On 17 February 2022, AmCham Fast Moving Consumer Goods Committee Sustainable Waste Management Working Group had an online meeting with the representatives from the Ministry of Environment of the RA and the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure of the RA, World Bank, SIDA project and American University of Armenia Acopian Center for the Environment regarding the legislative framework of the Armenian Packaging Waste Management Assessment.
The meeting was moderated by Ms. Karine Sarkissian, who greeted the participants, approved the agenda and gave the floor to members to introduce themselves and their positions in the project.
Mr. Parpounas shared the steps taken thus far on the sustainable waste assessment project to understand the best model for Armenia and mentioned that there are certain bottlenecks that need to be further discussed with the Government and the Acopian Center for the Environment, AUA after the Final Report of the Waste Management Study is released.
Mr. Parpounas presented the key points that need a focus from the Government to move the project forward:
• Decision on EPR or Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) or a mixed system.
• A strategic framework needs to be established to have a clear idea in the selected system – i.e., Strategy, Targets and Action Plans.
• Legislation beyond the strategies and action plans. – changes in the law regarding waste, or possibly coming up with new laws.
• Giving the responsibilities and possibilities, both financial and operational of packaging waste management to the private sectors. This creates a new dynamic between the state, local authority and the private sector in regards to the waste management.
• By the end of 2022, the legislation needs to be reviewed and revised to be available.
• To understand the difference between Waste Law and Packaging Law.
During the meeting it was clarified that from 2024 the legislative system should be adapted to be ready for the implementation rather than the waste management system implementation. The target for the waste management system implementation in Armenia is committed from 2026.
The SIDA Experts shared their experience on the waste management efforts and expressed their opinion regarding the legislative framework, suggesting that a new law rather than the old one adaptation/changes will be more efficient and applicable.
Apart, the focus should be on the following:
– Understand the Regulatory impact for each of the systems before moving on
– Assessment of the different systems
– Take the right strategic direction
– Develop the system
– Pilot it and replicate it
Kyriakos briefly updated what has been done so far leaving the presentation options of operational models with fee calculations for the upcoming meeting.
• A basic waste management system is required in order to mix different systems of waste management. After having set the system, it will be easier to implement the legislative part of the project for its succession. By having such a law, there will be a valid and maintained economic impact.
• The representatives of the Ministries will double check the legislative changes needed prior to the project implementation.
• The SWM survey and implementation plan will be ready by the end of February and will be presented to the stakeholders
• To meet with the Ministries for updates of the legislative framework as soon as the survey results are ready