LCA, a powerful tool for decision making in waste management

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 Pere Fullana took part last Thursday in a breakfast-debate on Circular Economy at the European Parlament Member's Salon in Brussels. The session’s title was “Making progress in the Circular Economy and the importance of developing efficient and sustainable EPR’s (Extended Producer Responsibility)”.

The event was hosted by Soledad Cabezón Ruiz, member of the European Parliament and of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI). Guest speakers for the event were Kestutis Sadauskas, director for Environment at European Commission, Esther Colino Caro, responsible for Ecoembes’ public affairs strategy, Dr. Pere Fullana, director of the UNESCO Chair in Life Cycle and Climate Change and Richard Hughes, chairman of the task force Ecodesign Committee (CEN/CENELEC). 

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During his intervention, our director highlighted the importance of using LCA methodology in waste management decision making, giving some examples of prior case studies performed by the Chair. Among other examples, after the appearance of a study in 2001, there was to be a change in the priority method for waste oil disposal in the corresponding European Directive. The study recommended that waste oil should be used as fuel instead of being regenerated. An LCA performed by the Chair (at the Catalan Waste Agency’s request) proved that regeneration it was the better option, thus being able to ultimately stop the change of priority of the European Directive.

Using LCA, the Chair was also recently able to analyze the environmental effects of the introduction of a mandatory deposit and return system for beverages packaging in Catalonia. When analyzing the effect on six different impact categories (as can be seen on slide number 11 of the presentation) it can be determined that the current EPR system shows better environmental results in 5 over 6 categories.

 

 

 

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