An incentive is something that motivates or encourages someone to (not) act in a certain way. An incentive for paper and board recycling is a measure that motivates or encourages the target audience to improve its performance in paper and board sorting and collection.
Incentivising a specific audience can take various forms and can include anything from the provision of information to ensure the audience is well aware of what it should (not) do (e.g. sorting guidelines); to providing an adapted equipment to enable the desired behavior (e.g. waste collection bins); to applying measures directly rewarding/ punishing a certain behavior (e.g. fines for non-compliance with sorting instructions).
Incentives generally work in two ways: positive and negative. Positive incentives seek to motivate actors to certain actions by promising a reward, whereas negative incentives aim to motivate actions by threatening a punishment. Examples of positive incentives are subsidies for waste reduction technologies. Examples of negative incentives are posing different taxes on big waste amounts. Sometimes it is only a matter of presentation (e.g. pay-as-you-throw scheme could be seen as a penalty for those producing more waste or a reward for those with better performances). It can also be a combination of the two options. For instance, when a landfill tax is set, the incomes from it could be used to help investing in recycling equipment and/or be used to reward the ones doing the right thing.
As it was already mentioned, the different incentives considered in IMPACTPapeRec project can be grouped into three categories: legal and economic; social and communicative; technical and operational.
In addition, the target audience for the various incentives can be considered either (local) public authorities or waste holders (individual citizens, households, small businesses, administrations). The tables below provide an overview of the classification and examples of the incentives identified for each category.