This report summarizes the research developed in the EIMPack Project (the Economic Impact of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive). The EIMPack’s objectives included the investigation of how the distribution of the extra-costs of recycling has been managed among the multiple stakeholders. Accordingly, the schemes established in seven EU countries (Portugal, France, Romania, Germany, the UK, Belgium and Italy) for the recycling of packaging waste were described and analysed. The development and changes in packaging waste management occurred mainly since the Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste entered into force. The analysis of these seven systems had the aim of scrutinizing their different approaches to cope with the same problem: meet the recovery and recycling targets imposed by the EU law.
All (economic and environmental) benefits outweigh all the costs of the packaging waste recycling system in the three countries, even if the environmental benefits of the recycling activity are excluded.
In Portugal, total benefits (including recycling) represent 220%, 199% and 144% of the total costs for the Ecocosts2012, Stepwise2006 and Ecovalue08 methods, respectively. If the economic and environmental opportunity costs are not considered, the cost coverage is lower (89%, 86% and 82%) and the packaging waste recycling system would seem unsustainable. The benefits from the recycling represent 60 €, 35 € and 15 € per tonne of packaging waste selectively collected in each method (in the same order).
In Belgium, the recycling system seems to be sustainable both from the financial and environmental perspectives. In this case, the benefits cover 142%, 124% and 115% of the costs, according to the Ecocosts2012, Stepwise2006 and Ecovalue08 methods, respectively. Taking into account the opportunity costs, the cost coverage is higher (301%, 275% and 233%). The benefits from the recycling represent 98 €, 60 € and 38 € per tonne of packaging waste selectively collected in each method (in the same order).
In Italy, the recycling system is sustainable from the economic and environmental perspectives (including the benefits from the recycling). In this case, the benefits cover 197%, 218% and 202% of the costs based on Ecocosts2012, Stepwise2006 and Ecovalue08 methods, respectively. Excluding the opportunity costs, the benefits fall below the costs (65%, 102% and 80% for each valuation method, in same order). The benefits from the recycling activity are 22 €, 63 € and 36 € per tonne of packaging waste selectively collected in each method (in same order)....