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Analysis of Ecodesign Implementation and Solutions for Packaging Waste System by Using System Dynamics Modeling

This paper discusses the findings of a research project which explored the packaging waste management system in Latvia. The paper focuses on identifying how the policy mechanisms can promote ecodesign implementation and material efficiency improvement and therefore reduce the rate of packaging waste accumulation in landfill. The method used for analyzing the packaging waste management policies is system dynamics modeling. The main conclusion is that the existing legislative instruments can be used to create an effective policy for ecodesign implementation but substantially higher tax rates on packaging materials and waste disposal than the existing have to be applied.

Participation of Environmental Science Students in an Open Discussion "Riga - European Green Capital"

Starting from the year 2010, each year one European city is selected as the European Green Capital of the year. The award is granted to a city that has a consistent record of achieving high environmental standards, and is committed to ongoing and ambitious goals for further environmental improvement and sustainable development, as well as can act as a role model to inspire other cities and promote best practices to other European cities. Riga participated in the competition once, but did not fulfill the conditions, therefore an open discussion "Riga - European Green Capital" was organized by a nongovernmental organization "Association of Environmental Science Students". The aim of the discussion was to develop suggestions for the Riga city council on how to win the title "European Green Capital". Students of technical and engineering sciences were involved in the discussion to give their vision on what is needed for the city to comply with all the criteria of the competition. Thus, another aim of the discussion was to promote collaboration between students and the Riga city council in terms of environmental thinking.

As a result of the discussion, a nine-page letter was prepared with recommendations to the Riga city mayor on how to develop the city in a sustainable manner and outlining benefits which could arise if the city of Riga got the title. However, the most important outcome of the discussion are the skills which students gained from the experience of presenting their ideas and discussing them with specialists of the specific field. This should help in further studies and work, as well as in individual professional development. The discussions were also a starting point for further collaboration between the Riga city council and students from the Association of Latvian Environmental Science Students.