Environmental benefits of recycling Pdf Download

Environmental benefits of recycling

Environmental benefits of recycling An update to the 2006 WRAP report Environmental Benefits of Recycling, reviewing high-quality Life Cycle Assessments from around the world to assess the impact of alternative waste management options for a range of materials, and discuss the findings for each material in the context of the UK.

Environmental benefits of recycling

Environmental benefits of recycling

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In 2006, WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) published a major research report, Environmental Benefits of Recycling, based on an international review of life cycle analyses (LCA) that evaluated the impact on the environment of recycling, landfilling or incineration of key materials in UK waste streams.

The review assessed 55 ‘state of the art’ LCAs on paper and cardboard, glass, plastics, aluminum, steel, wood, and aggregates. The conclusion was clear – most studies show that recycling offers more environmental benefits and lower environmental impacts than the other waste management options.

With the emergence of new waste management options and new waste streams in the last three years, WRAP has decided to update this report and ensure that policymakers and stakeholders are aware of the latest conclusions from LCA data on waste management options.

The methodology behind the new report remains the same1 – careful screening of over 200 LCAs published worldwide since 2006 against strict criteria to focus on only the highest quality analyses.

However, the scope of the review was changed in several ways:

  • New waste management technologies were added: composting and energy from waste (EfW) technologies such as anaerobic digestion, pyrolysis, and gasification.
  • New waste streams/materials were added: food waste, garden waste, textiles, and biopolymers.
  • Some materials were excluded from further analyses – aluminum, steel, glass, and aggregates – as the results of the first study (that recycling is the preferred waste management option for these materials) are not impacted by new technologies.

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