Resources Balance 2001: Green Dot is helping to reduce harmful greenhouse gases

Resources Balance 2001: Green Dot is helping to reduce harmful greenhouse gases

By recycling around 2.3 million tonnes of lightweight packaging (aluminium, plastics, composites and tinplate), the German packaging waste recovery system – DSD – has succeeded in saving a good 400,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide in Germany in the year 2001. This greenhouse gas reduction corresponds to the amount of carbon dioxide produced in one year by 64,000 average German households, each consuming 2,000 litres of heating oil – or, in other words, the production of a city the size of Potsdam or Heidelberg. At the same time, the recycling of lightweight packaging resulted in energy savings of around 33 billion megajoules. This is the conclusion arrived at by the second, extended Resources Balance of Duales System Deutschland AG, which was presented today in Berlin.

The collected quantity of lightweight packaging rose by 3.6 percent in 2001. This was due to the changed market situation, especially the tremendous increase in polyethylene terephthalate (PET), the tonnage of which was, however, not able to fully offset the shortfall in glass. In 2001 every German citizen disposed of an average of 76.6 kilogrammes of recyclables in the collection containers of the Dual System. In comparison with the previous year, therefore, the total collected quantity fell slightly by 2.1 percent and amounted to 6,290,896 tonnes for 2001.

Thanks to improved automated sorting technologies and processes, the mechanically recycled quantity of plastic packaging rose by more than 10 percent in 2001 and was therefore for the first time higher than the quantity consigned to feedstock recycling.

Apart from the Resources Balance, external studies by independent institutes are also important for the technological and strategic orientation of the company. For example, in its latest study the Institute for Applied Ecology (Öko-Institut) advocates the intensification of efforts aimed at mechanical recycling, because this can be expected to result in positive environmental impacts.

In the coming years, the Dual System intends to extend the Resources Balance to include all types of packaging collected by the system (including glass and paper) as well as further environmental parameters such as the eutrophication of watercourses and the acidification of soils.

A press pack of information (>2MB) is now available from the DSD’s website at:

Clique para acessar o 2943_Pressemappe_Resources_Balance_2002_en.pdf

The second Resources Balance of Duales System Deutschland AG makes even clearer the concrete, measurable environmental benefits of the recycling of packaging. The Resources Balance serves firstly as an internal tool for the monitoring of efficiency and for optimisation. Secondly, it makes consumers aware of the sense behind their daily separating of packaging waste. On the path to an overall environmental analysis of the recycling of packaging, the reduction of greenhouse gases through the recycling of lightweight packaging was assessed for 2001 for the first time. Lightweight packaging consists of aluminium, plastics, tinplate and composites. The energy efficiency analysis was also extended to include all lightweight packaging.

Recycled products and new products comparable

The Resources Balance of the Dual System is based on methodological principles of life-cycle assessment and compares recycled products directly with new products having equal utility. For this purpose, the use of resources and the resulting emissions were calculated at each stage in the process of packaging recycling – from collection through sorting and processing to recycling. All 537 waste management areas, 210 sorting plants, 78 processing facilities and 105 recycling plants were investigated. These calculations included all the distances covered by trucks at each individual stage.

A comparison was made with the process chain for the primary product

Ano da Publicação: 2002
Fonte: Warmer Bulletin News Letter
Autor: J. Penido

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