Smart trash – Study on RFID tags and the recycling industry



Level: EU

Role: collaborator

Partners: 3

Publication: 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 as to the negative environmental impact related to the primary raw materials acquisition. Materials vary with the type of tag and their significance will increase as tags become more pervasive.

In addition, RFID tags can themselves contribute to the efficiency and effectiveness of recycling at various stages in the lifecycles of a wide range of products by representing an ICT solution for waste traceability. RFID as a smart green technology, the use of RFID tags for carbon footprint assessment and the application of RFID tags to allocate waste management costs are topics investigated within the study.

The study, funded by the European Commission, aims to inform policy makers by assessing the environmental impact of the RFID tags themselves as well as the environmental advantages and obstacles that the use of RFID can provide to product lifecycle management.

The study 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.

Further information and the option to download the study are available on the RAND Website.