Recycling of packaging materials saves Austria nearly EUR270 million per year

Separate treatment and recycling of waste packaging materials in Austria is saving the country ATS3,700 million (EUR269 million) every year, according to a cost-benefit analysis published by the Austrian Federal Environment Agency.

The report assesses a combination of economic and some ecological costs and benefits, although does not include those that cannot be expressed in monetary terms, such as noise, smell, and effects on the landscape.

The analysis concludes that the separate collection of paper waste, from both packaging and non-packaging uses, is at a high level, and is producing large economic advantages. Such practices should be increased, says the report.

On the other hand, the separate collection of plastic packaging and drinks containers should be reduced from its current level to around 50% of that produced. Drinks cartons collected separately from other packaging waste and recycled should be given up completely in order to produce positive economic benefits, says the research.

However, the recycling of commercial plastic packaging has a slightly positive economic effect when factors such as the restoration of landfill, carbon dioxide avoidance costs, and landfill investment costs are taken into consideration, and could be increased. However, when the alternative would be incineration, it becomes less profitable to recycle this waste.

Finally, the collection and recycling of domestic metal packaging is economically viable when compared with landfilling and when considering issues such as carbon dioxide avoidance costs.

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