An Overview of Packaging Waste Models in Some European Countries


Efficient packaging waste management systems are essential considering recent revisions of the European legislation on packaging waste management that sets ambitious targets. European rules aim to deal with the increasing quantities of packaging waste, which cause environmental problems. Consequently, it is necessary to identify functional packaging waste management systems to achieve these targets effectively and efficiently. However, given the heterogeneity of the different packaging management systems, policymakers, scholars, and industry operators struggle to have a comparative view. The number of non-harmonized laws in force across countries, autonomous recycling targets, and constant updates are prominent problems that make it difficult to obtain comparable information for research, business, and policymaking. To fill this gap, our research question consists of assigning responsibilities for prevention, collection, recycling, and recovery and an overview of some models at a glance with respect to the general governance and functioning of the system. We base our research on a multiple-case design since more cases are examined using complementary data collection methods, analysis of the previous literature, reports, legislation, and business and institutional websites. Our results provide insights from the following cases: Germany, France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Portugal, Denmark, Spain, and Italy. In addition, policy implications emerge as our insights help overcome barriers in the European market’s development caused by the different rules on packaging management and design serving policymakers that aim to harmonize the management of packaging waste. The paper also contains managerial implications for circular economy business models that can be used by managers who aim to design or upgrade their business models according to both recent legislative upgrades and packaging management system



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