3. Impact assessment on the thematic strategy on waste prevention and recycling

Economic, environmental and social impacts of risk and waste prevention and recycling policy comprise strategic approaches, including the following reliable indicators for their measurement:

  • The amount of waste (weight) is considered an appropriate indicator for environmental impact of waste generation and management. The developed policy is based on reduction the amounts of generated waste subjected to landfill or incineration processing.
  • Alternatively, the amount of waste (weight) is not considered an appropriate indicator for the environmental impact of waste generation and management. The developed policy aims at reducing environmental impact based on life cycle of resources and products.

Environmental impacts of waste generation and management are rationalized by taking into account the whole life cycle of resources and products.

The business risk linked to recycling / reuse process depends on the balanced environmental policy. It aims at reducing potentially negative effects of waste, while providing some benefits. From economic, environmental and social points of view, the optimal waste management strategy should include a balanced combination of waste prevention, material recycling, energy recovery, and disposal options.

Therefore, the European strategy supports policy, based on evaluation of the environmental impact of life cycle of resources and products.

This strategy addresses:

  • a global approach mixing legal, voluntary and economic instruments that could reinforce the effects of implementing each of them;
  • cost-benefit analysis; this method is fully aware of its methodological limitations; different research approaches are being worked out for development of an environmentally and financially balanced recycling policy.

This statement is connected with the fact that recycling is not always the most economically feasible option, since resources invested could become higher than the materials saved. In addition, the life-cycle approach, being continuously improved and applied by companies, can be a tool for minimization of waste products. However, this tool can be costly and time consuming for all companies and products, so it should not be mandatory.

Thus, in regards to the subsidiarity principle, it is necessary to assess whether a concrete measure will be more sufficient at community level or at national / local level.

Moreover, once decided the convenience of a national or a local measure, its impact on the free movements of goods within the European Union must be carefully analyzed.

Also, the development of market of secondary raw materials is a key issue that could determine the success or failure of a waste recycling strategy. Therefore, the assessment of demand-side measures to promote market for recycled materials should be analyzed within the context of the strategy. Moreover, this approach should be complemented with a communication policy to improve citizens’ perception of products made of recycled materials.

Garbage that we are throwing away everyday can be reused in the environment again, and “Reuse of the garbage” principle reminds you to get the products without consuming the valuable sources in environment and by conserving natural resources, saving valuable landfill space reserved for garbage and solid waste. Moreover, it saves you money.

Everyone must try to use reusable and refillable products; repair broken or worn items; mend shoes, furniture and patch clothing. If you are not reusing anything, think that there will be someone who can use it. Try giving clothes, magazines, furniture, and others, away. You can find these possible recipients around you. Even if you think that you cannot use a material again, do not throw it away and try to put it into practice.