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Materialflödesanalys av kasserade plastförpackningar i Stockholm: Hantering, återvinning, och framtida scenarier
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Industrial Ecology.
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Industrial Ecology.
2017 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Material flow analysis of discarded plastic packages in Stockholm (English)
Abstract [en]

Sweden has for a long time worked towards improving its sustainability, and reducing negative climate impact (Naturvårdsverket, 2016). According to research performed by robecosam, Sweden was the most environmentally sustainable country in the world, as of May 2017 (Robecosam, 2017). An important step in the direction of further improving environmental sustainability is reducing the usage of fossil fuels, and in extension plastics. In Europe between 4 to 6 percent of oil or natural gas goes into the production of plastics (PlasticsEurope, 2016). Percentage-wise plastics make up a small part of fossil fuel use, however the production of plastics have continually increased for 50 years (PlasticsEurope, 2015), and with demands for 49 million tonnes of plastics in Europe for the year 2015 it is important that the tools for end of life-cycle management of plastics are handled well.

Through the method of substance flow analysis (SFA) the report aims to answer the following questions: How large a part of the plastic containers in Stockholm are recycled into usable plastic material, how can that number be improved, and what would those improvements mean in terms of environmental impact?

The method used in the report is regional substance flow analysis, SFA is a material flow analysis applied to a specific substance, over a specific time period, and generally within a specific region. The method is used to find sources, leaks, sinks, and accumulations of materials within a flow (Moberg, et al, 1999).

The results as shown in the report are that the effective recycling rate in Stockholm is 38.2%. Determined as the total amount of plastic containers that were recycled into usable plastics, divided by the total amount of plastic containers entering the system the year 2015. Furthermore two leakages were found in the system, the plastic containers that were not entered into the recycling system (discarded plastic not properly sorted for recycling), and the plastic containers that could not be recycled for reasons of quality, mixing of materials, or other contamination.

Analysis of these leakages showed that vast improvements to Stockholm's environmental impact concerning plastic containers can be made by addressing these leakages. The leakage stemming from the discarded plastics not being properly sorted for recycling being the easiest and most impactful one to remedy, whereas the leakage stemming from materials that cannot currently be recycled was found to be exceedingly difficult to repair.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , p. 28
Series
TRITA-IM-KAND 2017:34
National Category
Environmental Management
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-209458OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-209458DiVA, id: diva2:1112275
Available from: 2017-06-20 Created: 2017-06-20 Last updated: 2017-06-20Bibliographically approved

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