This Inventory of International Initiatives related to Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) was financed by the Flemish Public Waste Agency (OVAM).
This report is part of the OECD work programme on material flows (MF) and resource productivity (RP) that supports the implementation of the OECD Council recommendation on MF and RP adopted in April 2004.
In his speech delivered at the G8 Environment Ministers Meeting 2008, Angel Gurría discussed how promoting resource productivity and the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle) can protect the environment while sustaining growth and prosperity.
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All waste, whether domestically generated or subject to export and import, should be managed in an environmentally sound manner in order to protect human health and the environment. To meet this objective and,at the same time, ensure fair competition between waste management enterprises throughout the OECD area, a Recommendation on ESM [C(2004)100] has been adopted by member countries. In order to facilitate its implementation, a
Recommends that member countries elaborate and implement policies and/or programmes to ensure that waste be managed in an environmentally sound and economically efficient manner.
The OECD Working Party on National Environmental Policy addressed over the period 2003-2006 the environmental effectiveness and economic efficiency of mixes of instruments used for environmental policy in a few selected areas.
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Societies produce ever-growing quantities of solid waste, from packaging to abandoned televisions and cars. Disposing of this waste, often by burying it in landfills or burning it, produces significant soil contamination, as well as air and water pollution. It is particularly important to manage hazardous solid waste safely and efficiently.One way of limiting the scale of the problem is to recycle waste where it is economic to do so.
A broader OECD project has analysed the environmental effectiveness and economic efficiency of instrument mixes addressing selected environmental issues. In this connection, case studies of the instrument mixes addressing household waste have been prepared.
Markets for many classes of recyclable materials are growing, but market failures and barriers are constraining some markets. This report presents the case for the use of 'industrial' policies which address such market failures and barriers.
Extended Producer Responsibility is a concept where manufacturers and importers of products should bear a significant degree of responsibility for the environmental impacts of their products throughout the product life-cycle, including upstream impacts inherent in the selection of materials for the products, impacts from manufacturers’ production process itself, and downstream impacts from the use and disposal of the products.