The weight-based tariff and recycling of cans and PET-bottles : a study of behavioral spillovers in the context of waste sorting and recycling

University essay from SLU/Dept. of Economics

Abstract: The aim of this paper is to investigate whether the weight-based tariff, which was introduced in nine municipalities between 2007-2017 to increase waste sorting and collection of household waste for recycling, had a behavioral spillover effect. To estimate the spillover effect, I examine whether the weight-based tariff had an effect on the recycling of cans and PET-bottles in the Swedish deposit recycling system. I exploit the staggered introduction of the weight-based tariff using a difference-in-differences approach with fixed effects. The result suggests that the weight-based tariff increased the average number of recycled cans by 3.4 cans per capita per year, implying that there is a positive spillover effect. Further analysis shows that the effect is consistent two years after the introduction of the weight-based tariff and tends to decrease after that.

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