Eunomia to review Nordic waste policies

Environmental consultancy firm Eunomia Research and Consulting will be helping the Nordic nations go circular with a new review into their waste management policies.

The research has been commissioned by the the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and the Nordic Council of Ministers Waste Group (NWG), which is an inter-governmental cooperative body for Norway, Finland, Iceland, Denmark and Sweden, as well as the Faroe Islands, Greenland and the Åland Islands.

Eunomia will be examining the existing waste prevention and recycling regulations in all countries in the region, looking at the different legal and economic policy instruments currently in place, such as taxes, charges and grants. An in-depth presentation of the effects of each policy instrument will be produced for each country, allowing for specific situational differences such as household income, consumption behaviour and infrastructure, with a view to developing recommendations for updated policy.Eunomia to review Nordic waste policies

The second part of the project will look into the policies that might need to be introduced in order for the countries to move towards a more circular economy and to meet revised European recycling targets, brought about by the newly-ratified Circular Economy Package (CEP). Key elements of the CEP include a common EU target to recycle 65 per cent of municipal waste, 75 per cent of packaging waste, and to send no more than 10 per cent of municipal waste to landfill, all by 2035.

Figures from Eunomia’s 2017 report ‘Recycling: Who really leads the world?’ reveal that none of the Nordic nations are currently recycling their municipal waste at above 50 per cent, meaning there is plenty of work to do in these countries to meet the gradually increasing targets. With this in mind, NWG has asked Eunomia and its subcontractors from across the region to assess how different changes to policy, in different time scales, could affect the overall impact of the countries’ waste management approaches.

Commenting on the appointment, Joe Papineschi, Eunomia Director, said: “It’s great to see the Nordic regions have teamed up to better understand what path will lead them towards a truly circular economy. I hope this inspires other parts of Europe to start thinking about how they’re going to meet the more ambitious targets announced in the new Circular Economy Package.”

Papineschi also explained a little about the methodology the team will be using: “During the project we will be focusing in particular on the upper tiers of the hierarchy, prevention and recycling, though we will also consider the other tiers. The revised Waste Framework Directive definition of municipal waste will be applied in this study to ensure relevance and comparability of the results of the analysis at Nordic regional level and across Europe.”

Eunomia produces reports across a range of fields in the waste, recycling and sustainability sectors, with one of its most recent publications focusing on plastic waste in Kenya and revealing that 174,000 tonnes of plastic packaging are dumped or lost in the country’s environment every year.

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