کاربرد مقایسه تجزیه و تحلیل چرخه زندگی چند بعدی در سیاست مدیریت زباله جامد : در مورد ظروف نوشیدنی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|15281||2000||10 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||5681 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Environmental Science & Policy, , Volume 3, Issues 2–3, 1 April 2000, Pages 135-144
The paper describes the application of a multidimensional life cycle analysis (LCA) for packaging soft drinks in Israel. The suggested approach combines the conventional product LCA, vertical summation of all environmental burdens along the chain of production, use and disposal activities, and horizontal comparison of different products and disposal options, such as recycling, incineration or landfilling. The paper attempts to show that the most effective, as well as transparent, means of comparing packaging alternatives, is to place them on a commensurate basis, the most appropriate one being a monetary basis. Taking into account limitations and drawbacks of monetary valuation of non-market assets (namely, environmental assets), the study derived estimates of environmental benefits and damages associated with each alternative. The production of soft drinks containers in Israel, used here as an example for the above mentioned considerations, is based mainly on imported materials, since natural resources such as oil or bauxite do not exist in Israel. Locally, only direct production and pollution abatement costs are incorporated in the final bill, while global environmental burdens are excluded. Countries extracting and producing raw material for the packaging industry, in effect, grant an environmental subsidy to the final users, in this case — the Israeli user. The paper suggests that only by globalization of externalities and fully internalizing environmental costs into the price of the final product (the packaging material or the packaged product), an equitable full environmental accounting can be designed. This mechanism can be even accompanied by global trading in the relevant environmental credits. Decisions will, consequently, follow a sustainable path, in both importing and exporting countries.
In recent years, many countries have adopted product-related policies and targeted packages as one of the key issues in waste management. The Ministry of the Environment in Israel is considering a packaging law that will tax non-recyclable and non-recycled packages and will subsidize recycled ones. The concern about the environmental impacts of packages has been dealt using several approaches in environmental management, such as risk assessment, environmental impact assessment, environmental auditing, substance flow analysis, energy analysis, material flow analysis and life cycle analysis (LCA) (Finnveden, 1998). LCA is a tool used to evaluate the environmental impacts associated with a product over its entire life-cycle, from the manufacturing processes to the final waste disposal stages (Schaltegger, 1996 and Curran, 1996). Individual LCAs are modified to fit the specific objectives of individual analyses. Generally, a producer should use LCA to compare alternatives involving environmental externalities at any stage of production, use and disposal of intermediate and final goods. The classic product LCA (Fig. 1a) is based on a vertical summation of all environmental inputs associated with a product, “from cradle to grave” (Hunt et. al., 1992). Horizontal LCA (Fig. 1b) is widely used by waste managers, local authorities or the central government, to compare waste management alternatives such as recycling, incineration or landfill (White et al., 1995 and Thoreneloe et al., 1998). The possibility of taking into account the availability of alternative options at different stages of product life cycle is rather limited in the approaches described above. A comprehensive approach requires, however, consideration of alternative inputs, production and disposal processes or outputs in a multidimensional, expanded space. We suggest a matrix of a vertical LCA, examining different raw materials and production processes, as well as a horizontal comparison of different waste treatment options (Fig. 1c), in order to choose the alternative in which costs and environmental burdens are minimized. In other words, decisions would need to relate to the preferred type of the packaging material overall, as well as the selection of waste management for each packaging material. Usually, the results of an LCA are evaluated according to pre-determined sets of priorities, including such items as mitigation of greenhouse gases, ozone depletion, water pollution or the effects on the marine environment (i.e., UNEP, 1996). The ISO 14040ff standards address specifically the normalization, grouping and weighting of the LCA inventory analysis (SETAC, 1998) but, yet, different individuals, organizations, and societies may have different values, therefore, different parties will reach different weighting results based on the same indicator results. Similarly, as will be shown, different decisions, based on LCA, will be made by different countries, depending on their participation along the production line of a given product. The concern about environmental burdens, as well as the misperception of the weight of these burdens has led to mistakes, some of them very costly (e.g., the first years of the packaging ordinance in Germany, see Bilitewski and Copeland, 1997). Therefore, there is a need to put these figures into perspective and to analyze their relative importance. Due to the fact that direct costs are given in monetary terms, it is reasonable to assign monetary values to the environmental damages as well, and the optimal solution will be chosen according to cost-benefit analysis or economic efficiency (Tietenberg, 1992 and Turner et al., 1994). It is important to note, however, that there is neither a perfect way to assign monetary values to environmental issues nor an agreed ultimate method to price ‘nature’ and resources scarcity. This paper presents a methodology to be used by decision-makers using LCA and monetizing methods to assess environmental impacts, prior to implementing laws and regulations governing, in this case — the production and disposal of soft drink bottles (SDB). It should be emphasized clearly that the economic data and environmental values provided here are only a rough estimate. Data quality should be carefully assessed before any comprehensive policy could be drawn from this analysis.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The paper argues for the use of a multidimensional LCA as well as for the inclusion of both local and global externalities. The different options for the production, recycling and disposal of SDB were analyzed using an integrated LCA. The basic feature of this methodology is that all stages in the life cycle of a number of alternative products and waste management options are taken into account. This approach fully uncovers the different costs that each actor along the production, use and disposal stages, is responsible for. Presently, each actor throughout the life cycle of a package views only his part of the picture, possibly leading to ineffective decisions and policies. Regulators and solid waste managers have targeted packaging and packaging waste, due to the constant increase of this component in the waste stream. Free trade in packaging (raw materials, products and waste), mainly encouraged by the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), has created a situation where products are being produced in one place and consumed elsewhere. Implementation of a ‘Producer Pays Principal’ approach regarding the entire life cycle of a package becomes, therefore, much more difficult (i.e., Ekins, 1994). In order to overcome this problem, environmental costs could and should be included in international trade agreements. Thus for example, a country that produces and exports aluminum from bauxite ores should be credited in the equivalent greenhouse emission of the production and delivery, and the country that imports it should be charged by these emissions. It is possible that such agreements will partially alleviate existing conflicts, since such trade in emission rights can enable each country to choose the option where it employs relative advantages. Alternatively, all environmental costs should be internalized in the price of the product. The European Community addressed the issue of trading waste (EC internet site, 1996) and banned export of waste for disposal to other countries and recommended avoiding shipment of waste to be recovered in countries where lower environmental standards entail lower treatment costs. The advantage of the suggested LCA methodology is that the description of the problem is comprehensive and transparent, the costs of each decision made are known. Due to the global aspects of production, use and disposal of goods, there should be a market mechanism to internalize environmental costs. The use of the suggested approach will promote optimal economic and environmental decisions. The multidimensional LCA methodology elaborated in this paper illustrates how to account for the full costs of alternative packaging materials and their disposal options, while taking into consideration the entire life cycle. To insure a fair and globally sustainable comparison, the costs of environmental burdens (or benefits) should be internalized in the price of the product. This mechanism will ensure that there will be no advantage for importing countries over the exporting ones that bear most of the environmental burdens occurring mainly in the first stages (i.e., raw material acquisition). It should be emphasized, however, that data used here serve only as an example. There is a further need to obtain more precise data, including a thorough data quality assessment prior to the development of a specific policy. The evaluations presented in this paper serve as a demonstration of the importance of such an investigation as a support for policy makers. In order to overcome conflicts, due to partial picture viewed by different actors, the central authority should be in a position to take into consideration the overall picture and urge the more sustainable alternatives.