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Waste Prevention through GPP

Updated last: 22 September 2014

Green Public Procurement (GPP) gets an increasing focus as a tool for preventing future waste. It is estimated that public procurements correspond to approximately 19% of the total GNP in EU.
Sound environmental choices in procurements therefore has a great potential for reducing the environmental impacts of public organisations - including waste generation.

As part of the Plastic Zero project a survey was conducted on current GPP practices across Europe.

EXPERIENCES WITH GREEN PUBLIC PROCUREMENT
The study shows that few public procurements include criteria on waste prevention, recycling or limited use of products based on virgin plastic fibres. Thus, there is a great potential for improving the environmental profile of purchased goods in the public sector.

BARRIERS FOR PLASTIC WASTE PREVENTION THROUGH GPP
The barriers for GPP and for plastic waste prevention through GPP have been investigated through a desk study supplemented by interviews of key stakeholders in GPP in Denmark. We have identified three overall barriers which are described below.

  1. Public procurements are often based on the purchase price rather than on Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Thus, the green solution will often be more expensive than the alternatives. If TCO (the cost of the product or service when all cost for the owner of the procurement is taken into account) green solutions would in some cases be able to compete. In order to ensure the capital for purchasing green solutions national and municipal foundations for the redistribution of capital within the organisations are suggested.
     
  2. Another important barrier is that decentralized purchasers lack the knowledge and competences to include (plastic waste preventing) GPP criteria in procurement. They lack the juridical guidance and assistance from governmental policymakers and purchasing associations. Training and guidance of purchasers is suggested as a solution.
     
  3. Finally there is a lack of an evaluation method to measure the effect of criteria aimed at plastic waste prevention. The lack of means of documentation for an effort reduces the motivation for purchasers to include waste prevention in their tenders. It is suggested to develop such a method for evaluation or to make waste preventing criteria obligatory in GPP to overcome the lack of motivation from decentralized purchasers.

The full report can be downloaded here: Waste prevention through GPP - focus on plastic

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