The influence of management practices and policy on the environmental performance of metal packaging waste management: The cases of Sweden and the Netherlands
In this report, management practices and waste management and prevention policy that influence the environmental impacts from the metal packaging systems of Sweden and the Netherlands are described. Thereby, the report aims to target the environmental concerns related to packaging in Europe. The approach for reaching this aim has been to synthesise and spread knowledge about the, this far, little considered specific practices of for example the implementation of packaging recycling policy.
The environmental concerns related to packaging generally follow a life cycle assessment perspective and have since two decades been considered through not least an EU directive from 1994. The environmental concerns are related to the main materials commonly identified as the bases of metal packaging: steel and aluminium. Particularly prominent environmental issues are: energy use, global warming potential, raw material scarcity, and landfill space scarcity. Recycling (which in the packaging context and in this report refers to reprocessing in production processes but not for example energy recovery) is the promoted approach, and percentage wise large energy reductions have been stated to follow this approach.
A few conclusions and recommendations for lowering environmental impacts from metal packaging systems are made based on the analysis of the results in this study, and they are summarised in the following. Conclusions are presented for both countries. The conclusions might be of relevance both specifically for the metal packaging systems, but also for waste management more generally. The conclusions are targeted for all actors in the respective systems, including producers, consumers, waste management actors, and public authorities. For an overview, see also Figure 8 on page 52.
1) Sweden: Use complementary extraction from ashes. 2) Sweden and the Netherlands: Increase the focus on aluminium. 3) Sweden and the Netherlands: Scrutinise official statistics. 4) Sweden and the Netherlands: Better avoidance of downgrading, in for example re-melting. 5) Sweden and the Netherlands: Improving relations between public and private actors could help. 6) Sweden and the Netherlands: Opportunities for considerable improvements exist, particularly in Sweden, but are difficult to assess. 7) Sweden and the Netherlands: It is easy to overlook factors of considerable importance. 8) Sweden and the Netherlands: Other practices not identified in this study can be of importance in addition.
metal packaging systems
life cycle assessment (LCA)