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Environmental Life Cycle Assessment of Waste Packaging Management Systems in Norway

General Experiences

This report summarises the findings and conclusions from various work completed by Østfold Research Foundation between 1999 and august 2001. It focuses on the waste management system in the Drammen region before and after the introduction of a waste sorting system. Four waste fractions have been scrutinised: plastic, carton packaging, drink cartons and corrugated cardboard. The analyses conclude that material recycling is the most environmentally beneficial way to manage these four fractions and that the environmental benefits increase with higher rates of material recycling.

The authors argue that dynamic and holistic perspectives are necessary in order to best optimise waste management systems, both in terms of environmental effectiveness and socio-economic effectiveness. Industrial ecology is put forward as a realistic approach in order to meet the future challenges that the current narrow-minded and shortsighted policies regarding waste treatment practices are unable to do.

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