On 23 December 2016, the President of Peru signed a new Legislative Decree (Decree 1278) to approve a new solid waste management law. This law establishes a regime of rights, obligations, attributions and responsibilities with the purpose of maximising resource-use efficiency and ensuring an adequate economic, sanitary and environmentally safe management and handling of solid waste.
According to article 2 of the Decree, solid waste management should have as its primary objective the prevention or minimisation of waste generation. Nevertheless, in cases where waste is still generated, the law mandates recovery of energy and material through measures such as recycling, composting, and co-processing.
The Decree further indicates the following as principles governing solid waste management:
- Circular Economy: The creation of value is not limited to the final consumption of the resources but should consider the entire life cycle of the goods.
- Waste recovery: Recovery should be prioritised through activities such as recycling of inorganic substances and metals, power generation, compost production, fertilizers or other biological transformations, recovery of components, and treatment or recovery of soils, among other options that avoid their final disposal.
- Principle of extended producer responsibility: Manufacturers, importers, distributors, and marketers are encouraged to manufacture or use products or packaging with eco-efficiency criteria that minimise the generation of waste and/or facilitate its recovery, taking advantage of resources in a sustainable manner and minimising their impact on the environment. They are also responsible for all stages of the life cycle.
- Principle of shared responsibility: Waste management is a social co-responsibility. It requires the joint, coordinated and differentiated participation of generators, waste operators, and municipalities.
- Principle of environment and public health protection: Waste management includes measures to protect the people’s health in harmony with the full exercise of the fundamental right to live in a balanced and adequate environment.