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The influence of the waste hierarchy in shaping European waste management: the case of plastic waste
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Ecology (moved 20130630). CNRS Troyes University of Technology, France; Veolia Environnement Recherche et Innovation, France.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9869-9707
University of Technology, Troyes.
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Ecology (moved 20130630).
2010 (English)In: Regional Development Dialogue, ISSN 0250-6505, Vol. 31, no 2, 124-148 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Waste management in Europe has experienced significant changes since the 1970s. The majority of Member State waste management regimes have shifted from policies based on the control of waste disposal activities, to include goals for waste prevention and recovery. The rapid increase of plastic packaging recycling in Germany had a number of unintended consequences. In the first years of the Packaging Ordinance, the majority of plastic packaging collected was exported to China, Eastern Europe, and other EU Member States due to lack of national capacity. The setting of high recycling targets for plastic packaging waste between 1991 and 1998 and the prohibition of incineration with energy recovery was a key driver of recycling technology innovation in Germany. When adopting new principles to serve as the foundation of belief, they should synchronize with the existing waste management myths of individual regions, as myths may differ from region to region illustrating different cultural ideals.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Nagoya, Japan: United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD) , 2010. Vol. 31, no 2, 124-148 p.
National Category
Other Chemical Engineering Other Environmental Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-72948ScopusID: 2-s2.0-79954615484OAI: diva2:488367

QC 20120219

Available from: 2012-02-01 Created: 2012-02-01 Last updated: 2016-05-19Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Life Cycle Thinking and Waste Policy: Between Science and Society
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Life Cycle Thinking and Waste Policy: Between Science and Society
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This study investigates the application of life cycle thinking (LCT) and life cycle assessment (LCA) in the field of waste management from perspectives based in the social sciences. LCT is explored through the theoretical construct of regimes, drawing theoretical resources from a combination of the ‘pragmatic turn’, the economics of conventions and transition theory.This work is based on eight papers treating theoretical arguments, qualitative and quantitative analysis, case studies and semi-structured interview data. LCT is placed in the context of contemporary societies. LCA is seen as an instrument of quantification and evaluation used by actors which have both similar and disparate objectives, and who offer justifications for its use through arguments embedded in conflicting pluralities of worth. Furthermore, this work analyses LCA as a tool for the qualification of the waste hierarchy; a waste management principle articulating a convention based on closed material cycles. This study argues that the technological trajectory of waste management regimes has been significantly influenced, inter alia, by actors’ institutional articulation of the waste hierarchy at national and territorial levels. It discusses the legitimacy of LCA, and the quantitative application of LCT, as an intermediary object used to qualify the waste hierarchy. Furthermore, LCT is placed in a prospective context which may be used to assist in the transition toward sustainable waste management.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2012. xiii, 131 p.
Trita-IM, ISSN 1402-7615 ; 2012:30
Life cycle thinking; life cycle assessment; waste policy; waste hierarchy; coordination; conventions; legitimacy
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-105781 (URN)978-91-7501-555-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-12-17, F3, Lindstedtsvägen, 26, KTH, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)

QC 20121127

Available from: 2012-11-27 Created: 2012-11-26 Last updated: 2012-11-27Bibliographically approved

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