Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions Through the Use of Free Shops : A Case Study of Two Free Shops in Gothenburg
Abstract: Products, throughout their life cycle from production to waste management, create emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG). This leads to environmental impacts on the climate (Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, 2016). The consumed products from households are increasing (World Wildlife Fund, 2008) and so is the waste generated from them (Avfall Sverige, n.d.). A more sustainable development generating from circular economy should be focused on to increases the reuse of products and by so reduce the amount of waste generated (Göteborgs Stad, n.d.a.) This study have examined if the use of Free Shops can help the city of Gothenburg to reach higher up the waste management hierarchy towards reuse and prevention, and if carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) can be avoided by using Free Shops. Two Free Shops with the purpose to increase reuse in Gothenburg have been studied and their effect on GHG emissions, presented as CO2e, have been analysed. A Life Cycle Inventory Study (LCI) has been conducted on all, but two, different materials entering the Free Shops for four weeks, including the production, waste management, transportation and storage. The result of the study shows that a mean of 10 ton CO2e per Free Shop per year can be avoided when reusing at a Free Shop instead of buying new products. This equals leaving a low energy lamp on for approximately 590 years (World Wildlife Fund, 2009) based on a low energy lamp using 0,007 kWh (Eon, 2007). To examine if the Free Shops can reduce the amount of waste disposed of by households in Gothenburg the material entering the Free Shops was weight and analysed to estimate how it corresponded to the amount of waste disposed of. The result shows that the material entering a Free Shop only corresponds to 0.0025 percent of the household waste disposed of in the city. This indicates that Free Shops by themselves will not solve the problem with increasing amounts of waste and emissions from increasing production. However, they can help in a small scale.
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