There is a wide range of stakeholders involved in the recycling system of post-consumer plastic containers and packaging : manufacturers, consumers, municipalities, recyclers and policy makers. As for some of the problems that exist within the system, challenges to specific stakeholder groups who recognize the problems may be different from challenges to those who have the potential to solve these issues. In general, methods of discussion for solving these problems, which create certain conflicts with regard to the interests of stakeholder groups, are supported by detached recommendations based on objective information. In this study, a life cycle assessment (LCA) was applied as a means of providing objective information from the viewpoint of CO2 emission and fossil resource consumption in an attempt to develop problem-solving strategies targeted at municipalities and recyclers. Field surveys conducted with recyclers who are engaged in material recycling and feedstock recycling by liquefaction revealed problems that affected the recyclers but that were difficult to solve on their own. In light of this, recommendations for problem-solving, based on scenario assessment using LCA in addition to other aspects such as working environment and quality of recycled products, were presented to the municipalities. Some of these recommendations were rejected due to constraints imposed on the municipalities, and problem-solving strategies were further discussed.
2011 Japan Society of Material Cycles and Waste Management