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|Title:||The search for an appropriate end-of-life formula for the purpose of the European Commission Environmental Footprint initiative|
|Authors:||ALLACKER KAREN JOSEE; MATHIEUX FABRICE; PENNINGTON DAVID; PANT RANA|
|Citation:||INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT vol. 22 no. 9 p. 1411-1458|
|Type:||Articles in periodicals and books|
|Abstract:||PURPOSE: This paper aims at developing a single formula for calculating the environmental impact related to the End-of-Life processes of a product in the context of the European Commission Environmental Footprint (EC EF) method. The latter aims at a higher degree of comparability of environmental assessments. The aim of the End-of-Life formula in the EC EF method was to enable the assessment of all possible scenarios including recycling, reuse, incineration (with heat recovery) and disposal for both open- and closed-loop systems. METHOD: Several End-of-Life formulas were analysed in terms of physical realism, distribution of burdens in a product cascade system and applicability. The formulas were implemented for several products and for different scenarios regarding recycled content and recyclability to check the robustness of the outcomes. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: As reaching physical realism was proven to be impossible at both the product and overall product cascade system level, priority needs to be given to one. A product level approach was preferred in the context of the EC EF. This approach however requires allocation of the impacts of processes related to more than one product in a product cascade system and should be carefully considered as it has a major influence on the results and decision taking. CONCLUSION: A formula taking into account the number of recycling cycles of a material was identified as preferred to reach physical realism and distribution of burdens in a product cascade system. However, it failed in terms of applicability because of low data availability. Instead, a formula based on the 50:50 approach - allocating the environmental impacts equally between the previous and subsequent product – was selected for the EC EF method.|
|JRC Directorate:||Sustainable Resources|
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