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|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|15695||2007||30 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||15544 کلمه|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Resources, Conservation and Recycling, , Volume 51, Issue 2, August 2007, Pages 314-344
The main purpose of this study is to analyze the incentive structure and the effectiveness of the Swedish producer responsibility ordinance, i.e., the ability of the system to induce producers to economize with cardboard packaging and to fulfill the related environmental goals cost effectively. A secondary purpose is to discuss if the empirical evidence in any way suggests that an alternative supply chain management regime, i.e., the UCTS-system, could be more effective. According to the results, both the Swedish producer responsibility scheme and the UCTS system fulfill two important cost effectiveness criteria. The packaging fee in the present Swedish system and the packaging tax in the UCTS system provide similar incentives to an output effect. Furthermore, both systems also give rise to input substitution effects. For instance, both systems encourage the use of secondary materials at the expense of virgin materials by subsidizing collection and recycling activities. However, in the Swedish producer responsibility system, waste collection entrepreneurs in areas with high marginal costs of collection also often obtain high refunds. This implies a violation of the cost effectiveness principle. Neither of the systems tends to encourage enough of design for recyclability, but here the Swedish producer responsibility seems to be somewhat more effective than the UCTS system. Our analysis of the transformation and transaction costs involved in the two waste management systems suggests that it is hard to a priori determine which system will minimize waste management costs. It will depend on, for instance, households’ valuation of sorting efforts, and the presence of economies of scale in the waste collection system. This implies that different systems can be preferred in different parts of the country.
During the last decades the diffusion of environmental management techniques along the entire supply chain of a product has become a common way of encouraging improved environmental performance of an industry. This strategy is known as environmental supply chain management and involves the inclusion of environmental aspects in integrated management of industrial chains for manufactured goods (e.g., Lamming and Hampson, 1996). For example, the academic literature has focused a lot of attention on the way in which environmental concerns are integrated into the purchasing functions of companies (e.g., Min and Galle, 1997), including the use of environmental criteria in supplier assessment as well as collaborations on environmental standards between suppliers and customers. Most analysts agree that there are basically two reasons why a private company decides to include environmental issues into the entire management of the company's supply chain (e.g., Berger et al., 2001). Either the company finds such practices profitable due to potential cost savings or risk avoidance or they are forced by government policy and legislation to implement them. This study focuses primarily on the latter case, namely that of the producer responsibility legislation for packaging materials. These policies have become increasingly common in many countries (e.g., Germany and Sweden), and discussions have also been underway at the European Commission for similar schemes on an EU-wide basis. In general producer responsibility legislation states that producers who disseminate packaging are entrusted with the responsibility for collection and handling of their products at the end of their useful lives (Palmer and Walls, 1999). For this purpose, the producers are required to establish collection systems for the respective products and in some cases the legislation also mandates that a specific share of the materials consumed are recycled. The aim of the policy is clearly to influence supply chain practices and stimulate the diffusion of environmentally sound practices throughout the complex network of industrial buying and selling. However, some analysts have questioned the ability of the producer responsibility legislation to stimulate waste minimization throughout the entire supply chain, especially since the responsibility in many cases only relates to the disposal chain (rather than to the supply chain as a whole) (e.g., Lamming and Hampson, 1996). In addition, some authors argue that there exist alternative policies, e.g., the so-called “upstream combination tax/subsidy” scheme (UCTS system),1 which provide virtually the same incentives for resource conservation and recycling as a producer responsibility mandate but at lower administrative (transaction) costs (see, in particular, Walls and Palmer, 2001). Nevertheless, the above arguments have primarily been drawn from theoretical models and analyses, and there exists a lack of empirical evidence on exactly what types of incentives that are created by the producer responsibility legislation and on whether alternative systems would constitute even more effective environmental supply chain management strategies. A proper understanding of the producer responsibility legislation and its incentive structure is important for the evaluation of environmental policy as are comparisons with alternative waste regimes. In Sweden today only a selected number of materials are affected by the producer responsibility (see Section 2). However, there are reasons to believe that additional products will be affected by the producer responsibility legislation in the future. For instance, in Sweden the Swedish Ecocycle Commission (SEC) (1997) has suggested that the producer responsibility should be extended to all goods in Sweden. Also the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (e.g., SEPA, 1999) has been positive towards the implementation of producer responsibility legislation for additional goods even if they also anticipate some conflicts with EC law and international trade agreements. Hence, all producers, not only the currently affected ones, should be interested in improved information about the nature and the impacts of the producer responsibility legislation. Following the above, the main purpose of this study is to analyze the incentive structure and the effectiveness of the Swedish producer responsibility legislation, in particular the ability of the system to induce producers to economize with paper packaging and to fulfill the related environmental goals cost effectively. A secondary purpose is to discuss if the empirical evidence in any way suggests that an alternative supply chain management regime, i.e., the UCTS-system, could be more effective. 1.2. Methodology, scope and outline The study follows five consecutive steeps. First, the structure of the Swedish producer responsibility system for packaging materials is presented (Section 2). Second, the packaging for the product Karin's lasagna, produced by the Swedish company Dafgård, is chosen to empirically illustrate the ways in which the systems works in practice. This lasagna packaging is mainly made out of cardboard packaging. There are several reasons for this choice: (a) it is important to focus on a product produced by a company, which must comply with the Swedish producer responsibility ordinance, and Dafgård is such a company; (b) paper and cardboard packaging is a common packaging type in Sweden, making up approximately 20% of the packaging market ( SEPA, 2003) and (c) most of the packaging waste has a very low economic value, and Dafgård's lasagna packaging is a representative case also in this sense. In this study the entire life cycle of this specific packaging is identified and all significant companies that are involved along the supply chain are identified (Section 3). The rather detailed descriptions of the producer responsibility system in Sweden and its impacts on a specific product is deemed to be important since the way producer responsibility systems are designed in theory and the way they work in practice often differ (e.g., Palmer and Walls, 1999). Third, we discuss some important criteria for a cost effective waste management policy, and a theoretical model is designed to link these necessary conditions for a cost effective waste management policy to specific policy designs, including the producer responsibility regulation and the UCTS system (Section 4). This model is a modified version of a model used by Fullerton and Wu (1998), and provides the criteria for a cost effective waste management policy and thus constitutes the basis of the empirical investigation. Fourth, the core part of the empirical investigation relies on surveys and interviews of the companies involved in the chosen supply chain for Karin's lasagna and on surveys of the producer responsibility legislation and reports from the responsible authorities. The aim of the empirical investigation is to explore in what way the producer responsibility legislation has affected the incentive structure and the costs in the respective companies (Section 5). The fifth and final part of the investigation focuses on the cost effectiveness of different waste management systems (Section 5). The empirical findings based on the present Swedish producer responsibility regulation are confronted with a hypothetical UCTS system, and we analyze if this alternative system could provide a more cost effective approach to the waste management problem than the present one. Section 6 concludes the paper, summarizes the main findings and outlines some important implications.