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Plastic Zero has launched a Green Public Procurement Manual on Plastic Waste Prevention

Updated last: 23 September 2014

Public procurement has potential to promote plastic waste prevention and enhanced recycling. Plastic Zero has developed a manual with tools and examples on plastic waste prevention through Green Public Procurement in the EU.

Public procurement constitutes 18% of all purchase in the EU. This indicates a potential to alter markets towards achieving social and environmental goals - a practice commonly called Green Public Procurement. The experience and potentials of Green Public Procurement in Europe has been surveyed for the prevention of plastic waste.

As of today there are no legal barriers for including plastic waste preventive criteria and criteria for enhanced recycling in public procurement. The challenge is rather to build political focus on the potential. At the practitioners' level, awareness, knowledge, tools and methods are found to be needed. The tools, asked for by practitioners within public procurement, are as follows:

  • Access to a list of products and services where plastic waste preventive criteria are likely to have significant impact
  • Access to legally correct criteria ready to copy-and-paste
  • Access to easily comprehensive environmental justifications for these new criteria
  • Access to exemplary cases, and
  • Enhanced dialogue with the markets on availability and feasibility of products and services with plastic waste preventive features

To promote the prevention of plastic waste and enhanced recycling through GPP, the Plastic Zero project has developed a Green Public Procurement Manual on Plastic Waste Prevention with the ambition to provide the above mentioned insights and tools.

The manual targets three environmental problems in the waste management of plastics:

  • CO2 emissions from incineration
  • Inefficient use of resources, and
  • The presence of harmful substances

The Green Public Procurement approach provided in the manual has been developed to lower the impact of these environmental problems by increasing the demand for:

  • Recycled plastics,
  • Improved recyclability, and
  • Reducing the use of harmful substances

The manual containscopy-and-paste criteriain these four selected product groups: Packaging, furniture, office supply and IT-equipment.

To ensure legal compliance and availability in the markets, the included criteria are primarily collections of European Commission criteria and Eco-label requirements. The criteria are complementary to regular public procurements of the relevant product groups and should be assessed accordingly.

Three easy rules of thumb:

                   Rule Of Thumb Icons _eng
In June 2014 the City of Malmö gave a presentation of the Green Public Procurement manual was at the ISWA/BEACON conference "Closing the Loops". Press the links to download the Poster and/or the Flyer.

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