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Use of the Economic Instruments and Waste Management Perfomances


Use of the Economic Instruments and Waste Management Perfomances

The objective of the present study is to analyze the relationship between the performance of the waste management systems in the EU Member States (MS) and their use of economic instruments (EI). On the basis of this analysis, the opportunity to move towards a European common approach for the use of EIs in relation to waste management is explored. The results show that landfill charges and product responsibility schemes are implemented in most MS. Pay-as-you-throw (PAYT) systems have only been introduced in half of the MS. Three main policy recommendations have been identified in the study: setting a minimum level of landfill tax to be applied in all MS, setting criteria/producing guidance for the design of producer responsibility schemes, and encouraging the use of charging that ensures waste generators face incentives in line with the waste hierarchy. The study is available for download.

The study undertaken for DG Environment aims to provide supporting information and analysis for the European Commission in the preparation of the follow up on the Thematic Strategy on the Prevention and Recycling of Waste. To this end, the study analyses the relationship between the performances of the waste management systems of the EU Member States (MS) and their use of the following selected economic instruments (EIs): (I) Charges for waste disposal and treatment, in particular landfill and incineration taxes and fees, (II) Pay-as-you-throw (PAYT) schemes; and (III) Producer responsibility schemes for specific waste streams (notably packaging, WEEE, ELV and batteries).

The results are based on a literature research in all member states and case studies with several expert interviews for some more detailed analysis. Furthermore, the further modelling exercise was undertaken to investigate what might be the effect of implementing new (sets of) EIs in the waste sector.

European Commission, Directorate-General Environment (DG Environment)
BIO Intelligence Service (BIO IS), France
Eunomia (Eunomia), United Kingdom
Arcadis (Arcadis), Netherlands
January 2011 to October 2011
Project ID
resources, waste, economic instruments, landfill taxes, incineration taxes, pay-as-you-throw systems, producer responsibility schemes, Europe