Environmental benefits of recycling

An updated review of life cycle comparisons for key materials in the UK recycling sector.

An updated review of life cycle comparisons for key materials in the UK recycling sector

In 2006 WRAP published a major research report, Environmental Benefits of Recycling, based on an international review of life cycle analyses (LCA) that evaluated the impact on the environment of recycling, landfilling or incineration of key materials in UK waste streams. The review assessed 55 ‘state of the art’ LCAs on paper and cardboard, glass, plastics, aluminium, steel, wood and aggregates. The conclusion was clear – most studies show that recycling offers more environmental benefits and lower environmental impacts than the other waste management options.