How and when should the system of waste management in Poland be financed? – about new waste framework directives
Meeting the European goals concerning implementation of new waste framework directives is a huge legislative undertaking. Creating an honest, clear, hermetic and effective system of waste management requires dialogue between the government, local authorities and business. If we want to achieve the recycling goals and change the existing waste management system, this dialogue should start as soon as possible – said the participants of the panel organised by Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers during the 590 Congress in Rzeszów.
At the beginning of 2018, new waste framework directives will be enacted. They will introduce ambitious recycling goals for 2030. Taking the level of underfunding of the system and scale of the improprieties existing in the current waste management system into account, new regulations will be very challenging for local authorities, business and administration. At the same time, the new law assumes implementation of an enlarged responsibility of the producers, which means that the waste management system will be financed more by the entrepreneurs introducing packages into the market. Entrepreneurs are willing to pay more for the packages they introduce, yet they expect an effective and hermetic package waste management system in return.
Participants of the panel wondered how and when should the new regulations be implemented to effectively use the higher financing of the system in order to realise the recycling goals the best; to the market and society benefit.
For the first time after 1989, the right-wing government addresses the topic of approaching environmental issues. We have to remember that we start from a level where gigantic incineration plants are present in each of our big cities. A lot of money has been put into this project. What is a real challenge for the Ministry of Development is to build a circular economy. The first step in this regard is to increase the amount of waste being reused by means of recycling and resource recovery, said Jadwiga Emilewicz, the vice-Minister of Development. In Europe, around 40% of waste is being recovered, in Poland it is around 20 to 25%. Our aim for 2021 is to reach the level of 61% of resource recovery. What is necessary to achieve it is higher consumers’ awareness.
Representatives of entrepreneurs noticed that enlarging the responsibility of producers means a significant rise of the expenses for the industry, which can result in rising prices for the consumers. They demand staggering the liabilities in time and thus beginning the works over implementation of the directives into the Polish law as soon as possible.
Applying such approach would help us avoid the shock and we could verify if the financing is well allocated and brings the anticipated outcomes. We would also have time to introduce corrections if needed. Another thing we would avoid is the cumulative inflation impulse which would strike the weakest social groups the most. Industry will not absorb the sharp augmentation of expenses – it would have to affect the product prices, said Krzysztof Baczyńśki, President of Eko-Pak.
Participants agreed that such profound legislative changes ought not to be introduced in the last moment and in a hurry.
When considering new solutions we must base on existing foundations, which means to leave the waste management under supervision of boroughs. We should also take existing business conditions into account. A lot of them have been shaped for many years and we cannot overlook them when creating new solutions. We should also keep as many of the free-market mechanisms as possible, simultaneously introducing new standards of enlarged producers’ responsibility, said Jakub Tyczkowski, President of Rekopol Organizacja Odzysku Opakowań S.A.