The ARIADNA Project at the Basque Parliament

Basque Parliament Committee on the Environment, Territorial Planning and Housing to host the attendance of Alba Bala, Environmental Analysis Coordinator of the ARIADNA Project led by the UNESCO ESCI-UPF Chair.


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The “Lecture for the study of measures aimed at improving the recycling context in Araba, Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa” of the Basque Parliament Committee on the Environment, Territorial Planning and Housing, to be held today 9th October at 11:30 a.m., brings together representatives of the Confederación Vasca del Comercio, Euskomer, and the ARIADNA Project. During the session, Alba Bala, leader of the Waste Management Research Line at the UNESCO Chair in Life Cycle and Climate Change ESCI-UPF, will present the ARIADNA Project - “Sustainability study on the introduction of a mandatory Deposit-Refund System (DRS) for beverage packaging in Spain: a comparative environmental, social and economic analysis versus the current situation.” This study compares the current system of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) with a hypothetical situation in which both systems would coexist.

Connect to the lecture via streaming through the following link: https://goo.gl/jeQGQi

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Representatives of Euskomer and the ARIADNA Project at the session. Credits: Eusko Legebiltzarra/Basque Parliament.


The ARIADNA Project

The objective of the work is analyse the sustainability of the introduction of a mandatory DRS for packaging in Spain (and in Catalonia, as a pilot region), from a life cycle perspective. To that end, ESCI-UPF has involved specialized research groups in the three areas of sustainability: the UNESCO Chair ESCI-UPF, the Research in International Studies and Economics group and the Mango Chair in Corporate Social Responsibility. The analysis has been performed following the requirements stated in the Spanish Law 22/2011 on Waste and Contaminated Land for the implementation of this type of DRS, as well as the EU recommendations.

Led by the Director of the Chair, Pere Fullana i Palmer, ARIADNA is the most comprehensive sustainability study carried out to date in Europe on DRS, with respect to the scope, methodologies and participation of different social agents. In addition, it includes a quadruple Quality Review Protocol implemented with a Stakeholder Review Panel and an Independent Expert Review Panel, and the final public exposure and scientific publication of the results.

 

Results in the three areas of sustainability

The study analyses six environmental impact categories from a life cycle perspective, including global impact categories such as global warming, the impact on the quality of ecosystems and water, and the impact on human health. In 5 of the 6 environmental studied indicators, the introduction of a DRS, with the considered 90% theoretical return rate, would entail a higher environmental impact due to the required waste collection, processing and recycling processes, according to the study.

With respect to the economic perspective, the work concludes that implementing a mandatory DRS in Spain would have an additional cost of €1.784M, equivalent to having every Spanish family pay almost €100 more a year. The most significant economic impact involves the points of sale, the cost of which would go up to €1.508M annually because they would have to process the waste at the store. At the social level, the study highlights that its introduction would incur greater social costs on Spanish society, households would have to allocate 50% more space and 6 times more time to handle containers subject to the DRS.

 

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