Resource productivity and waste

Publications and reports on resource productivity and waste


Making the Slovak Republic a more source efficient economy, 2017

This policy paper identifies a number of options for improving resource efficiency in the Slovak Republic. Starting from the 2011 OECD Environmental Performance Review of the Slovak Republic, it builds on lessons from OECD work on sustainable materials management, resource productivity and green growth, developments in the European Union concerning the circular economy, and the outcomes of the 2016 high-level international Conference on “Transition to the Green Economy” (T2gE) organised under the Slovak EU Presidency. The aim of the brief is to contribute to a policy debate on the actions and decisions that are needed for a transition towards a green economy in the Slovak Republic.


Policy Paper Making the Slovak Republic a more resource efficient economy Country Study

Extended Producer Responsibility: Updated Guidance for Efficient Waste Management, 2016

This report updates the 2001 Guidance Manual for Governments on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), which provided a broad overview of the key issues, general considerations, and the potential benefits and costs associated with producer responsibility for managing the waste generated by their products put on the market. Since then, EPR policies to help improve recycling and reduce landfilling have been widely adopted in most OECD countries; product coverage has been expanded in key sectors such as packaging, electronics, batteries and vehicles; and EPR schemes are spreading in emerging economies in Asia, Africa and South America, making it relevant to address the differing policy contexts in developing countries.

Extended Producer Responsibility

Nanomaterials in Waste Streams: Current Knowledge on Risks & Impacts, 2016

Nanotechnology is an emerging and promising field for advanced applications in the industrial, commercial and medical sector. For example, nanomaterials can be utilised in sunscreen for its UV shielding properties, while other nanomaterials are useful for deodorant and textiles for their anti-bacterial features. This publication provides a literature review on four specific waste treatment processes of recycling, incineration, landfilling and wastewater treatment in order to clarify the current state of knowledge on the fate and possible impacts of nanomaterials in these processes.

Nanomaterials in Waste Streams

Environment at a Glance 2015: OECD Indicators, 2015

This report updates key environmental indicators and relevant socio-economic and sectoral indicators, including on waste, to track OECD country progress on major environmental issues and inform policy development and evaluation; and includes increased coverage of environmentally related taxation, ODA and R&D expenditure.

Environment at a Glance 2015

Critical Minerals Today and in 2030: An Analysis for OECD Countries, Environment Working Paper, 2015

Raw materials are essential for the global economy and future development depends on their continued supply. Like fossil fuels, minerals are non-renewable. Their deposits in the Earth’s crust are also geographically clustered, making security of supply a potential risk. In many cases, the exhaustion of economically competitive minerals deposits in industrialized countries has made supplies increasingly dependent on the political stability of mineral-rich emerging economies.


Material Resources, Productivity and the Environment, 2015

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.

Material Resources, Productivity and the Environment

Sustainable Materials Management – Making Better Use of Resources, 2012

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.

Sustainable Materials Management

Resource Productivity in the G8 and the OECD - A Report in the Framework of the Kobe 3R Action Plan

The report responds to a request by G8 Environment Ministers at their meeting in Kobe in 2008, presents an evaluation of progress on resource productivity. It highlights key trends and main policy developments related to resource productivity in OECD countries, with a particular focus on efforts to implement sustainable materials management; and identifies the main policy challenges and opportunities and discusses the steps that need to be taken to achieve further progress. (Also available in French).


Greenhouse gas mitigation and materials management, 2012

The report outlines a method for reallocating GHG emissions estimated by sector into systems categories to reveal emissions attributable to materials management from a life-cycle perspective. The materials management categories include: the production of goods and fuels, transportation of goods, crop and food production and storage, and disposal of food and waste. Results from four OECD country case studies (i.e., Australia, Mexico, Slovenia, and Germany) conducted suggest that annual GHG emissions attributable to materials management activities may account for more than half of national GHG emissions. Overall, this study and others find that materials management activities account for a significant share of national GHG emissions in OECD countries. 

Sustainable Materials Management: Case Studies, 2011

These case studies - Critical Metals in Mobile Devices - Aluminum - Wood Fibres - Plastics - look at the entire life cycle of materials/products and discuss environmental impacts and policy measures at different stages of the life cycle.

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