Waste prevention – a public policy challenge
Considering the environmental, economic, and social impact, the question of waste prevention attracts the attention of most political decision-makers. For several years, various public action measures have been implemented.
In France, local authorities have undertaken waste prevention actions as part of local prevention plans and programs, as well as outside of these PPLPs. These actions reveal the link with various territorial public policies, which goes beyond the waste management policy. Nowadays, many regional public policies benefit from the results of waste prevention actions.
What results have been achieved due to local public actions?
- Reducing costs or controlling budgets:
Cost reduction is a constant concern of all local actors, whether they are elected citizens or business leaders. The actions, being implemented to prevent waste, make it possible to reduce or control consumption and waste management budget.
- Job creation through the creation of new activities (economic development):
The actors want to create a positive territorial dynamic through the development of activities. Waste prevention could be a powerful vector for economic development due to local services’ development.
The revitalization of business activities in an urban environment and the attractiveness of the markets are essential for many territories because there are serious threats to these places of life. Thus, prevention actions may enhance the work by undertaking several original activities.
- The creation of social links (culture, social life, youth, and sports):
Bringing people together around to encourage everyday actions (cooking, engaging in craft, lending objects, gardening, composting, etc.) and creating a “community of goods” effects due to numerous waste reduction actions – all this should enable intensifying and strengthening of social links.
- Improvement of population living environment (environment):
Water, air, and soil pollution reduction, landscape maintenance, eco-exemplarity remain important questions to meet citizens’ expectations in local environmental policy. Waste prevention may ensure strengthening environmental policy by enabling a better quality of life.
Strengthening the link between the waste prevention policy and other regional policies may lead to benefits derived from the functioning of communities and local public action.