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Negotiated Agreements - Dutch Packaging Covenants

Toovey, Nathan (2006)
The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics
Abstract
Negotiated agreements are policy instruments that are increasingly used to manage environmental issues across a range of contexts. At their simplest, negotiated agreements are contractual arrangements between public authorities and an industry that the authorities have targeted to improve their environmental aspects. Part of the attraction of these agreements are the flexibility in their design, and the positive incentives that may be conferred to industry through avoiding more stringent policy tools. This flexibility, however, means that such agreements can exhibit a wide diversity of performances while being poorly modelled by theory. There is therefore a need for research into the performances of their practical implementations.

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Negotiated agreements are policy instruments that are increasingly used to manage environmental issues across a range of contexts. At their simplest, negotiated agreements are contractual arrangements between public authorities and an industry that the authorities have targeted to improve their environmental aspects. Part of the attraction of these agreements are the flexibility in their design, and the positive incentives that may be conferred to industry through avoiding more stringent policy tools. This flexibility, however, means that such agreements can exhibit a wide diversity of performances while being poorly modelled by theory. There is therefore a need for research into the performances of their practical implementations.

This thesis presents a case study of a negotiated agreement applied in the Netherlands, a country that has specifically fostered the use of this policy tool. The negotiated agreement under study is the Third Packaging Covenant, used to manage the environmental impacts from packaging and packaging waste in the Netherlands. The case is particularly interesting in that it provides an opportunity to examine a negotiated agreement that has undergone a number of revisions and has recently been terminated. A number of decision points and developments are therefore available for analysis. In addition, the Covenant is professed to implement Extended Producer Responsibility, a progressive strategy for waste management that holds relevance for modern waste policy.

Upon completion of this thesis it was found that the third Covenant was limited in its performance due to a range of factors. In particular, the Covenant was only able to confer limited responsibility onto the packaging industry, and was highly reliant on economic solutions for packaging recycling. Critically, the third Covenant was unable to provide the necessary incentives to industry to appreciably improve recycling rates; to address packaging litter; and to reduce the amount of packaging entering the Dutch market. (Less)
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@misc{1329184,
  abstract     = {Negotiated agreements are policy instruments that are increasingly used to manage environmental issues across a range of contexts. At their simplest, negotiated agreements are contractual arrangements between public authorities and an industry that the authorities have targeted to improve their environmental aspects. Part of the attraction of these agreements are the flexibility in their design, and the positive incentives that may be conferred to industry through avoiding more stringent policy tools. This flexibility, however, means that such agreements can exhibit a wide diversity of performances while being poorly modelled by theory. There is therefore a need for research into the performances of their practical implementations.

This thesis presents a case study of a negotiated agreement applied in the Netherlands, a country that has specifically fostered the use of this policy tool. The negotiated agreement under study is the Third Packaging Covenant, used to manage the environmental impacts from packaging and packaging waste in the Netherlands. The case is particularly interesting in that it provides an opportunity to examine a negotiated agreement that has undergone a number of revisions and has recently been terminated. A number of decision points and developments are therefore available for analysis. In addition, the Covenant is professed to implement Extended Producer Responsibility, a progressive strategy for waste management that holds relevance for modern waste policy.

Upon completion of this thesis it was found that the third Covenant was limited in its performance due to a range of factors. In particular, the Covenant was only able to confer limited responsibility onto the packaging industry, and was highly reliant on economic solutions for packaging recycling. Critically, the third Covenant was unable to provide the necessary incentives to industry to appreciably improve recycling rates; to address packaging litter; and to reduce the amount of packaging entering the Dutch market.},
  author       = {Toovey, Nathan},
  keyword      = {negotiated environmental agreements,The Netherlands,extended producer responsibility,packaging waste,negotiated agreements,environmental policy,packaging covenant,Directive 94/62/EC,Environmental studies,Miljöstudier},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Negotiated Agreements - Dutch Packaging Covenants},
  year         = {2006},
}