New development partnership (develoPPP.de) between RETech member companies and GIZ on extended producer responsibility (EPR) as part of the financing source for waste management in Tunisia
In order to further develop the recycling approaches already successfully implemented in Tunisia in the sense of a comprehensive extended producer responsibility, cyclos, ENVERO and GIZ have joined forces in a development partnership within the framework of the developpp.de programme of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The project is being carried out in close contact with the Tunisian waste authority ANGed, the environmental authority ANPE and the environmental transfer centre CITET. The develoPPP project runs from 1 November 2017 to 30 April 2020.
In Tunisia, deficits in municipal waste management repeatedly led to waste emergencies. In August 2005, the Tunisian government founded a national waste management authority ANGeD (Angence National de la Gestion des Dechets), which is responsible for the treatment and storage of waste. The collection of domestic waste is carried out by the municipalities. The deficit in waste management in Tunisia not only has a negative impact on the health of the population, but also on various sectors of the economy, such as tourism, agriculture and fisheries. Especially the light fractions from packaging waste contribute significantly to the marine pollution due to the wind-induced discharge into the waters. In the area of waste management, there are a number of problems that make the introduction of a comprehensive and demand-oriented waste management system absolutely necessary. Waste from households, which consists mainly of packaging waste, is a particular case in point.
- Of the 55,000 tonnes of plastic waste generated annually in the context of packaging waste, around 12,000 tonnes are currently collected by ECOLEF, a separate collection system for packaging waste. The collection system is partly financed by the local sales price for plastics and paper and partly by state subsidies.
- Relevant quantities of waste are dumped on unmanaged landfills.
- The capacities of the controlled landfills are partly exhausted in the short term.
- The volume of waste is increasing.
- There is no secure financing for improved organisation of waste collection, sorting, recycling and treatment in line with demand.
- Competent communication with the population is only taking place to a limited extent.
In order to cope with the already high volume of household waste, which will continue to rise in the coming decades, it is imperative to improve waste management towards a sustainable recycling economy. Essentially, this means that financing and organisation must be secured as the most important foundations. However, important prerequisites for this are currently lacking.
- The necessary costs for a comprehensive, nationwide waste management system cannot be borne by private households through municipal fees.
- The municipalities are heavily burdened by other tasks (education, health, infrastructure).
- Landfill fees may only be levied to a limited extent, otherwise waste is more likely to be disposed of in wild, uncontrolled dumps.
- Private companies or the informal sector only collect those wastes that can be sold.
In order to further develop the recycling approaches already successfully implemented in Tunisia in the sense of a comprehensive extended producer responsibility, cyclos, ENVERO and GIZ have joined forces in a development partnership within the framework of the developpp.de programme of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The project is being carried out in close contact with the Tunisian waste authority ANGed, the environmental authority ANPE and the environmental transfer centre CITET.
However, securing long-term financing for individual waste management measures is the most important basis for investments in the field of waste management. This applies in particular to the establishment and use of a collection logistics system and the construction and operation of facilities. Since the strategies pursued to date are not sufficient, it is necessary to examine alternative forms of organisation and financing.
Responsible persons in Tunisia (including representatives in the ministries and chambers of commerce) have recognised this situation and are increasingly addressing the question of introducing the principle of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). However, there is a lack of experience, knowledge and know-how in setting up and implementing an EPR system.
With an EPR system, the financial burden for the services of collecting, sorting and recycling packaging (possibly other waste streams) is permanently borne by the distributors. The costs are therefore not to be borne directly by individual households, but are transferred to those in the population who buy the relevant items in accordance with the polluter-pays principle, provided that the distributors pass on the costs directly to the customers. Those people with higher consumption levels pay more than the lower-consumption classes.
The aim of the project is to secure the long-term financing and organisation of individual waste management measures as the most important basis for investments in the field of waste management. To this end, preparations are to be made to set up a nationwide system for the collection and recycling of packaging (and possibly other items such as electrical appliances and batteries) within the framework of extended product responsibility. To implement the collection and recycling structures, smaller investors and those currently working in the informal sector can also become active in Tunisia.
The aim of the project is to develop an EPR model for Tunisia conceptually in such a way that it can subsequently be transferred into practice and has the acceptance and support of the government as well as the participating business community and the population.