Study shows pay-as-you-throw improved recycling and cut waste in France


A report published by France’s Sustainable Development General Commission has shown that introducing pay-as-you-throw schemes improved the quantity of material collected.

In 2013, 5.4 million French households were placed in a pay-as-you-throw scheme.


The results of this were sorting of material improved, the amount of waste fell and flytipping was no worse than anywhere else.

One of the positive effects of introducing the charge was that the simple act of communicating the change helped to create improvements, even in areas that did not introduce the pay-as-you-throw schemes.

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Eventually, the charge for collecting waste resulted in households producing just 67kg per person per years of waste, which is 28% less than the national average.

Sorting of packaging, newspapers and other materials for recycling improved by 14kg per person per year, which is a third more than the national average.

However, initially more material was rejected by recycling facilities due to poor quality, but this fell back to previous levels after two years thanks to communication campaigns.