreislaufwirtschaftsgesetz (KrWG) The EU Waste Directive (2008/98/EC) establishes the legal framework for the treatment of waste in Europe as well as overriding principles for regulations pertaining to specific waste streams, treatment options and waste shipments (Figure 1). Directive 2008/98/EC was transposed into German law through the Kreislaufwirtschaftsgesetz (KrWG) (Closed Substance Cycle and Waste Management Act), which came into force on June 1st, The KrWG is the successor of the Kreislaufwirtschafts- und Abfallgesetz (KrW-/AbfG), which came into force in The KrWG aims to protectthe environment and human health through the prevention of harmful effects from waste generation and poor waste management. According to this act, those who generate waste are responsible for its avoidance, recovery, and disposal (extended producer responsibility). The following targets have been set ( 14 KrWG): (1) separate collection and recycling of paper, metal, plastic and glass waste until January 1 st, 2015, (2) reuse and recycling rates of at least 65% by weight for municipal solid waste and (3) at least 70% by weight for construction and demolition waste as of January 1 st, Anyone who produces or holds waste has to adhere to the so-called 5-step 'waste hierarchy': (1) prevention, (2) preparation for reuse, (3) recycling, (4) other recovery (in particular energy recovery) and (5) disposal. 3 Adherence to the waste hierarchy takes into account technological capabilities as well as economic and social impacts. Of particular relevance for the management of plastic waste is the provision that, if the calorific value of the waste exceeds 11,000 KJ/kg, energy recovery is considered to be equivalent to recycling; if not, it is given lower priority. The provision that private households are obligated to make their waste available to public waste management companies provoked a lot of controversy in the public debate, because it gives public waste management companies an advantage over private companies. Before the latter can acquire munipical waste, they have to prove to public authorities that their collection and treatment of waste is superior to that of public waste management companies. Policy Instrument 2: Verpackungsverordnung (VerpackV) The EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (2004/12/EC) introduces specific recycling and recovery targets for the materials contained in packaging waste. In 2005, the 4 th amendment of the Verpackungsverordnung (VerpackV) (Packaging Ordinance) transposed Directive 2004/12/EC into German law. However, the German VerpackV has a much longer history that goes back to It formulates recovery and recycling quotas for specific packaging waste streams. As of 1999, at least 60% of plastic packaging materials have had to be recovered, of which 60% have to be recycled. That means that 36% is the minimum recycling quota for plastic packaging waste in Germany. The VerpackV puts the extended producer responsibility principle into practice: producers and distributers of packaging materials are required to take back and recover packaging waste (e.g. glass, plastic, cardboard, etc.) and to provide a return, collection and recovery system. In order to release industry from this take-back and recovery obligation, the Duales System Deutschland (DSD) was founded by the industry, which operates parallel to the public waste management services. The DSD covers all of Germany. From 1990 until 2003, the DSD was the only operator of a country-wide take-back and recovery scheme. After enforcing competition laws in this sector, there are now 10 such operators of 'dual systems' in Germany. The collection, sorting and recovery of used sales packages is financed by licensing fees paid by the manufacturers or importers who put sales packages into circulation. The licensing fee is charged by the DSD, based on the packaging material (glass, paper, plastic) and weight. Packing material, which is recycled by the DSD, is marked with a green dot and collected separately at the household level. In addition to that, the VerpackV introduced a compulsory deposit (0.25 Euro) on non-refillable beverage container
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