Innovation: FENIX TOOL: a comprehensive on-line tool for evaluating packaging waste management options in Spain and Portugal

Last update: 06.09.2013
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Keywords: 
software, tool, fenix, lca, life cycle assessment, packaging waste
Since 1994, in accordance with the article 7 of the EU Waste Directive (94/62/CE), every Member State is obliged to create systems for the recovery of waste packaging with the aim of addressing them to the best waste treatment options. From an environmental perspective, raw material used, energy consumption and emissions during packaging production are quantitatively comparable to the amounts consumed and emitted during the recycling of waste packaging materials.

To obtain raw materials from waste recycling, it is necessary to collect, transport, classify and finally process them, which requires the consumption of water, energy and additional materials. Thus environmental benefits of selective collection and recycling must be weighed against resource consumption and pollution.

The FENIX – Giving Packaging a New Life’ project aims at developing an ad-hoc flexible and user-friendly software tool based on highquality technical and scientific data for evaluating alternative scenarios for the management of post-consumer packaging waste, enabling the selection of more environmentally sound waste management practices.

The new FENIX tool assists Spanish and Portuguese local municipalities and waste management entities in the decision-making for performing more eco-efficient and sustainable management of packaging waste. This tool uses a life cycle thinking (LCT) approach by incorporating the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology. Users of the FENIX tool can introduce and modify a large number of parameters, such as km travelled, selection between different collection and treatment options, plant efficiency, etc. to adapt the models created in the tool to their real situation. Up to three different and independent waste management scenarios can be compared at the same time.

PROJECT GOALS:

• To create a user-friendly and flexible tool for easily obtaining environmental Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) results of packaging waste management alternatives.

• To show the usefulness of LCA to help public authorities in different aspects related to waste management issues.

• To compile a specific database and parametrized models on waste treatment and recycling technologies, for Spain and Portugal.

• To share the knowledge outcomes among other Spanish and Portuguese institutions (universities, technical institutes, etc.) aiming at facilitating the establishment on an Iberian network of experts on LCA and waste management.

• To create and adapt the new software to the user’s real needs.

• To transfer the results to other European regions, in particular, the applicability of the project has been tested in Federal Czech Republic
The most remarkable advances of FENIX tool in comparison to other similar existing tools are:

• Most of the data used in FENIX were derived from first-hand research on waste management processes and technologies representative of those currently deployed in Spain and Portugal, bringing unprecedented consistency and representativeness.

• The waste collection by truck and associated truck model results are far more flexible than in the previously existing models with greatly improved predictive capabilities, which can be used to answer a number of key "what if" questions and thus allow the environmentally sound choice among alternative proposals.

• Landfilling, incineration and combustion in cement kiln models have been significantly improved in comparison with the pre-existing models of currently available LCA databases.

• A rigorous and thoroughly consistent approach to the assessment of the avoided impacts to all energy and material recovered has been adopted. An attributional approach has been used.

• User-friendly for non LCA experts.
It is an ad-hoc software tool for evaluating alternative scenarios for the management of post-consumer packaging waste, enabling the selection of more sustainable waste management practices, in accordance with the current European policy principles.

The tool is intended to be used directly by the local municipalities and waste management entities in Spain and Portugal, and therefore a special effort was devoted to developing a user-friendly on-line interface whereby the user is allowed to build their own scenario by simply typing in the waste quantities and selecting the appropriate collection, sorting and treatment (recycling, landfilling and/or incineration) processes.

Up to three different and independent waste management scenarios can be defined. Per each of them, up to three ambits can also be defined. A large number of parameters may be adjusted, such as: initial waste composition, type(s) of collection system(s) and relative distances, collection frequency/-ies, type(s) of transference plant(s), selection plant(s) efficiency/-ies, and end-of-life treatment options (recycling, incineration, landfill).

Access to the tool is web-based at http://www.life-fenix.eu, free of charge upon request and its possible to choose amongst one of the three languages available: English, Spanish and Portuguese.
Two categories of users (basic and advanced) are pre-defined, enabling access to increasing levels of model complexity.
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This innovation is the result of the project

Title: Finding Regional Environmental Life Cycle Information On Packaging Waste Management Through Flexible Software Tools And Databases

Acronym: 
FENIX - GIVING PACKAGING A NEW LIFE!

Runtime: 
01.01.2010 to 01.07.2013

Status: 
completed project

Organisations and people involved in this eco-innovation.

Please click on an entry to view all contact details.

UNESCO CHAIR IN LIFE CYCLE AND CLIMATE CHANGE (ESCI-UPF)

Field: Agriculture, Architecture, Tourism, Private and public administration, Scientific research and development, Education (Spain)

Role in project: Project Coordination

Contact person: Dr. FULLANA Pere

Website: http://www.life-fenix.eu/

Phone: +34-93 2954710

Contact

ECOEMBES

(Spain)

Contact person: Mr. FERNANDEZ Alberto

Website: http://www.ecoembes.com/

Contact

PE INTERNATIONAL

(Germany)

Contact person: Ms. CARRILLO Viviana

Website: http://www.pe-international.com/

Contact

SOCIEDADE PONTO VERDE

(Portugal)

Contact person: Mr. PÁSSARO Manel

Website: http://www.pontoverde.pt/

Contact