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Sustainability of the German Deposit system: Case study in Berlin

Arianna De Bellis

Sustainability of the German Deposit system: Case study in Berlin.

Rel. Giovanni Andrea Blengini. Politecnico di Torino, Corso di laurea magistrale in Ingegneria Per L'Ambiente E Il Territorio, 2020

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Sustainability is the starting point of this study, it has become a crucial subject especially since in 2015 the Sustainable Development Goals were defined. Over the years different definitions and branches of sustainability have been delineated in order to adapt to specific projects and studies, here a few of them classical and related to urban life and social aspects have been presented. Tools have been defined and are being used every day to move forward in the scientific research, to influence the definition of actions and policies. Sustainability is the thread that brings the whole study together, motivating the definition of solutions and guidelines that should be pursued. The Case Study examined has its starting point in the German Deposit Return Scheme (DRS). It is a well-established system introduced in 2003. An analysis of the effects of the deposit scheme has been carried out, results on the amount of recycling that this system has contributed to and a brief comparison with other countries. The analysis has shown how the impact on the glass recycling is limited, since it represents a very small fraction of the total amount of recycled glass, because Germany has already virtuous results with the EPR system. While even if PET single use bottles show a very high return rate, their purchase has grown over the years. It is important to evaluate the difference between the impact of the recycling compared to the impact of the reuse. Consequence of the introduction of this system, peculiar habits and phenomena have developed in Berlin. The goal is to investigate through the framework of the three pillars sustainability, and the tools most suitable, the different aspects of the phenomenon that sprung from the DRS, consequence of the system is that, apart from the deposit collection from the bottles inside households, the act of leaving bottles in the street has become a habit for the people in Berlin, because it is a certainty that someone will collect them. These actions have autoregulated themselves, creating a system that lies in a grey area from a legal point of view and from the point of view of a community that seems to accept this condition as normal part of daily life. The people that collect bottles in the street keep the city clean of litter and sustaining themselves through the collection of deposit, many aspects can be observed and analysed about the pfandsammler phenomenon especially social aspects linked to it. From a social point of view it presents many issues, linked to stigma, basic life needs, social classes divide. A qualitative model has been created using Causal Loops Diagrams. It was possible to represent how the variables that come into play are related to one another, made it possible to have an overall view of the phenomenon and to find issues to focus on further. Smaller loops related to the sustainability framework were identified. Data collection has been carried out to assess the habits of people living in Berlin, the impression of the public on the social condition of the pfandsammler. Different scenarios are assessed to lay foundation to further continue the research. Ideally with the creation of a model that would estimate the optimal scenario considering the deposit value, social conditions, environment protection and economic benefit. The aim is that this could also be a starting point and an example for an evaluation for countries that already adopted a DRS or are considering implementing it.

Relators: Giovanni Andrea Blengini
Academic year: 2019/20
Publication type: Electronic
Number of Pages: 73
Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea magistrale in Ingegneria Per L'Ambiente E Il Territorio
Classe di laurea: New organization > Master science > LM-35 - ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING
Ente in cotutela: GreenDelta GmbH (GERMANIA)
Aziende collaboratrici: GreenDelta GmbH
URI: http://webthesis.biblio.polito.it/id/eprint/13778
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