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Post Separation of Plastic Waste: Better for the Environment and Lower Collection Costs

Author

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  • Elbert Dijkgraaf

    (Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

  • Raymond Gradus

    (VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

Abstract

The European Union (EU) advocates a plastic waste recycling rate of more than 55% through home separation by households. Even for the Netherlands, which has already invested heavily in plastic recycling policies, there is still a challenge to meet this target. We show that post separation is an advisable alternative with more separation of plastic waste and lower collection costs. Based on data for 2013-2014, Dutch municipalities with post-separation have 6.2 kilogram more plastic than municipalities with only bring locations. Moreover, the effectiveness of post separation increases significantly over time to 8.4 kilograms in 2014. Also curbside collection of plastic waste can be effective, if it is combined with an unit-based pricing system, but in such a case the collection costs are higher. Therefore, there are indications that the cost effectiveness of recycling plastic waste increases, if post separation is chosen.

Suggested Citation

  • Elbert Dijkgraaf & Raymond Gradus, 2016. "Post Separation of Plastic Waste: Better for the Environment and Lower Collection Costs," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 16-103/VI, Tinbergen Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:20160103
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    File URL: http://papers.tinbergen.nl/16103.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Fullerton, Don & Kinnaman, Thomas C, 1996. "Household Responses to Pricing Garbage by the Bag," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 971-984, September.
    2. Abbott, Andrew & Nandeibam, Shasikanta & O'Shea, Lucy, 2013. "Recycling: Social norms and warm-glow revisited," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 10-18.
    3. Kinnaman, Thomas C. & Shinkuma, Takayoshi & Yamamoto, Masashi, 2014. "The socially optimal recycling rate: Evidence from Japan," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 54-70.
    4. D'Amato, Alessio & Mancinelli, Susanna & Zoli, Mariangela, 2016. "Complementarity vs substitutability in waste management behaviors," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 84-94.
    5. Maarten A. Allers & Corine Hoeben, 2010. "Effects of Unit-Based Garbage Pricing: A Differences-in-Differences Approach," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 45(3), pages 405-428, March.
    6. Elbert Dijkgraaf & Raymond Gradus, 2015. "Efficiency Effects of Unit-Based Pricing Systems and Institutional Choices of Waste Collection," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 61(4), pages 641-658, August.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    plastic waste; recycling; post separation; home separation; cost effectiveness;

    JEL classification:

    • H43 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate
    • Q38 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy (includes OPEC Policy)
    • Q42 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Alternative Energy Sources

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