The European SUP or "Single Use Plastics" Directive (RL 2019/904/EU) aims to prevent and reduce the impact of certain plastic products on the environment, especially the marine environment, and human health. In addition to reducing consumption, restricting the placing on the market, specific product requirements and labeling regulations, this goal is to be achieved via extended producer responsibility. According to Art. 8 of the SUP Directive, in future the producers of the products specified in Annex Part E are to bear the costs of collection in public collection systems, of cleaning campaigns and of awareness-raising measures as part of producer responsibility. In this respect, a nationwide reporting system is to be set up, with an annual reporting obligation for tobacco products according to Art. 13 SUP Directive. For the collection in public containers (e.g. public waste containers for residual waste as well as for cigarette butts on public roads and paths, at public transport stations, parking lots, parks, nature reserves, national parks and recreational areas) and for cleaning campaigns (carried out by or on behalf of public authorities, e.g. by means of mechanical or manual street sweeping and corridor cleaning campaigns), surveys and analyses are to be carried out, which should make it possible to determine the cost shares of relevant and other littering waste.
Previous litter analyses in Austria have been conducted (partly due to a lack of existing methods and standards) with different objectives (e.g. focused litter), different system boundaries (e.g. hotspots vs. area-wide surveys, one-time vs. repeated analyses) and different sorting depths including characteristics (e.g. brands of producers). The informative value and the possible contribution of such analyses for a transfer to the nationwide collection and its composition must therefore be systematically scrutinized and ideally assessed on the basis of a transparent and comprehensible evaluation scheme.
The core objective of the project is the development of an analysis guideline for waste disposed of in public collection systems (in the sense of Art. 8 SUP Directive) as well as littered waste, which enables efficient, transparent and comparable surveys on the basis of the ratio of analysis effort and achievable accuracy and which clearly and concisely presents the procedure of the entire investigation (incl. definition of the investigation objective, subdivision and stratification of the population, planning and execution of analyses, specifications for sorting and documentation).