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Overall mapping of physical flows and stocks of resources to forecast waste quantities in Europe and identify life-cycle environmental stakes of waste prevention and recycling


The FORWAST STREP proposal intends to provide: - an inventory of the historically cumulated physical stock of materials in EU-27 (EU-25 plus Romania and Bulgaria), and to forecast the expected amounts of waste generated, per resource category, in the next 25 years. - an assessment of the life-cycle wide environmental impacts from different scenarios of waste prevention, recycling and waste treatment in the EU-27. The work programme is designed to favour the synergy between these objectives, by applying a ge neric model for material flows, stocks and emissions.
The proposed model is an environmentally extended, physical, quasi-dynamic input-output model. This model combined with a robust method of Material Flow Analysis will guide the mining of new data, which is the main focus of the project. It will take place as a combination of 'in-depth' studies in selected countries where high-quality statistics are available, and an EU-wide effort consolidating and calibrating different statistical and technical data sources.
The model will be applied to historical time series of resource inflows into the economy, and calibrated to known quantities of waste generation, the core question being to estimate coefficients for stocks life time for the different materials (sand /gravel, wood, metals, paper, etc.) and interpret dynamically the causes of the variation of stocks (accumulation versus waste generation or dispersive losses). The policy relevance of the project will be strengthened by the definition of 25 years horizon scenarios of waste generation combined with technological options for waste prevention and recycling.
The waste with the higher stakes to reduce environmental pressures will be assessed trough simulations. It is expected that the FORWAST project will bring a new insight into Life Cycle Thinking, and above all, more confidence in the use of environmental indicators in natural resources and waste management policies.

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