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Waste policies gone soft: An analysis of European and Swedish waste prevention plans
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE). (Strategiska Hållbarhetsstudier)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3137-1571
Lunds Universitet .
2018 (English)In: Waste Management, ISSN 0956-053X, E-ISSN 1879-2456Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper presents an analysis of European and Swedish national and municipal waste prevention plans to determine their capability of preventing the generation of waste. An analysis of the stated objectives in these waste prevention plans and the measures they propose to realize them exposes six problematic features: (1) These plans ignore what drives waste generation, such as consumption, and (2) rely as much on conventional waste management goals as they do on goals with the aim of preventing the generation of waste at the source. The Swedish national and local plans (3) focus on small waste streams, such as food waste, rather than large ones, such as industrial and commercial waste. Suggested waste prevention measures at all levels are (4) soft rather than constraining, for example, these plans focus on information campaigns rather than taxes and bans, and (5) not clearly connected to incentives and consequences for the actors involved. The responsibility for waste prevention has been (6) entrusted to non-governmental actors in the market such as companies that are then free to define which proposals suit them best rather than their being guided by planners. For improved waste prevention regulation, two strategies are proposed. First, focus primarily not on household-related waste, but on consumption and production of products with high environmental impact and toxicity as waste. Second, remove waste prevention from the waste hierarchy to make clear that, by definition, waste prevention is not about the management of waste.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
Keyword [en]
Waste prevention; Waste plans; Waste prevention programs; Waste policy; Waste management
National Category
Public Administration Studies Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Industrial Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-227866DOI: 10.1016/j.wasman.2018.04.015OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-227866DiVA, id: diva2:1205518
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 259-2013-120
Available from: 2018-05-14 Created: 2018-05-14 Last updated: 2018-05-14

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Publisher's full texthttps://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0956053X18302332

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