Closing the product loop by pengtt


									Closing the product loop
How Europe is grappling with waste
Beverley Thorpe

Moving from waste to product focus – some general themes
From Waste management to Product life cycle From Community-funded recycling to producer responsibility for end of life products

Clean Production Action

We are better at making waste than products
For every 100 pounds of product manufactured in the USA, we create at least 3,200 pounds of waste. Only 6% of the materials we extract each year from the Earth becomes durable goods, the other 94% is converted into waste within a few months
– Ref: P Hawken
Clean Production Action

Previous waste prevention does not define WHO is responsible

Clean Production Action

Products need to be considered in their life cycle – current production is linear and generates hazardous wastes with fast consumption

Clean Production Action

Clean Production cycle is different to current linear production systems

Clean Production Action

What Is Clean Production?
It promotes renewable energy, non toxic materials in a closed loop and sustainable product design It is rooted within circular concepts of the product life cycle It is based on the Precautionary Principle
Clean Production Action

UNEP Cleaner Production (CP) Definition (1990)
For PRODUCTION PROCESSES Cleaner Production includes:
conserving raw materials and energy; eliminating toxic raw materials reducing the quantity and toxicity of all emissions and wastes before they leave a process

Clean Production Action

UNEP CP Definition
the strategy focuses on reducing impacts along the entire life cycle of the product….from raw material extraction to the ultimate disposal of the product

Visit for information on their case studies and reports.
Clean Production Action

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is one strategy to push CP
It is a product policy; not a waste policy It enacts the „polluter pays principle‟ and attempts to internalize true cost into the product price It makes the producer financially and/or physically responsible for all stages of a product‟s life cycle, including end of life
Clean Production Action

Clean Production Action

EPR promotes better design
EPR can lead to innovation in the design of products and product systems by making: “the business opportunities connected to remanufacturing and product/service approaches more visual and comprehensible to the industrial entrepreneurs.”
– Thomas Lindhqvist, who coined the phrase EPR, 1991

More recycling and reuse can mean less hazardous material use
Clean Production Action

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Why make the producer responsible?
Only the product designer can choose material and form/function of the product EPR puts the feedback loop back on the producer to design for disassembly, reuse, and safer recycling Hazardous materials increase the producer‟s liability and costs
Clean Production Action

EPR can make products more recyclable and less wasteful if:
Focus is specifically on waste from end of life products Financial responsibility is clear to producers for collection, transport and recycling Meangful targets are established for collection and recycling….
Clean Production Action

…EPR programs are effective if:
Recycling is clearly differentiated from waste to energy conversion/incineration Reporting requirements and enforcement mechanisms established Producers have incentive to design for reuse/recycling Consumers have incentives to return their old products (eg free and easy)
Clean Production Action

EPR is embodied in:
Bottle return/refund programs Product leasing where manufacturer maintains control of product ownership/reuse/repair eg Xerox Providing a Service instead of a product, eg Interface supplying floor covering service and carpet tile replacement versus new carpet
Clean Production Action

First EPR program: Germany’s Green Dot for packaging
Packaging Ordinance 1991 establishes EPR Packaging accounted for 1/3 by weight and ½ by volume of total waste stream and was growing! Would stimulate new recycling technologies Berlin Wall collapse meant new consumerism and waste and decreasing landfill space
Clean Production Action

Established individual or third party system
Fillers are responsible for packaging waste; can deal with it themselves or set up third party system
Industry responded by designing the Dual, or Green Dot, system

Clean Production Action

Non profit company, Duales System Deutschland (DSD) licenses logo for a fee Fees based on the material and weight of the package and paid by filler – usually the owner of the product brand name Households have 2 bins: one for regular trash (municipality responsibility) and one for packaging (DSD picks up for free) DSD also operates drop-off igloos for glass and paper
Clean Production Action

License fee for Green Dot, Oct 1994 Weight-based Fee: DM/kg
3 2.5 2 1.5 1 0.5 0 paper Al Plastic Comp Natural
Clean Production Action


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DSD sets clear targets
Recycling targets ranging from 64 to 72 percent for various materials Refill rate for beverage containers at 72 percent or higher

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Effects of DSD: less packaging
Between 1991 and 1995 packaging consumption decreased by one million tons Green Dot packaging decreased 14% from 1991-1995, while total packaging in Germany decreased 7% Comparison in USA (same time) packaging increased 13%
Clean Production Action

Effects of DSD: product redesign
Packaging redesign: lightweighting elimination of unessential packaging (blister packs) increased use of concentrates and refill packs
Clean Production Action

What about plastics?
In 1996 plastic packaging recycling increased to 68% Move away from PVC (difficult to recycle) to better recyclable material (eg paper) Incineration not considered recycling BUT: One third recycling via „feedstock recycling‟ eg pyrolysis, hydrogenation and substitution of waste plastic for oil in steel production
Clean Production Action

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New recycling targets from 1999
Glass Tinplate Aluminum Paper/crdbd) Composites 75% 70% 60% 70% 60% (previously 70%) (same) (prev 50%) (prev 60%) (prev 50%)

Clean Production Action

Hazardous contents must decrease
concentrations of lead, cadmium, mercury and hexavalent chromium in packaging reduced:
• 600 ppm (parts per million) by weight from 30 June 1998 • 250 ppm by weight from 30 June 1999 • 100 ppm by weight from 30 June 2001

Clean Production Action

Prognos Assessment of DSD, 2002
The recycling of two million tonnes of lightweight packaging avoids carbon dioxide pollution by the same quantity which arises in the incineration of 28 million tonnes of residual waste Costs of the Green Dot are between 520 and 605 euros per tonne, could drop to 250-370 euros
Clean Production Action

Greenhouse gas reductions
By recycling used sales packaging, a total of 67.5 billion megajoules of primary energy was saved In addition, this saved 1.5 million tonnes of climate-damaging greenhouse gases.
(Source: Environmental Success Balance 2002 of Duales System Deutschland AG,
Clean Production Action

Future predictions for packaging in Germany
Predictions of 15% decrease in waste 2000-2005 (Prognos Institute) No untreated waste to landfill in 2005 will lead to more reductions (more reuse and recycling) Mechanical biological treatment will be used more in future (versus incineration)
Clean Production Action

Re-use in Europe
On average in the European Union, about one third of the packaging for soft drinks, mineral water and wine is reused The highest reuse rates are achieved in Denmark, Finland, Germany and Sweden; in some cases more than 90 percent of the volume bottled (glass and PET) is reused in these countries.
Clean Production Action

Beverage bottle reuse -Europe
WINE REUSE: Austria (83 percent); Finland (71 percent); Sweden reuses 55 percent, Portugal around 50 percent; Spain 32 percent and Germany 29 percent. SOFT DRINK REUSE: Austria, Germany, Sweden, Finland and Portugal reuse between one third and two thirds of the glass packaging. Denmark achieves 80 percent, followed by Germany with 61 percent. BEER and MINERAL WATER: higher
Clean Production Action

Germany’s Closed Material and Waste Management Act 1996
Aim to eliminate the dumping of untreated waste entirely within 20 years, as a result of the progress made in recovery technology.
EPR in Germany extended to:
Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equpment (WEEE) End of Life Vehicles (EoLV) Carpets and textiles Biowaste Construction waste Batteries
Clean Production Action

EU focus on Product Policy finds PVC a difficult waste problem
Green Opposition in Europe to PVC plastic leads to demands for phase out in cars and waste from electrical and electronic equipment

Clean Production Action

PVC is not and can not be safely recycled
0.1% total pvc use currently recycled Incompatible with potential recycling of other plastics – contaminates others High collection and separation costs Downcycling shifts disposal problems to other products/countries Increases toxic emissions in steel smelting if used as „fuel‟
Clean Production Action

PVC - 2nd most common plastic

Clean Production Action

PVC – common in households

Clean Production Action

PVC IS INCREASING GLOBALLYformer long life pvc products to enter current waste stream

Clean Production Action

PVC legacy about to hit
300 million tons PVC produced globally since 1960s Half already disposed to landfills and incinerators Half still in current use (construction materials = average life 34 years) 1960s construction waste about to hit! So what do we do with it?
Clean Production Action

What does this waste legacy mean? A BIG TOXIC PROBLEM
If all pvc production were to cease today we would still face 150 mT waste mountain globally Along which comes tens of millions of tons of additives (estimate does not include short life products eg packaging, household products)
Clean Production Action

EU Studies on PVC (2000) - Conclusions
Amount of pvc waste to double in next 20 years Mechanical recycling will not contribute significantly to management of PVC postconsumer wastes; reaching at best 18% of the total in 2020 Incineration of 1 kg PVC leads in most cases to formation of 1 kg hazardous wastes Landfilling releases hazardous phthalate softeners and will contribute to formation of dioxins in accidental landfill fires
Clean Production Action

What does this waste legacy mean? A BIG TOXIC PROBLEM
If all pvc production were to cease today we would still face 150 mT waste mountain globally Along which comes tens of millions of tons of additives (estimate does not include short life products eg packaging, household products)
Clean Production Action

PVC waste crisis will demand more incineration- BIG DIOXIN THREAT
“…the future will see a major increase in the recycling of PVC through energy recovery by incineration. This is because mechanical recycling levels appear to have peaked with no obvious hope of an increase to come.
-Occidental Chemical spokesman, 1997
Clean Production Action

Chlorine EDC VCM

Production Use - Disposal

Stabilisers: e.g. Pb, Cd Additives
(0,1-2,5 %)


(Cl-content 14-53%) (content 7-75 %)


Plasticisers e.g. DEHP

Dioxin (production, accidental fires, landfill fires, incineration, metal recycling)
Clean Production Action

Chlorine in = dioxin out
Danish gov‟t now trying to limit PVC in incineration waste streams “review of data clearly shows correlation with chlorine input and synthesis of dioxins and furans” USEPA
PVC waste on the rise
8 7 6


Million tonnes

5 4 3 2 1 0

Total over 20 years 113 million tonnes



Bags of incineration ash from pvc combusion
Clean Production Action

1 kg PVC produces 1kg or more of hazardous waste residues (see photo of bags of incineration ash) European Commission 2001
PVC in incinerators creates acidic emissions along with dioxins; neutralizing these emissions generates as much waste as original waste stream…which then needs to be landfilled creating future toxic leaks and emissions. Incineration is NOT the solution
Clean Production Action

PVC-free political initiatives in EU
• EU emergency ban of six phthalates in soft PVC teething toys • Restrictive policies at national level in place or recommended
(DK, S, NL, D)

• PVC-free policies at regional or local level
(DK, S, NL, D, UK, A, Spain, Lux)

Clean Production Action

Government initiatives
Sweden (1999) phases out several PVC additives and places ban on phthalates in toys for children under 3; other phaseouts
Achieved a 39% reduction in PVC beween 1994 and 1999

Denmark (1999) limit incineration of PVC; ban on lead stabilizers, substitution of PVC products difficult to segregate; PVC tax($2/kg on all pvc foils); 50% reduction of phthalates by 2010
Clean Production Action

Government initiatives…
Germany: gradual phase out of soft PVC, no landfilling of PVC, no spreading of hazardous substances via recycling, phase out of Cd and Pb, use of chlorine-free materials in certain inflammable areas
• -German EPA recommendations (1999)

274 communitites and 6 Federal States have PVC restrictions
Clean Production Action

Local authorities restricting PVC
Spain: 62 Spanish cities have been declared PVC free and award tax relief to builders who avoid PVC Anti PVC procurement guidelines in Austria, Netherlands, Nordic countries, UK, Japan and even USA Japan cities using non pvc pipes; increasing public concern and action against dioxin
Clean Production Action

German Wood and Plastic Processors Labour Union : “problems associated with this material must be addressed…our organisation in Germany is committed to a medium term transition to chlorine free materials such as polyolefins and PET.”
-Gisbert Schlemmer, GHK, 1994
Clean Production Action

PVC-free business initiatives
Wavin: No. 1 PVC pipe producer in Europe

“Why polypropylene is the better material”
“a standard plastic has been questioned increasingly in recent years due to its chlorine content: PVC” “Rightly, polypropylene is called the „material of
the future‟. Because in addition to its excellent characteristics, it has all the advantages for ecologically clean reprocessing”

Clean Production Action

International Association of Firefighters: “Due to intrinsic hazards, we support efforts to identify and use alternative building materials that do not pose as much a risk as PVC to firefighters, building occupants or communities”
Richard Duffy, OHS, 1998

„PVC-Free Future: A Review of Restrictions and PVC free Policies Worldwide‟ visit
Clean Production Action

“We support initiatives to reduce the harmful impact of medical waste, including…use of the marketplace to develop alternative low-toxicity products, eg replacing pvc plastics, latex and mercury
- International Council of Nurses, 1998

- See Health Care Without Harm (
Clean Production Action

We need to rapidly phase out PVC via:
Green procurement and ecotaxes Producer responsibility for product life cycle as general policy Producer responsibility for PVC waste segregation prior to waste management Government responsibility to urgently implement MATERIAL POLICY as basis of environmental and industrial development
Clean Production Action

EPR in Europe now applied to
End of Life Vehicles Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)

Clean Production Action

WHY EPR for autos?
There are 8 to 9 million vehicles discarded annually within the European Union alone. This results in around 9 million tonnes of waste created per year End of life systems were often unregulated
Clean Production Action

Auto shredder residue (ASR) is hazardous
Mixture of plastics, fluids, rubber, glass, dirt, and metallic fines which makes it hazardous waste in many countries ASR is approx 25% of the car, almost all disposed to landfill
Clean Production Action

Design objective of EoLV Directive
Member states shall encourage vehicle manufacturers in liaison with material and equipment manufactures to limit the use of hazardous substances in vehicles; to improve design and production of new vehicles to facilitate their dismantling, reuse, recycling, and recovery; and to integrate an increasing quantity of recycled materials in vehicles and other products, in order to develop the markets for recycled materials (Article 4.1);
Clean Production Action

Recycling objectives
Directive passed October 2000 Members states must implement into national laws by April 2002 Sets recovering and recycling rates (by 2006: reuse and recovery 85%; reuse and recycling 80%) and by 2015: reuse and recovery 95%; reuse and recycling 85%) Recycling does not allow incineration (but recovery can be energy recovery aka incineration)
Clean Production Action

Hazardous material phase outs
Mandates hazardous material phase outs (Pb, Hg, Cd and Hexavalent Cr) in new cars by July 2003 PVC was originally included but Vinyl industry lobbied strenuously against European Union decided to study PVC in all industry sectors:
Results White Paper 2001 – confirmed PVC a waste problem with no sustainable solution Major auto manufacturers avoiding PVC
Clean Production Action

End of life catalyzes design change in Japan auto industry
Use of homogenous plastics for wider recycling options Design for repair One manufacturer discovered plastic which could be recycled for same use (cf Renault uses up to 25% recycled plastic in new cars) One manufacturer recycles fabrics from shredded waste for noise buffering Bumpers now commonly recycled
Clean Production Action

Brominated flame retardants
Used in textiles, construction, upholstery (polyurethane foam), electronics (BFRs in plastic housing of computers) Now found widely in household dust Computer recyclers in Sweden had elevated blood levels (Sjodin, 2000)
Clean Production Action

Brominated flame retardant chemicals: the PCBs of the 21st century
Developmental toxin, persistent, neurological toxin, reduced intelligence North American body burdens 10 to 100 times higher than Europeans No regulations on BFRs in North America! Only monitoring ….
Clean Production Action

BFR levels rising in American women
F i g . 2 P B D E 4 7 in C a lifo rn ia w o m e n 140 120
C A s eru m 1 960s, n =270 C A a d ip o s e , 1 9 9 0 s , n = 3 2


C A L a o s e r u m , 1 9 9 0 s , n = 5 0 , in c l. N D s U S m ilk , c o m p o s it e (P a p k e )

n g /g lip id





0 19 60s L ate 199 0s

Clean Production Action

BFRs rising in Canadian women
30 25

ug/kg milk lipid

20 15 10 5 0

47 99 100 153 Sum n=8







Clean Production Action

BFRs the focus of industry in Europe and Japan
EU Directive on Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment mandates phase out of two classes of BFRs High priority on OsPar haz list Still no regulation in the USA EPA Region 9 conferences on the use of BFRs in IT sector, upholstery (PU foam)

Clean Production Action

WEEE and RoHS Directives (2003)
Directive on Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment and Directive on Restriction of Hazardous Substances

Clean Production Action

WEEE and RoHS Directives
Sets individual producer responsibility Mandates Reuse and recycling targets with timelines Last owner takes back end of life product for free

Clean Production Action

Why WEEE directive?
6 million tonnes of waste from EEE generated every year Equals 4 percent of municipal waste stream and growing 3 times faster WEEE is hazardous in landfills and generates dioxins if incinerated Recycling workers contaminated by brominated flame retardant chemicals Needed to harmonize national initiatives
Clean Production Action

Directives on WEEE and RoHS
Applicable to all white and brown goods not just IT equipment Objective: “a means to encourage the design and production of EEE which takes into full account and facilitates their repair, possible upgrading, reuse, disassembly and recycling” also “substitution by safe or safer materials”
Clean Production Action

WEEE and RoHS mandates:
Pb, Hg, Cd, hexavalent Cr and the brominated flame retardants PBDEs and PBBs must not be used in products by July 2006 Producers have individual responsibility for own products as of Aug 2005 and collective responsibility for historic waste before then Makers allowed to show cost of historical waste in price tag of new products for transitional period of 8 years (10 for fridges)
Clean Production Action

WEEE and RoHS mandates
By Aug 2005 consumers will have free take back of WEEE Producers provide guarantee of recycling when placing a product on the market By Dec 31, 2006 member states must have reached average waste collection rate of 4 kg/person/year Recovery targets range from 70%-80% by average weight per appliance; reuse and recycling targets 50%-75% depending on product type
Clean Production Action

Both directives leading to design change
Sony Japan set up own recycling centre All IT companies complying with RoHS phase outs; lead-free solder now common Apple‟s new laptop to be 100% metal casing as substitute for flame retardants in plastic
Clean Production Action

Basel Action Network (
Current focus e-waste exports from USA PVC in cables and computers being burned in open fires>>>dioxins

Clean Production Action

Producer responsibility for chemicals: new EU Chemical Policy
Would force chemical industry to supply information on health and environmental effects for all existing chemicals on the market No data; no market 90% of all existing chemicals have no data If shown to be a carcinogen, mutagen, reproductive toxin then would need authorization to continue marketing Anticipated: 1300 chemicals will be restricted If no data, no market!
Clean Production Action

Some voluntary initiatives in USA
Some IT companies promoting (weak) voluntary programs Over 20 states now advocating EPR type legislation for IT waste See computertakeback campaign: See INFORM at
Clean Production Action

Minnesota taking lead
Product Stewardship Initiative in 1999 3 priority waste streams: paint, carpet, IT equipment with cathode ray tubes Conducted demonstation project (1999-2000) for recycling used electronics to aquire data on collection systems, recycling markets, costs and barriers Involved Sony, Panasonic, Computer World, Circuit City Over 3 months collected 575 Tons
Clean Production Action

Sony (Oct 2000)
“We Make It, We Take It” initiative as a five year program that would begin in Minnesota and expand to five other states during 2001 and go national by 2004 Expected initiative to become profitable by 2005 Budget constraints put program on hold in 2001 For more information see INFORM “Waste in the Wireless World” May 2002 (
Clean Production Action

IBM take back (Nov 2000)
For fee of $29.99 per unit IBM will take back computers made by any manufacturer Owners bring it to UPS location Computers shipped to Envirocycle in Penn Only 1000 computers returned in first six months

Clean Production Action

HP volunary take back program (May 2001)
Will take back any manufacturer‟s product for fee -$34 Consumers must box equipment and Fed Ex picks up from door Equipment shipped to HP facilities in CA and Tennessee No data on amounts/success
Clean Production Action

Fee $27.99 consumers receive a shipping label and pack up and drop off at UPS location UPS delivers to United Recycling Operates in seven midwestern states

Clean Production Action

Proposed EPR plans in USA provide no feedback for better design/price internalization:
All voluntary programs None include targets for collection and recycling No definition of what counts as recyling No reporting requirements or enforcement mechanisms Most will not pay for collection of used products and their transport to recyclers
Clean Production Action

EPR established in EU and Japan
Why not in North America? Same companies! Best opportunities at local and state level for haz phase outs and closed loop legislation Integrated Product Policy a better focus than waste policy – puts onus on producer
Clean Production Action

California leading the way
SB 20 in CA mirrored after WEEE Computer Take Back campaign inititiated EPR type legislation in over 20 states National Electronic Product Stewardship Initiative just disbanded with no concensus – enviros would not compromise on industry voluntary proposals Contact Ted Smith:
Clean Production Action

For more information:
Beverley Thorpe Clean Production Action Tel: 514 484 8647

Clean Production Action

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