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INCLUSIVE PACKAGING RECYCLING SYSTEMS: IMPROVING SUSTAINABLE WASTE MANAGEMENT FOR A CIRCULAR ECONOMY

  • Jacqueline E. Rutkowski - Economic Division, University of Leeds Faculty of Business, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland - Research, SUSTENTAR Institute for Studies and Research on Sustainability, Brazil

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Abstract

Innovative waste recycling methods have been developed in many countries by waste pickers (WP), which reduce overall recycling costs and expand recovered resources, providing income to a jobless population. The Brazilian experience in Extended Producer Responsibility for Packaging, implemented considering the WP as the main participant in the scheme, was investigated using the European P-EPR, the most consolidated experience in the world, as a benchmark. Quantitative and qualitative methods, including systematic literature review, were combined to discuss how the models could learn from each other to compose an inclusive P-EPR scheme, seeking to identify accessible solutions for the implementation of Integrated Sustainable WM in LMIC, taking into account their financial and governance constraints. Results showed that both systems are driving the recycling sector and increasing the efficiency of the WM, although neither has contributed to reducing the generation of waste. The BR scheme provided the recycling of different materials, but only the most valuable materials were recycled in the market-driven EU P-EPR. Mutual learning and networking between packaging producers and WP cooperatives in the BR P-EPR scheme improved the sustainability of the latter and knowledge of the recycling market for the former, in addition to improving the traceability of the informal sector's contribution to the recycling. An inclusive P-EPR scheme is suggested as a proposal for a more effective recovery of resources in many emerging countries, which can be crucial to achieve increasing plastic recycling targets agreed by many producers and to accomplish the ambitious EU's objectives of waste recovery.

Keywords


Editorial History

  • Received: 16 Jul 2020
  • Revised: 02 Oct 2020
  • Accepted: 15 Oct 2020
  • Available online: 28 Dec 2020

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