Jul 11, 2012
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology is linked to waste management and recycling in two complementary ways: as objects, tags contain a variety of materials whose management and recycling is desirable on environmental grounds. These materials vary with the type of tag and their significance will increase as tags become more pervasive. On the other hand, tags can themselves contribute to the efficiency and effectiveness of recycling at various stages in the lifecycles of a wide range of products ranging from simple materials to complex objects containing a variety of materials.
The study, funded by the European Commission, aims to inform policy making by assessing the environmental impact of the RFID tags themselves as well as the environmental advantages that the use of RFID can provide to product lifecycle management. An integral goal is to identify the associated obstacles and needs for policy action and/or research activity.
This Report is the final deliverable of the project, presenting the findings of our research. The study, led by RAND Europe and conducted in partnership with the Department of Processing and Recycling at RWTH Aachen University and P3 Ingenieurgesellschaft, applies a number of different quantitative and qualitative methodologies, including systematic literature reviews, key informant interviews, use cases and case study analysis, and scenario development.
A technical primer on RFID: tags, compositions, recyclability and forecasts
The background context for assessing the impacts of RFID technology
RFID tags in the waste processing industry
Conclusions on the impacts on waste treatment technologies and implications for national waste systems
Assessment of current and potential use of RFID as a green technology in recycling
RFID as a green technology: use case analysis
Case studies of RFID as a green technology
Conclusions and the way forward
Estimations for the modelling of waste streams in EU Member States
Literature review and initial expert consultation