IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/zbw/fisisi/s82014.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The impact of policy interactions on the recycling of plastic packaging waste in Germany

Author

Listed:
  • Gandenberger, Carsten
  • Orzanna, Robert
  • Klingenfuß, Sara
  • Sartorius, Christian

Abstract

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 (COM (2013), 123 final), which highlights the challenges and opportunities that arise from improving the management of plastic waste in the EU. The European Waste Directive (2008/98/EC) which was transposed into German law through the Kreislaufwirtschaftsgesetz (KrWG) established the so-called 5-step waste hierarchy, which gives a clear preference to recycling over energy recovery and disposal of waste in landfills. Although waste avoidance and recycling are stated objectives of German waste policy, effectiveness and efficiency of the respective regulations seems to be influenced negatively by interactions with other policy instruments. Both, the internal interaction between different waste management policies as well as the external interaction between waste management policy and climate policy, seem to have a negative impact on the recycling of plastic packaging material. In order to gain insights regarding the impacts of different policy instruments on the recycling of plastic packaging waste, we conducted a case study analysis based on data gained from an online survey among German experts in the field of plastic packaging waste management and from the literature on waste management. Apparently, negative policy interactions originate from conflicting interests between the stakeholders of the different waste treatment options, i. e. recycling, thermal recovery and incineration. In the policy design stage, these conflicting interests have resulted in a regulatory flexibility that has made the recycling objective susceptible to the potentially negative effects of policy interactions. Apart from the requirement to achieve the minimum recycling quota for plastic packaging waste of 36 %, the waste management actors are flexible to choose their preferred waste treatment option once this threshold level has been achieved. In particular with regard to the recovery of low and medium grade plastic waste, economic incentives for thermal recovery and incineration seem to be much stronger than for recycling. This situation can partly be explained by the demand of energy intensive industries for plastic waste as a substitute for conventional energy sources. This trend has resulted in a considerable increase of the thermal recovery of plastic packaging waste between 2003 (2.3%) and 2010 (25.6%). With re-gard to waste incineration, the effect of the TA Siedlungsabfall (TaSi) on the build-up of incineration capacity and the economic imperative to utilize these capacities materialized in low costs for waste incineration. The massive build-up of capacities for waste incineration and RDF power plants decreased the costs for thermal recovery and made recycling less competitive. Structural changes of the packaging waste stream have also had a negative influence in recycling because the use of composite materials can render recycling technologically and economically infeasible.

Suggested Citation

  • Gandenberger, Carsten & Orzanna, Robert & Klingenfuß, Sara & Sartorius, Christian, 2014. "The impact of policy interactions on the recycling of plastic packaging waste in Germany," Working Papers "Sustainability and Innovation" S8/2014, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:fisisi:s82014
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/100033/1/791618277.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gandenberger, Carsten & Orzanna, Robert & Klingenfuß, Sara & Sartorius, Christian, 2014. "The impact of policy interactions on the recycling of plastic packaging waste in Germany," Working Papers "Sustainability and Innovation" S8/2014, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. repec:kap:enreec:v:72:y:2019:i:4:d:10.1007_s10640-018-0243-y is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Gandenberger, Carsten & Orzanna, Robert & Klingenfuß, Sara & Sartorius, Christian, 2014. "The impact of policy interactions on the recycling of plastic packaging waste in Germany," Working Papers "Sustainability and Innovation" S8/2014, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI).

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:fisisi:s82014. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/isfhgde.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.