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Investigating barriers and drivers for procurement of products with recycled content by government organisations

  • Published on December 21, 2020
This research would provide insights on drivers and barriers to enhance government purchasing of products with recycled content, covering multiple perspectives. The perspectives of responsible individuals, organisations and suppliers could be captured and analysed systematically, enabling identification of strategic interventions needed.
The aim of this study is to identify drivers and barriers for government organisations in Australia to develop appropriate procurement interventions that would stimulate the market for products made of recycled content to drive public procurement initiatives. Background The regulations imposed by China in 2018 banning importation of contaminated waste material, have made significant changes to the structure and dynamics of the industries engaging in the waste management and resource recovery industry sectors in Australia. This reduction in waste exports have forced resource recovery industries to explore alternative solutions and to find avenues to use the material derived out of waste in products that would be sold in primary and secondary markets. The economic success of use of recovered resources in products is driven by the demand for such waste-derived products (WDP) in the market. While there has been significant progress made in the last couple of years, there is a further need to increase the demand for WDPs and to develop new markets into which products made of recovered resources can be introduced. In this context, the government acting as a torch bearer to strengthen the procurement effort of products made of recycled material is essential, inducing further demand from businesses. There is a need to gain insights into government and industrial buying of products made of recycled content as well as the barriers to and drivers of increased procurement of these products. Methods The study collects data through 1) interviewing buying centre members of government organisations, 2) review of procurement and related process documents, and 3) focus group meeting of supplier groups. These three sets of data allow for triangulation of results and identification of views and practices reliably. There was a pilot study conducted as an in-depth qualitative research through interviewing buying centre members of three local councils in Victoria. Interviews were first transcribed and then coded using an iterative process to classify the barriers to and enablers of using recycled products. Outputs The barriers and drivers were identified on the basis of five different themes namely, Organisational/individual factors, knowledge and information related factors, directive and policy related factors, project and product attributes, and financial and cost attributes. Under each of these categories a comprehensive analysis of drivers and barriers were stated indicating specific needs and interventions.
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