An overriding value of European legislation on waste management is the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) principle. For example, all economic operators placing packaging onto the EU market are responsible for its proper management and recovery. However, in general, the collection and treatment of urban waste is the responsibility of local authorities. It has therefore been necessary to establish a system of financial compensations between producers and waste management operators.
Analysing the legal and institutional schemes of several member states and accounting for all the costs and benefits to their local authorities due to selective collection and sorting, this book provides an accurate illustration of how the EPR principle has be translated into practice. Firstly the authors examine whether the industry is paying for the net financial cost of 'preparation for recycling' activities or if the extra-costs of recycling are being recovered via the sale of sorted materials, by the consumer through higher prices or by citizens in general through higher taxes. Secondly, by monetizing the net environmental benefits attained with the recycling system, the book discusses the success and Value-for-Money (VfM) of the EU’s recycling policy. In other words: what is the economic rate of return of the enhanced environmental protection achieved due to the fulfilment of recovery and recycling targets?