Latest Documents

  • 12-February-2015


    Material Resources, Productivity and the Environment

    Improving resource productivity and ensuring a sustainable resource and materials management building on the principle of the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle) is a central element of green growth policies. It helps to improve the environment, by reducing the amount of resources that the economy requires and diminishing the associated environmental impacts, and sustain economic growth by securing adequate supplies of materials and improving competitiveness. To be successful such policies need to be founded on a good understanding of how minerals, metals, timber or other materials flow through the economy throughout their life cycle, and of how this affects the productivity of the economy and the quality of the environment. This report contributes to this understanding. It describes the material basis of OECD economies and provides a factual analysis of material flows and resource productivity in OECD countries in a global context. It considers the production and consumption of materials, as well as their international flows and available stocks, and the environmental implications associated with their use. It also describes some of the challenges and opportunities associated with selected materials and products that are internationally-significant, both in economic and environmental terms (aluminium, copper, iron and steel, paper, phosphate rock and rare earth elements).
  • 29-October-2014


    Making obsolescence obsolete: design to reduce waste - Insights blog

    Let’s be honest, waste reduction doesn’t have much of a ring to it. To many, it’s a complex policy issue without much hope if consumers keep throwing their cans away in the street.

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  • 17-June-2014


    Global Forum on Environment: Promoting Sustainable Materials Management through Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)

    Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is increasingly recognised worldwide as an efficient waste management policy to help improve recycling and reduce landfilling of products and materials. This Forum took place on 17-19 June 2014, in Tokyo, Japan, to identify key challenges and opportunities for further developing EPR policies.

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  • 14-June-2014


    Message in a bottle: Producers not taxpayers should pay for the waste they generate - Insights Blog

    Have you ever wondered who was paying to recycle that plastic bottle you just threw away?

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  • 27-September-2013


    Environmentally Sound Management of Waste

    The OECD is developing international policies to promote and harmonise the environmentally sound management (ESM) of wastes within the OECD area.

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  • 18-March-2013


    Greenhouse Gas Mitigation and Materials Management

    The OECD report “Greenhouse gas emissions and the potential for mitigation from materials management within OECD countries” provides support to governments in showing the importance of using a life-cycle approach to analyse GHG mitigation options from materials management.

  • 14-February-2013

    English, PDF, 271kb

    Flyer: Work on sustainable materials and waste management

    This flyer includes comprehensive information on the following waste areas of work: sustainable materials management, environmentally sound management of waste, transboundary movements of waste, waste prevention and minimisation, and radioactive waste management.

  • 17-October-2012


    Sustainable Materials Management - Making Better Use of Resources

    Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) is increasingly recognised as a policy approach that can make a key contribution to green growth and the challenges that are posed by sustained global economic and demogarphic growth. One of the key challenges of the SMM approach is to effectively address the environmental impacts that can occur along the life-cycle of materials, which frequently extends across borders and involves a multitude of different economic actors.   This book outlines a series of policy principles for SMM, examines how to set and use targets for SMM, and explores various policy instruments for SMM.  In addition it provides examples of policy action plans from the UK and the Netherlands, before presenting a series of conclusions and recommendations.
  • 15-October-2012

    English, PDF, 1,466kb

    Policy brief on Sustainable Materials Management: A Synthesis

    Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) is increasingly recognised as a policy approach that can make a key contribution to green growth and the challenges that are posed by sustained global economic and demogarphic growth.

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  • 12-October-2012

    English, PDF, 1,424kb

    Case Study on Critical Metals in Mobile Phones

    This report focuses on four key policy issues: life-cycle externalities, trade policy impacts, material substitution and hazardous waste policies, and used and end-of-life mobile device management. Across these key policy issues, this report has identified the following observations relating to sustainable materials management.

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