Evaluating alternative life-cycle strategies for electrical appliances by the waste input-output model

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    Abstract

    Goal, Scope and Background. In 2001, a new law on the recycling of end-of-life electric home appliances (EL-EHA) was put into effect in Japan; it was the first legislation of its sort in the world, and deserves to be called the 'Japan model.' This article is concerned with the LCA of alternative life-cycle strategies for EL-EHA, which consist of recycling as prescribed by the law, 'ecodesign' strategies such as the implementation of design for disassembly (DfD) and the extension of product life (EPL), with and without ex-post functional upgradability, and the once-dominant treatment methods such as landfilling and simple shredding. Methods. We use the waste input-output (WIO) analysis, a new method of hybrid LCA that was developed by the authors [1]. The WIO extends the conventional input-output analysis to explicitly take into account the interdependence between the flow of goods and the flow of waste in the whole economy, and hence provides an optimal platform for LCA involving waste treatment and recycling. Furthermore, the WIO enables us to evaluate not only environmental impacts, but also economic impacts such as sectoral output and employment. Our analysis is based on the WIO table for 1995 and detailed process data on recycling. Results and Discussion. Recycling was found to outperform the 'traditional' treatment method strategy with regard to the reduction of CO2 emission, landfill consumption, and the demand for abiotic resources. Thanks to efficient utilization of the existing retail network system, it was also found to be more efficient economically. Additional implementation of DfD and the associated increase in the quality of recovered materials (plastics) were found to augment the positive environmental impacts of recycling. The EPL without upgrading resulted in a significant reduction in the environmental impacts, but also in the level of employment. On the other hand, the EPL with upgrading was found to outperform the recycling strategy in terms of environmental impacts without having significant negative economic impacts. Conclusion and Recommendation. Recycling of EL-EHA, as prescribed by the Japanese law on the recycling of EL-EHA, was found to be effective in reducing CO2 emission, depletion of abiotic resources, generation of waste, and landfill consumption, provided the rate of retrieval remains at a high level. Our results also indicate the possible effectiveness of ecodesign strategy toward the realization of a sustainable economy.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)236-246
    Number of pages11
    JournalInternational Journal of Life Cycle Assessment
    Volume9
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2004

    Fingerprint

    Recycling
    Life cycle
    recycling
    life cycle
    Domestic appliances
    environmental impact
    Environmental impact
    input-output analysis
    economic impact
    Land fill
    landfill
    waste treatment
    Economics
    resource
    Waste treatment
    legislation
    plastic
    Plastics
    method
    Ecodesign

    Keywords

    • Design for disassembly
    • Ecodesign
    • Electrical appliances
    • Product life
    • Recycling
    • Waste input-output analysis

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Environmental Engineering
    • Environmental Science(all)
    • Environmental Chemistry

    Cite this

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    title = "Evaluating alternative life-cycle strategies for electrical appliances by the waste input-output model",
    abstract = "Goal, Scope and Background. In 2001, a new law on the recycling of end-of-life electric home appliances (EL-EHA) was put into effect in Japan; it was the first legislation of its sort in the world, and deserves to be called the 'Japan model.' This article is concerned with the LCA of alternative life-cycle strategies for EL-EHA, which consist of recycling as prescribed by the law, 'ecodesign' strategies such as the implementation of design for disassembly (DfD) and the extension of product life (EPL), with and without ex-post functional upgradability, and the once-dominant treatment methods such as landfilling and simple shredding. Methods. We use the waste input-output (WIO) analysis, a new method of hybrid LCA that was developed by the authors [1]. The WIO extends the conventional input-output analysis to explicitly take into account the interdependence between the flow of goods and the flow of waste in the whole economy, and hence provides an optimal platform for LCA involving waste treatment and recycling. Furthermore, the WIO enables us to evaluate not only environmental impacts, but also economic impacts such as sectoral output and employment. Our analysis is based on the WIO table for 1995 and detailed process data on recycling. Results and Discussion. Recycling was found to outperform the 'traditional' treatment method strategy with regard to the reduction of CO2 emission, landfill consumption, and the demand for abiotic resources. Thanks to efficient utilization of the existing retail network system, it was also found to be more efficient economically. Additional implementation of DfD and the associated increase in the quality of recovered materials (plastics) were found to augment the positive environmental impacts of recycling. The EPL without upgrading resulted in a significant reduction in the environmental impacts, but also in the level of employment. On the other hand, the EPL with upgrading was found to outperform the recycling strategy in terms of environmental impacts without having significant negative economic impacts. Conclusion and Recommendation. Recycling of EL-EHA, as prescribed by the Japanese law on the recycling of EL-EHA, was found to be effective in reducing CO2 emission, depletion of abiotic resources, generation of waste, and landfill consumption, provided the rate of retrieval remains at a high level. Our results also indicate the possible effectiveness of ecodesign strategy toward the realization of a sustainable economy.",
    keywords = "Design for disassembly, Ecodesign, Electrical appliances, Product life, Recycling, Waste input-output analysis",
    author = "Yasushi Kondo and Shinichiro Nakamura",
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    language = "English",
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    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Evaluating alternative life-cycle strategies for electrical appliances by the waste input-output model

    AU - Kondo, Yasushi

    AU - Nakamura, Shinichiro

    PY - 2004

    Y1 - 2004

    N2 - Goal, Scope and Background. In 2001, a new law on the recycling of end-of-life electric home appliances (EL-EHA) was put into effect in Japan; it was the first legislation of its sort in the world, and deserves to be called the 'Japan model.' This article is concerned with the LCA of alternative life-cycle strategies for EL-EHA, which consist of recycling as prescribed by the law, 'ecodesign' strategies such as the implementation of design for disassembly (DfD) and the extension of product life (EPL), with and without ex-post functional upgradability, and the once-dominant treatment methods such as landfilling and simple shredding. Methods. We use the waste input-output (WIO) analysis, a new method of hybrid LCA that was developed by the authors [1]. The WIO extends the conventional input-output analysis to explicitly take into account the interdependence between the flow of goods and the flow of waste in the whole economy, and hence provides an optimal platform for LCA involving waste treatment and recycling. Furthermore, the WIO enables us to evaluate not only environmental impacts, but also economic impacts such as sectoral output and employment. Our analysis is based on the WIO table for 1995 and detailed process data on recycling. Results and Discussion. Recycling was found to outperform the 'traditional' treatment method strategy with regard to the reduction of CO2 emission, landfill consumption, and the demand for abiotic resources. Thanks to efficient utilization of the existing retail network system, it was also found to be more efficient economically. Additional implementation of DfD and the associated increase in the quality of recovered materials (plastics) were found to augment the positive environmental impacts of recycling. The EPL without upgrading resulted in a significant reduction in the environmental impacts, but also in the level of employment. On the other hand, the EPL with upgrading was found to outperform the recycling strategy in terms of environmental impacts without having significant negative economic impacts. Conclusion and Recommendation. Recycling of EL-EHA, as prescribed by the Japanese law on the recycling of EL-EHA, was found to be effective in reducing CO2 emission, depletion of abiotic resources, generation of waste, and landfill consumption, provided the rate of retrieval remains at a high level. Our results also indicate the possible effectiveness of ecodesign strategy toward the realization of a sustainable economy.

    AB - Goal, Scope and Background. In 2001, a new law on the recycling of end-of-life electric home appliances (EL-EHA) was put into effect in Japan; it was the first legislation of its sort in the world, and deserves to be called the 'Japan model.' This article is concerned with the LCA of alternative life-cycle strategies for EL-EHA, which consist of recycling as prescribed by the law, 'ecodesign' strategies such as the implementation of design for disassembly (DfD) and the extension of product life (EPL), with and without ex-post functional upgradability, and the once-dominant treatment methods such as landfilling and simple shredding. Methods. We use the waste input-output (WIO) analysis, a new method of hybrid LCA that was developed by the authors [1]. The WIO extends the conventional input-output analysis to explicitly take into account the interdependence between the flow of goods and the flow of waste in the whole economy, and hence provides an optimal platform for LCA involving waste treatment and recycling. Furthermore, the WIO enables us to evaluate not only environmental impacts, but also economic impacts such as sectoral output and employment. Our analysis is based on the WIO table for 1995 and detailed process data on recycling. Results and Discussion. Recycling was found to outperform the 'traditional' treatment method strategy with regard to the reduction of CO2 emission, landfill consumption, and the demand for abiotic resources. Thanks to efficient utilization of the existing retail network system, it was also found to be more efficient economically. Additional implementation of DfD and the associated increase in the quality of recovered materials (plastics) were found to augment the positive environmental impacts of recycling. The EPL without upgrading resulted in a significant reduction in the environmental impacts, but also in the level of employment. On the other hand, the EPL with upgrading was found to outperform the recycling strategy in terms of environmental impacts without having significant negative economic impacts. Conclusion and Recommendation. Recycling of EL-EHA, as prescribed by the Japanese law on the recycling of EL-EHA, was found to be effective in reducing CO2 emission, depletion of abiotic resources, generation of waste, and landfill consumption, provided the rate of retrieval remains at a high level. Our results also indicate the possible effectiveness of ecodesign strategy toward the realization of a sustainable economy.

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    KW - Product life

    KW - Recycling

    KW - Waste input-output analysis

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