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Comparative Analysis of Plastic Packaging Recycling in Portugal and Sweden

Freitas, Ana LU (2018) FMIM01 20181
Environmental and Energy Systems Studies
Abstract (Swedish)
Current concerns for how unsustainable plastic packaging waste management is and how it negatively affects the environment, combined with the fact that it does not promote a circular economy has given origin to a strategy for plastics in a circular economy defined by the European Commission, in 2018. Thus, this study intended to compare and analyse two different plastic packaging waste recycling systems, in Portugal and in Sweden. Mainly since recycling this kind of waste is one solution pointed out in the published strategy on plastics. Ultimately, the study seeks to find possible obstacles in the recycling systems and solutions that promote the increase of plastic packaging recycling rates. This is accomplished by focusing on some actors... (More)
Current concerns for how unsustainable plastic packaging waste management is and how it negatively affects the environment, combined with the fact that it does not promote a circular economy has given origin to a strategy for plastics in a circular economy defined by the European Commission, in 2018. Thus, this study intended to compare and analyse two different plastic packaging waste recycling systems, in Portugal and in Sweden. Mainly since recycling this kind of waste is one solution pointed out in the published strategy on plastics. Ultimately, the study seeks to find possible obstacles in the recycling systems and solutions that promote the increase of plastic packaging recycling rates. This is accomplished by focusing on some actors from the plastic recycling value chain.

The study presents the plastic packaging recycling rates in 2016, 42% in Portugal and 50% in Sweden. However, the acquired knowledge on each country’s plastic packaging recycling system was not enough to draw solid conclusions on what are the reasons for the different plastic packaging recycling rates from each country. This was because the systems are highly complex, with many actors playing different roles and relating with each other in different manners.

In addition, the study was highly dependent on published information like definitions and statistics that weren’t always available or clear about their meaning or how they were calculated.

Nevertheless, the study showed that many solutions could be drawn, both from lessons learned from each country and practices not currently applied in either of them. Some of them were landfill bans for recyclable waste, higher landfill and incineration taxes, as well as sorting plastic packaging waste from the unsorted waste stream and sending non-packaging plastic waste for recycling. Additional solutions could be extracted from the plastic producer’s feedback. For example: investments in recycling processes and technologies that contribute to higher quality of recycled plastics; better design that allow high recyclability of plastic packaging products; reduce multi-material plastic products; a collection scheme that increases the quality and traceability of the recycled plastic; increase correct source-sorting by consumers and implement regulation that demands a certain fraction of recycled plastic in plastic products. (Less)
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author
Freitas, Ana LU
supervisor
organization
course
FMIM01 20181
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Plastic packaging waste, recycled plastic, waste management, circular economy, recycling rate, market, target, legislation, collection, sorting
report number
ISRN LUTFD2/TFEM—18/5134--SE + (1-106)
ISSN
1102-3651
language
English
id
8956858
date added to LUP
2018-08-27 08:28:37
date last changed
2018-12-06 15:10:17
@misc{8956858,
  abstract     = {Current concerns for how unsustainable plastic packaging waste management is and how it negatively affects the environment, combined with the fact that it does not promote a circular economy has given origin to a strategy for plastics in a circular economy defined by the European Commission, in 2018. Thus, this study intended to compare and analyse two different plastic packaging waste recycling systems, in Portugal and in Sweden. Mainly since recycling this kind of waste is one solution pointed out in the published strategy on plastics. Ultimately, the study seeks to find possible obstacles in the recycling systems and solutions that promote the increase of plastic packaging recycling rates. This is accomplished by focusing on some actors from the plastic recycling value chain.

The study presents the plastic packaging recycling rates in 2016, 42% in Portugal and 50% in Sweden. However, the acquired knowledge on each country’s plastic packaging recycling system was not enough to draw solid conclusions on what are the reasons for the different plastic packaging recycling rates from each country. This was because the systems are highly complex, with many actors playing different roles and relating with each other in different manners.

In addition, the study was highly dependent on published information like definitions and statistics that weren’t always available or clear about their meaning or how they were calculated.

Nevertheless, the study showed that many solutions could be drawn, both from lessons learned from each country and practices not currently applied in either of them. Some of them were landfill bans for recyclable waste, higher landfill and incineration taxes, as well as sorting plastic packaging waste from the unsorted waste stream and sending non-packaging plastic waste for recycling. Additional solutions could be extracted from the plastic producer’s feedback. For example: investments in recycling processes and technologies that contribute to higher quality of recycled plastics; better design that allow high recyclability of plastic packaging products; reduce multi-material plastic products; a collection scheme that increases the quality and traceability of the recycled plastic; increase correct source-sorting by consumers and implement regulation that demands a certain fraction of recycled plastic in plastic products.},
  author       = {Freitas, Ana},
  issn         = {1102-3651},
  keyword      = {Plastic packaging waste,recycled plastic,waste management,circular economy,recycling rate,market,target,legislation,collection,sorting},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Comparative Analysis of Plastic Packaging Recycling in Portugal and Sweden},
  year         = {2018},
}