InRePlast

InRePlast

Environmental Policy Instruments to Reduce Plastic Pollution of Inland Waters through Drainage Systems
Coordinator

Dr. Maria Daskalakis
University of Kassel, Department of Economics, Division of Economic Policy, Innovation and Entrepreneurship,
Environmental Policy Working Group
Nora-Platiel-Str. 4
34109 Kassel
Phone: +49 561 804-3052
e-mail: daskalakis@wirtschaft.uni-kassel.de

Duration Period
January 2019
December 2021
Description

The project aims to make a significant, transdisciplinary contribution to applied research on the prevention of plastic discharges into water bodies via drainage systems from a behavioural and environmental economics perspective. In four model municipalities, the project records the quantity and type of plastics discharged into the drainage systems via wastewater and precipitation water collection in municipal wastewater treatment plants and precipitation drains within one year. The data obtained is then extrapolated for Germany by means of material flow analysis. With regard to regulatory deficits, instruments to reduce plastic inputs are developed in an interplay of legal and behavioural economics analyses. Selected instruments are tested in field experiments in companies and households. On this basis, the project partners develop policy briefs that inform policymakers, practitioners and associations about ways to measure and reduce plastic inputs into the environment.

Main areas of work

  • Analysis of legal framework conditions
  • Empirical investigations of plastic discharges into the drainage systems of four model municipalities
  • Model-based visualisation of the material flows from the considered input sources, namely households, transport routes and companies of the plastics industry in the model municipalities
  • Development of behaviour-based measures to motivate behavioural changes
  • Computer simulations of the effects of behaviour-based measures
  • Evaluation of the effect of measures by means of field experiments

WP 1: Inventory of the entry points of plastics into the drainage systems

Contact person

Dr. Marco Breitbarth, Research Institute for Water and Waste Management at RWTH Aachen (FIW), Kackertstraße 15 – 17, 52056 Aachen, e-mail: breitbarth@fiw.rwth-aachen.de

Project partners

City of Aachen, City of Stolberg, Simmerath Municipality, Roetgen Municipality, University of Kassel, Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences

Short description

The aim of this work package is to determine the status quo of plastic discharges into the drainage systems in the four selected model municipalities, which represent different settlement structures. For this purpose, the type and quantity of plastic products as well as their sources from households, industry, traffic and other activities related to wastewater collection and drainage of paved areas will be determined.

WP 2: Development of a concept for multi-criteria, behavior-oriented set of instruments

Contact persons

Prof. Dr. Anja Hentschel, Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences, Department of Social Sciences, Professorship for Environmental and Energy Law, Haardtring 100, 64295 Darmstadt, e-mail: anja.hentschel@h-da.de

Dr. Maria Daskalakis, University of Kassel, Department of Economics, Division of Economic Policy, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Environmental Policy Working Group, Nora-Platiel-Str. 4, 34109 Kassel, e-mail: daskalakis@wirtschaft.uni-kassel.de

Project partners

Prof. Dr. Frank Beckenbach, FIW

Short description

Starting from a behavioural economics analysis of relevant behavioural effects regarding the use of plastics in households and companies and possible approaches to motivate changes in their use as well as an investigation and deficit analysis of the existing legal framework at national and European level, behavioural measures and instruments will be identified. Their effects with regard to ecological, social, technical, legal and economic feasibility will be assessed. The result is a preliminary set of instruments, which will be used as a basis for all further investigations and will be adapted if necessary.

WP 3: Empirical analyses of success factors and barriers

Contact persons

Dr. Maria Daskalakis, University of Kassel, Department of Economics, Division of Economic Policy, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Environmental Policy Working Group, Nora-Platiel-Str. 4, 34109 Kassel, e-mail: daskalakis@wirtschaft.uni-kassel.de

Dr. David Hofmann, University of Kassel, Department of Economics, Division of Economic Policy, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Environmental Policy Working Group, Nora-Platiel-Str. 4, 34109 Kassel, e-mail: dhofmann@uni-kassel.de

Project partners

City of Aachen, City of Stolberg, Simmerath Municipality, Roetgen Municipality, Prof. Dr. Frank Beckenbach, FIW, Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences

Short description

The empirical determination of the success factors and barriers of instruments for the reduction of plastic inputs via the drainage systems is based on the concept of multi-criteria behaviour-oriented instrumentation. The focus of the investigations are the actor groups households and companies. The investigations are preceded by expert discussions. A methodological triangulation is used: semi-structured, guideline-supported in-depth interviews are carried out as well as, in the case of households, a telephone survey and, in the case of households and companies, a field experiment.

WP 4: Material flow models of plastic inputs into canalisation systems and wastewater treatment plants

Contact person

Dr. Marco Breitbarth, Research Institute for Water and Waste Management at RWTH Aachen (FIW), Kackertstraße 15 – 17, 52056 Aachen, e-mail: breitbarth@fiw.rwth-aachen.de

Project partners

University of Kassel, Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences

Short description

Material flow models for plastic discharges of macro- and microplastics from the identified sources into the drainage systems will be developed for the four model communities. Based on the model results, the sources and product types are analysed and evaluated with regard to their relevance for the plastic inputs. The data from the municipalities is then extrapolated to the federal level in a general model.

WP 5: Actor-based computer model and simulations for the development of material flows

Contact persons

Dr. Maria Daskalakis, University of Kassel, Department of Economics, Division of Economic Policy, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Environmental Policy Working Group, Nora-Platiel-Str. 4, 34109 Kassel, e-mail: daskalakis@wirtschaft.uni-kassel.de

Dr. David Hofmann, University of Kassel, Department of Economics, Division of Economic Policy, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Environmental Policy Working Group, Nora-Platiel-Str. 4, 34109 Kassel, e-mail: dhofmann@uni-kassel.de

Project partners

Prof. Dr. Frank Beckenbach, FIW, Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences

Short description

In this work package the design and development of multi-agent systems is carried out, which cover the actor groups households and companies. Based on the actor concept of WP 2, the multi-agent systems map actor-related decision-making processes and determinants of plastics use and are linked to the material flow models from WP 4 in a subsequent step. Different legal and behavioural instruments and their material-ecological and economic implications will be analysed and evaluated on the basis of different scenarios.

WP 6: Finalisation of the concept of multi-criteria, behaviour-oriented set of instruments

Contact person

Prof. Dr. Anja Hentschel, Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences, Department of Social Sciences, Professorship for Environmental and Energy Law, Haardtring 100, 64295 Darmstadt, e-mail: anja.hentschel@h-da.de

Project partners

Prof. Dr. Frank Beckenbach, University of Kassel, FIW

Short description

In parallel to work packages 3 to 5, the concept of multi-criteria behaviour-oriented set of instruments will be further specified by including the results of empirical studies and the multi-agent system. For the identified instruments and measures, it is estimated how they could work in practice, what control and enforcement effort they might create for authorities, whether they can be combined in certain areas, and what medium- and long-term effects the regulations could have. The adjustments to the concept will be tracked and evaluated through computer simulations.

WP 7: Developing proposals for implementation

Contact persons

Dr. Maria Daskalakis, University of Kassel, Department of Economics, Division of Economic Policy, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Environmental Policy Working Group, Nora-Platiel-Str. 4, 34109 Kassel, e-mail: daskalakis@wirtschaft.uni-kassel.de

Dr. David Hofmann, University of Kassel, Department of Economics, Division of Economic Policy, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Environmental Policy Working Group, Nora-Platiel-Str. 4, 34109 Kassel, e-mail: dhofmann@uni-kassel.de

Prof. Dr. Anja Hentschel, Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences, Department of Social Sciences, Professorship for Environmental and Energy Law, Haardtring 100, 64295 Darmstadt, e-mail: anja.hentschel@h-da.de

Dr. Marco Breitbarth, Research Institute for Water and Waste Management at RWTH Aachen (FIW), Kackertstraße 15 – 17, 52056 Aachen, e-mail: breitbarth@fiw.rwth-aachen.de

Project partner

Prof. Dr. Frank Beckenbach

Short description

The project results are prepared for political and practical implementation. For this purpose, recommendations for action are summarised in the form of policy briefs, which are intended to offer support to various actors for the implementation of the developed instrument packages. The project addresses the federal, state and local levels (legislators and authorities), consumer associations and NGOs as well as companies and associations of the plastics industry in order to facilitate the effective implementation of the measures.

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