Economic Measures for Packaging Waste Prevention
Economic measures provide basic economic and regulatory guidance to influence the demand and supply for particular packaging materials and/or product groups. They include governmental spending, taxes and transfer payments that influence the aggregate demand. They can be powerful tools to foster the emergence of a more sustainable packaging economy. To do so, the measures must be well designed to primarily encourage reduction, followed by reuse and recycling.
Concerning the design, economic measures may be set up as a penalty (e.g. taxes, levies) or a reward (e.g. credits or subsidies) system. Furthermore, the penalty or reward may be applied to producers (upstream, including monomer, resin, plastic packaging producers or retail) or to consumers (downstream). The chosen entry point (upstream or downstream) is a design-choice that affects the practical implementation of the measure.