Sweden's experience in developing circular economy

2022-08-05
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Sweden's experience in developing circular economy is worth learning from Sweden, which is located in northern Europe. The exploration and practice of circular economy is in the forefront of the world. Sweden has made remarkable achievements since 1994 when it began to adopt the "producer system" for waste recycling, from product packaging, waste paper, waste tires, end-of-life cars and waste electronic and electrical products to office paper, agricultural plastics and waste batteries, Tongtong has been included in the scope of circular economy and national environmental protection, and its experience is worth learning from

interviewed Michel ankesh, general manager of the Swedish "producer registration company" (repa company) through e-mail. He introduced the implementation of the "production system" in Sweden

the principle and method of "producer system" was established by the Swedish Parliament in 1994, that is, producers must continue to bear the relevant environmental responsibilities for their products after final consumption, while consumers are obliged to classify waste gas products and packaging according to the special requirements for green manufacturing implemented by the organization and return them to the recycling place. In the same year, the Swedish Parliament passed the "production system" Regulations on product packaging, tires and waste paper, followed by the relevant regulations on automobiles, electronics and appliances

according to the regulations on the production of product packaging manufacturers, all manufacturers producing, importing or "filling" packaging, packaging and selling packaged products are obliged to recycle the packaging materials. There must be a recycling system for customers and other end users to return the used packaging materials, and the packaging materials must be recyclable or treated in other environmentally friendly ways; In addition, the end users should get the relevant recycling feedback information, and the national environmental protection bureau should also get the result report

Michel ankesh said that since most enterprises are unable to establish a packaging recycling system in Sweden to meet the requirements of the regulations, special institutions are needed to help enterprises fulfill their obligations of "producer system". Thus, five material recycling companies in the field of waste gas were born

the earliest Swedish glass recycling company was the "Swedish glass bank". When it was founded in 1991, the company's goal was to recycle 70% of recyclable glass products. By 1996, the goal had been achieved, and today's glass recycling rate has exceeded 90%. According to the statistics in 2004, Sweden and Switzerland have become the countries with the highest glass recycling rate in Europe, up to 96%

glass packaging can be recycled for countless times until the glass material is damaged. Swedes also attach great importance to the classified treatment of glass. The "Swedish glass bank" has also specially made an environmental protection recycling publicity plan for young people under the age of 13, so that Swedish children can learn to treat colorless glass and colored glass differently from an early age, so as to further improve the reprocessing and manufacturing technology level and overall strength of recycling companies

in addition, after coordination between the Swedish industry and Commerce Association and some large packaging companies, four packaging recycling enterprises were established in 1994 according to different types of packaging: Swedish paper recycling company, Swedish plastic recycling company, corrugated cardboard recycling company and Swedish metal recycling company. The four companies jointly set up the producer registration company (repa) as the service agency of their business. In addition, they also set up a Swedish packaging recycling company, which is responsible for coordinating with local governments and publicizing relevant environmental protection knowledge to the society

Michel ankesh introduced that the business of the five major recycling companies covers the recycling and reuse of all possible packaging materials, and its purpose is to serve the Swedish business community. Their income mainly comes from membership dues, collection fees and sales income from packaging reuse paid by member enterprises. These revenues are used to pay for the huge expenses needed by the company to establish and maintain a sound classification and recycling system throughout the country, as well as the rough processing of recycled packaging

the whole recycling system is realized by allowing the special packaging material receiving points in the towns where the member enterprises are located to dump their own packaging waste free of charge, and allowing the residents to take the initiative to transport the packaging waste to the nearby recycling station. In addition, some large amount of classified packaging waste can be directly sold to the corresponding one of the five major material recycling companies

enterprises that join the repa can use the "green mark" uniformly adopted by European countries with the "packaging back charge" system on their product packaging. However, the packaging back charge collected by the repa does not include the freight for the enterprise to transport the packaging to the receiving point. Therefore, the enterprise must be responsible for transporting the packaging waste as ordinary residents. Enterprises that have not joined the repa need to make a separate declaration to the Swedish National Environmental Protection Agency to prove their ability to independently perform the "producer system" obligations. At present, only a few large enterprises such as Volvo are non repa members

since the implementation of the "producer system", the Swedish National Environmental Protection Agency has prepared an assessment report every year according to the summary of the material recycling company. With the implementation of the "producer system", a lot of relevant enterprises using waste for reproduction have emerged. Only in the field of packaging, Sweden now needs to import a certain amount of packaging waste every year to meet the production requirements of these enterprises

the Swedish government has also hired an independent environmental assessment agency to conduct a biological chain technology assessment on the environmental quality after the implementation of the "producer system". The assessment report shows that, taking into account the energy consumption and environmental pollution caused by the increased automobile transportation, the "producer system" of packaging recycling has greatly reduced the burden on the environment and the energy consumption caused by incineration and landfill

experts believe that as a circular economy development model advocating economic and social harmony, the feedback process of "resources - products - renewable resources" has significant advantages of low exploitation, high utilization and low emission. However, China is a developing country with a high population density and a lack of resources per capita. The traditional economic development model will accelerate resource depletion and environmental degradation, and the pressure on the environment and resources will eventually restrict social development. Therefore, vigorously developing the circular economy of "reduction, reuse and recycling" is an important guarantee for ecological balance and people's health and safety, a requirement for China's economic development to integrate with the world economy, and an effective way to achieve sustainable development

experts pointed out that China's renewable resources recycling enterprises can learn from the successful experience of Sweden, break the boundaries of industry, region and ownership, carry out joint operation, chain operation and group operation, speed up the transformation of the existing recycling network, adjust the layout of recycling points, expand the business scale, adopt the "enterprise membership system", and help other enterprises complete the recycling and reuse of their products, Finally, a large-scale and powerful renewable resources group enterprise will be formed. (end)

source: Xinhua

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