Improving the Material and Financial Circularity of the Plastic Packaging Value Chain in The Netherlands: Challenges, Opportunities, and Implications
- What are the most feasible and efficient policies that would create a more circular plastic packaging value chain in The Netherlands?
- What are the effects of these policies on the business models of key industry stakeholders and the material and financial circularity of the Dutch plastic packaging value chain?
2. Literature Review
2.1. Global Plastic Packaging Industry
2.2. Plastic Packaging Industry in The Netherlands
2.2.1. Current Situation
2.2.2. Institutional Structure, General Political Regulations and Targets
2.2.3. The Organization of PPW Treatment in The Netherlands
- Household waste: Plastic packaging from households is separated in two ways—source separation and post-separation. With the former, consumers separate plastics from other household waste themselves; in the latter, sorting centers use waste processors to separate plastics from the other types of waste using infrared and film-grabber techniques . While post-separation facilities can collect more material than source separation, the difference between the amounts of produced milled goods and agglomerates that each system produces are small [40,44]. Household waste contains several types of plastic and is sorted into three pure polymeric fractions (i.e., PET bottles, PE and PP), two product types (i.e., PET trays and films) and one mixed plastics fraction .
- Industrial waste: This type of waste can either be sorted or left unsorted before being sent to recycling facilities. Plastic waste from businesses is usually a mono-stream, which is a waste stream of just one type of plastic.
- Deposit return scheme: By means of the aforementioned deposit return scheme, Dutch citizens are incentivized to recycle PET bottles (greater than 50 cl) for which there is a deposit obligation. In 2021, small PET bottles were also added to this system . The deposit return scheme is treated and registered as post-industrial packaging waste . A ‘return packaging′ body, Stichting Retourverpakking Nederland (SRN), is responsible for the majority of producers, importers and supermarkets returning, sorting, and processing these plastic bottles. Nedvang reviews data received from the SRN and performs trend analyses. Two supermarkets have their own system for returnable bottles.
3. Data Collection and Research Method
3.1. Data Collection Phase I
- Policy 1: Quadrupling the incineration fee;
- Policy 2: Establishing a center of excellence that specifically supports SMEs in their research and development (R&D) efforts, the development of technical expertise (e.g., common labelling and chemical marking aligned with standardised separation and sorting systems), and access to state-of-the-art facilities for plastic packaging treatment;
- Policy 3: The amount producers and importers of plastic packaged goods pay in waste management tax to Afvalfonds Verpakkingen is halved for recycled plastic packaging and doubled for non-recycled plastic packaging.
3.2. Data Collection Phase II
- Game board: A visual representation of the plastic packaging value chain, showing material and monetary flows between the stakeholders and the position and role of the stakeholders within the system;
- Business model and flow cards: Participants were given sets of business model and flow cards which they used to indicate the expected impact of a specific policy on their business models and the quality, composition, volume, and price of their input and output flow. The business model cards represented the nine building blocks of a business model canvas , with an extra card for the sustainability effect of each introduced policy. The participants used the flow cards to communicate an increase or decrease in the above-mentioned impact areas (quality, composition, etc.). The business model and flow cards used can be seen in Figure 2 and Figure 3, respectively, below:
3.3. The Computer Simulation and Statistical Analyses
4.1. The Effects of Policy 1 on the Business Models
4.2. The Effects of Policy 1 on Material and Financial Circularity
4.3. The Effects of Policy 2 on the Business Models
4.4. The Effects of Policy 2 on Material and Financial Circularity
4.5. The Effects of Policy 3 on the Business Models
4.6. The Effects of Policy 3 on Material and Financial Circularity
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
Appendix A. Status Quo Business Models
- The Plastic Packaging Producer
- The Brand Owner
- The Waste Collector
- The Post-Separator
- The Waste Sorting Company
- The Recycling Company
- The Incinerator Company
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|Material Circularity (%)||Financial Circularity (%)|
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Çevikarslan, S.; Gelhard, C.; Henseler, J. Improving the Material and Financial Circularity of the Plastic Packaging Value Chain in The Netherlands: Challenges, Opportunities, and Implications. Sustainability 2022, 14, 7404. https://doi.org/10.3390/su14127404
Çevikarslan S, Gelhard C, Henseler J. Improving the Material and Financial Circularity of the Plastic Packaging Value Chain in The Netherlands: Challenges, Opportunities, and Implications. Sustainability. 2022; 14(12):7404. https://doi.org/10.3390/su14127404Chicago/Turabian Style
Çevikarslan, Salih, Carsten Gelhard, and Jörg Henseler. 2022. "Improving the Material and Financial Circularity of the Plastic Packaging Value Chain in The Netherlands: Challenges, Opportunities, and Implications" Sustainability 14, no. 12: 7404. https://doi.org/10.3390/su14127404