5.4 Rules and Regulations

The aim of the rules and regulations would be to ensure the running of a smooth society. As noted in previous sections, this can’t be achieved only by formal rules. It seems therefore essential to first outline the general aims of the rules and regulations and then evaluate by which type of rules these goals can be reached.                                                                                Lenzen (2006) notes that there are regulatory, legal and institutional barriers among the obstacles that prevent new energy and waste technologies to be implemented on (remote) islands (Lenzen, 2006). The first aim of the designed rules and regulations should be to prevent barriers for the model to develop in Texel. Although Lenzen does not reflect upon barriers in waste policy in his paper, an example from current waste policy in Texel could be an alteration in the price for the disposal of unsorted company waste. Currently this type of waste has the lowest disposal rate (Decentrale Regelgeving Overheid, 2013), which removes the incentive for separating waste by companies.

Throughout section 3.1-3.5 we have given several examples of actions that have to be taken by citizens and companies and separating waste will be one of the most important practices that have to become the norm in Texel society. This will be a major goal of the proposed regulations. This and other goals that can be derived from the analysis in the previous sections are listed below:

  • Stimulate separation of specific valuable waste streams
  • Creating an attractive environment to turn the blue economy practices in Texel into a touristic hotspot.
  • Being attractive for research towards new blue economy projects.

Now that we have these needs defined, we can argue which of these needs should be regulated by formal laws, and which of them have a better fit with normative and cognitive rules. We explained these concepts in section 2.3.3. Ultimately, the blue economy should become part of the cognitive set of rules on Texel, but it becomes obvious that there is still a long way to go.


Stimulating separation

Arguably this is the most important goal of the three mentioned goals. If the waste streams do not become separated better, the blue economy concept cannot become viable. The important part is the outcome, not the process. For this reason, there are several ways to think about this problem. On a regulatory level one could think about lowering waste taxes for people and companies who participate in separating waste (and perform very well in doing so). It should become attractive to engage in this behavior. On a normative level, these should become the practices that are socially expected from the community. For instance by organizing community events and challenges in waste separation. Zhuang reports that involvement of community residential committee and real estate companies increases public awareness and participation rate (in China) (Zhuang, Wu, Wang, Wu, & Chen, 2008). On a cognitive level, the importance of waste separation could be taught to kids at primary schools. Kids are often particularly influential on their parents regarding such kind of behavior.

Touristic hotspot, attractive research projects

It seems unfair competition towards other actors in the hospitality and research industry to subsidize these initiatives from the government. We argue so because we are not to judge what the hospitality industry and research industry should be doing. That is their business. All we can do is look to stimulate the formulation of normative and cognitive rules about sustainable business and hope that these industries will also alter their business towards a more sustainable business. The formal regulations should therefore mainly focus on enabling the blue economy to flourish by removing old laws from the “old” economy that could hinder a transition towards the blue economy. The VANG program that was mentioned earlier is working on removing these kind of 'old' rules.