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Environmental Documentation of EPS Packaging

Summary

This project has been carried out on behalf of EPS producers in Norway and has had the following aims: Assess the environmental benefit and economy of different scenarios for the disposal of used EPS fish containers. An environmental and economic assessment has been carried out using life-cycle assessment methodology (LCA) for the following three main scenarios:

  1. Material recycling in Germany
  2. Material recycling in Norway
  3. Incineration with energy recovery locally

Based on the results from this study, the following main conclusions can be drawn:

  • Material recycling is clearly the best waste treatment method for EPS packaging from an environmental point of view.
  • Emissions from transport are negligible for the total environmental accounts for the value-chain for EPS fish containers.
  • The costs of material recycling give this treatment method a competitive edge over energy recovery.
  • Transport of non-pressed EPS is more significant for the total cost picture than whether the EPS fish containers are sent to material recycling or energy recovery.

An application will be made to continue the project work as an EU project with the 6th Framework Programme's Collective Research programme. Financial support for developing an application for an EU project has been obtained from The Research Council of Norway.

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