The impact of policy interactions on the recycling of plastic packaging waste in Germany
Due to the environmental challenges associated with the strong growth of plastic waste worldwide, the EU Commission recently published a green paper on a European Strategy on Plastic Waste in the Environment (COM (2013), 123 final), which highlights the challenges and opportunities that arise from improving the management of plastic waste in the EU. The European Waste Directive (2008/98/EC) which was transposed into German law through the Kreislaufwirtschaftsgesetz (KrWG) established the so-called 5-step waste hierarchy, which gives a clear preference to recycling over energy recovery and disposal of waste in landfills. Although waste avoidance and recycling are stated objectives of German waste policy, effectiveness and efficiency of the respective regulations seems to be influenced negatively by interactions with other policy instruments. Both, the internal interaction between different waste management policies as well as the external interaction be-tween waste management policy and climate policy, seem to have a negative impact on the recycling of plastic packaging material. In order to gain insights regarding the impacts of different policy instruments on the recycling of plastic packaging waste, we conducted a case study analysis based on data gained from an online survey among German experts in the field of plastic pack-aging waste management and from the literature on waste management.