Circular Economy in the Food Industry: A Future with EU’s New Plastic Policy and Packaging Management – Who Holds the Liability?

Nanna Lundbo Andersen

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract


Climate change is currently one of the most focused areas within legislation of the European Union. In this relation the amount of plastic waste in the environment is rising, and the European Union is taking a part in this challenge. In the Paris agreement from 2015 that aims for CO2 reduction, the European Union have set several goals. The European Union have set deadlines at 2030 and 2050 to achieve some of the set climate goals. One of the goals is to reduce the spillage of plastic to the environment. Along with the climate goals, the EU-Commission made the Directive (EU) 2018/852 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2018 amending Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste. This directive makes changes and additions to the original directive from 1994, so that the goals for the year of 2030 can be fulfilled. This thesis analyzes the case of how the outcome of the climate goals can be introduced based on four different liability rules in relation to the extended responsibility placed on manufacturers that comes with the directive from 2018 regarding packaging and packaging waste, and how this can affect the market in relation to the food industry.
In the first part of the thesis the legal perspectives were analyzed, with focus on how the affected manufacturers and consumers can use the implementation of the directive to their advantage based on the liability they hold. The analysis finds that the liability rule that will be the optimal for the society, will be where the affected manufacturers are placed under strict liability with contributions from modifications.
In the second part of the thesis there has been constructed an economical perspective on the case, in the light of how the affected manufacturers and consumers are affected, based on the aspect of profit maximization and how their incentives will be affected by the implementation of this directive, given four different liability rules. The analysis of the economical perspective finds that the liability rule that will be the optimal for the society, will be where the affected manufacturers are, placed under the liability of Culpa.
The last part of the thesis compiles the two other analyses and discusses under which combinations the chosen union will have the best options in the light of Kaldor-Hicks Efficiency and Paretooptimality.
Finally, the thesis concludes that the optimal liability rule for the extended responsibility placed on manufacturers is a combination of the strict liability with the possibility of minimizing the costs and responsibility for the manufacturers.

EducationsMSc in Commercial Law, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageDanish
Publication date2020
Number of pages93