Waste - Drivers and pressures (Poland)

SOER 2010 Common environmental theme (Deprecated) expired
This content has been archived on 21 Mar 2015, reason: A new version has been published
SOER Common environmental theme from Poland
Waste Waste
Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 21 Mar 2015

The main driver determining the amount of waste generated is economic development, which affects the intensity of production, the level of individual consumption and the models of consumption. An analysis of the dynamics of changes in the quantities of waste generated in terms of GDP shows the positive fact that against the background of a constant growth in GDP, the amount of industrial waste has remained at approximately the same level over the past ten years. This can be interpreted as the result of actions taken to rationalise waste management in Poland.

The private consumption index in 1998-2008 increased by 58 %, but the quantity of municipal waste collected from 2000 to 2005 showed a downward trend. One reason for this could be restrictions on generating waste, as well as the improper disposal of waste and a flawed system of reporting the amounts of municipal waste collected from households. Over the past three years, a growth of municipal waste has been observed, but its rate has been far below the rate of growth of consumption.

The quantity of municipal waste is also subject to social factors, particularly changes in lifestyle. The number of households is increasing, while the number of persons per household is decreasing (from 3.17 to 3.00 in the years 2003 - 2008). At the same time, the consumption of daily consumer goods and household appliances is increasing, resulting in an increased mass of municipal waste.

Fig. 5: Industrial waste generated and municipal waste collected compared with GDP and household expenditure - 1998=100 (Source: GUS)

Greenhouse gas emissions generated from waste management are a source of pressure on the environment. In a report from the Ministry of Environment to the European Commission pursuant to Article 3(2) of Decision 280/2004/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2004 concerning a mechanism for monitoring Community Greenhouse gas emissions and for implementing the Kyoto Protocol, greenhouse gas emissions generated by waste management will by 2030 increase by 18.25 % compared with the base year (1988 – 8 401.16 Gg eqCO2), to reach 9 934.32 Gg eqCO2. CO2 from waste incineration in the base year was 579.27 Gg, decreasing to 311.55 Gg in 2007. A slight increase to (315.01 Gg) is expected by 2030. For their part, methane emissions from solid landfill waste in the base year were 4 934.38 Gg eqCO2, rising to 6 474.52 by 2007. They are forecast to reach 7 188.64 Gg eqCO2 by 2030.


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