Waste Management : the Disconnection between Normative and SMEs Reality

Joan Llonch i Andreu, Ma. Pilar López Belbeze, Francisco Javier Villegas Pinuer, Leslier Valenzuela-Fernández

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Waste generation is a critical factor in global environmental degradation, where SMEs have been historically relevant yet underestimated. This study covers the issue of the disconnection between the normative and SMEs reality. Therefore, this research aims to investigate the relationship between waste management norms and their application in Chilean SMEs. For context, Chile is the nation that generates the most amount of waste per capita in the region. Nevertheless, the country also has one of the most rigorous waste frameworks in the region, by means of the Extended Responsibility Producer (ERP) law, which has been gradually implemented since 2016. Data for the study were collected through in-depth interviews with 25 SMEs. The results show the practical limitations of SMEs in complying with the waste law, the lack of traceability in the waste management system, and the need for economic support and technical assistance to improve the use and management of sustainable raw materials. Therefore, this study contributes to the limited knowledge of how SMEs implement waste management norms and their importance in diminishing waste generation and promoting waste hierarchy.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Waste generation
  • Waste management system
  • Waste legislation
  • Small and medium enterprises
  • Raw materials


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