Project results

  • Explored the impact on emissions and costs of recycling collection routes for metal packaging

  • Lifecycle analysis was conducted to determine the CO2emission avoided through recycling

  • Behaviour patterns were also analysed

The results of the analysis provide empirical evidence for the industry on how to organise recycling arrangements in the best way.
This is something society needs to do more often. Many decisions are based on gut feeling or emotional choices when in fact more CO2 emissions could be prevented by calculating what is best approach and therefore avoiding inefficient ways of becoming circular and pursuing net zero.

Erik van Dijk

Senior Consultant in Circular Economy at Royal HaskoningDHV.

Collection route offers optimal balance between cost and emissions

Currently, mixed packaging waste is collected from homes in the Netherlands for recycling. Royal HaskoningDHV was asked by the Metal Packaging Association to explore the impact on emissions and costs of four collection routes for metal packaging materials:

1.Existing arrangement –the combined collection with plastic waste and Tetra Brik.
2.Collection with general household waste and recover metal waste from ashes from incineration.
3.Combined collection with glass packaging waste.
4.Dedicated collection of metal packaging products.

Social behaviour impacts efficacy of scenarios

One of the most complex aspects of the analysis was exploring costs and impact of collection. To do this, the distribution of the country’s 7 million households was modelled, and various assumptions had to be made. A life cycle analysis was conducted across each scenario to determine the CO2 emissions avoided through recycling as well as those generated in collection and delivery.

It was also important to understand behaviour patterns: “The efficiency of a route is heavily influenced by people’s behaviour,” Erik added. “For example, if metal packaging is not rinsed before being deposited at collection points, it attracts pests. This means collection rates need to be more frequent, causing more costs and emissions per tonne of metal.”

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Project facts

  • Client
    Metal Packaging Association -Metalen Verpakkingen Nederland
  • Location
    Netherlands
  • Licensee
    2021-2022
  • Wastewater
    Investigation and analysis on empirical evidence for the industry on how to organise recycling arrangements in the Netherlands.
  • Project type
    Impact analysis on four efficient recycling collection routes for metal packaging materials