Competition among Producer Responsibility Organisations and role of municipalities in an EPR system
Abstract: The design of a policy based on the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) principle can involve one or several Producer Responsibility Organisations (PROs) as well as various degree of involvement on the part of municipalities. The thesis is analysing the implications of different choices regarding these two aspects in light of the experiences with EPR systems for household packaging in three European countries – Belgium, Germany and Austria. The three countries are analysed in parallel, relying on how the systems are perceived by a number of relevant stakeholders (PROs, obliged industry, local authorities and public waste management companies, the EU and the OECD, academics, public authorities and the private waste management sector). Stakeholder perspectives were gathered through interviews and desktop research. The information was examined with the help of an analytical framework and compared to insights from literature analysis on competition and on the role of municipalities in an EPR system. The research has found that there are many country-specific factors that influence how competition among PROs and involvement of municipalities play out. The research supports the view that the general benefits of competition are realised without competition on the PRO level. Further, the comparative analysis reveals a number of important arguments that seem to favour non-competition on the PRO level as well as an active role for municipalities in collection activities under the EPR system. However, a number of considerations are highlighted that need to be taken into account for the benefits from such implementation to hold true.
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