Sustainability assessment of a deposit return system for packaging waste in Spain

The project aims at providing an environmental, economic and social assessment of the implementation in Spain of a deposit return system (DRS) for some plastic and glass beverage containers present in municipal solid waste (MSW). The consequences of implementing this system are compared to those of the current system, based on kerbside collection of these materials.

The client

Ecoembes

Our role

At 2.-0 LCA consultants we provide a ‘social footprint’ assessment consisting of an aggregated monetary value of all social impacts of the two scenarios under consideration, and a breakdown of this footprint by country and industry. The project started in January 2016 and is expected to be completed by end of October 2016.

The project

Currently packaging MSW in Spain is mainly collected through separate kerbside collection of paper/cardboard, glass, and light packaging (plastics, cans, liquid packaging board). Packaging waste not separated at the source is also recovered to some extent in mixed waste treatment facilities such as mechanical-biological treatment plants. However there is public debate on the possibility of implementing a DRS, similar to those in Denmark, Sweden or Germany. In this project the consequences of such an implementation are assessed by means of life cycle assessment, financial cost assessment, social assessment and social footprint. The system under study includes the collection, transport, recycling and disposal of the amounts of packaging waste originated in Spain in one year. This project is led by the Cátedra UNESCO de Ciclo de Vida y Cambio Climático (ESCI-UPF).