Bioprocessing of Metals from Packaging Wastes

  • Meenu Gautam
  • Divya Pandey
  • Madhoolika AgrawalEmail author
Part of the Environmental Footprints and Eco-design of Products and Processes book series (EFEPP)


Packaging refers to the covering used to protect the product inside. Metals—such as iron, copper, and their alloys, i.e., brass and bronze, have been used for the packaging and storage of goods since ancient times. Unique properties of metals, particularly the ease of fabrication, strength, thermal and electrical conductivities, and ability to hold diverse materials securely in different states, make them an essential packaging material either as such or as composites with materials such as polymers, fibers, plastics, and ceramics. Boxes, cans, cylinders, and foils made from iron, aluminum, tin, copper, etc., are the most common and everyday examples of metal-based packaging; however, specialized packaging requirements, e.g., for electronic parts, composites based on different metals are preferred. After its end use, discarded packaging becomes a major contributor to waste generation. Completely metal-based packages can be recycled; however, this becomes expensive for composites. In such cases, landfilling is the most common disposal method, which may cause adverse impacts on human health through the contamination of groundwater and soil. This calls for effective and better alternate metal waste-management options that can help metal recycling and recovery. In this chapter, we present a brief introduction of metal-based packaging, their various methods of disposal, and recovery and recycling options with particular focus on biotechnological approaches. With the help of different examples and recent developments in the recovery and reuse of waste metals, potential sustainable and cost-effective solutions in managing metallic or metal-based packaging waste are discussed.


Metals Composites Recycling Packaging waste 



Divya Pandey and Meenu Gautam are thankful to the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, India, for research fellowships in the form of Research Associateship and Junior Research Fellowship, respectively.


  1. Alorro RD, Hiroyoshi N, Ito M, Tsunekawa M (2009) Recovery of heavy metals from MSW molten fly ash by CIP method. Hydrometallurgy 97(1):8–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Araujo CS, Carvalho DC, Rezende HC, Almeida IL, Coelho LM, Coelho NM, Alves VN (2013) Bioremediation of waters contaminated with heavy metals using moringaoleifera seeds as biosorbent. In: Patil YB, Rao (eds) Applied bioremediation—active and passive approaches, p 225Google Scholar
  3. Avakyan ZA, Robotnova IL (1971) Comparative toxicity of free ions and complexes of copper with organic acids for Candida ulitis. Microbiology 40:262–266Google Scholar
  4. Bahadir T, Bakan G, Altas L, Buyukgungor H (2007) The investigation of lead removal by biosorption: an application at storage battery industry wastewaters. Enzyme Microb Tech 41(1):98–102CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Baruthio F (1992) Toxic effects of chromium and its compounds. Biol Trace Elem Res 32(1–3):145–153CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Benoff S, Jacob A, Hurley IR (2000) Male infertility and environmental exposure to lead and cadmium. Hum Reprod Update 6(2):107–121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Beshgetoor D, Hambidge M (1998) Clinical conditions altering copper metabolism in humans. Am J Clin Nutr 67:1017S/1021SGoogle Scholar
  8. Breslin VT (1993) Degradation of starch-plastic composites in a municipal solid waste landfill. J Environ Polym Degr 1(2):127–141CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Catalani S, Rizzetti MC, Padovani A, Apostoli P (2012) Neurotoxicity of cobalt. Hum Exp Toxicol 31(5):421–437CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Harvey B (2002) Managing elevated blood lead levels among young children: Recommendations from the advisory committee on childhood lead poisoning prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. United States Department of Health and Human Services, Atlanta, GA, pp 128Google Scholar
  11. Chen YP, Rekha PD, Arun AB, Shen FT, Lai WA, Young CC (2006) Phosphate solubilizing bacteria from subtropical soil and their tricalcium phosphate solubilizing abilities. Appl Soil Ecol 34:33–41CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Chung H, Park M, Madhaiyan M, Seshadri S, Song J, Cho H, Sa T (2005) Isolation and characterization of phosphate solubilizing bacteria from the rhizosphere of crop plants of Korea. Soil Biol Biochem 37:1970–1974CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Col M, Col C, Soran A, Sayli BS, Ozturk S (1999) Arsenic-related Bowen’s disease, palmar keratosis and skin cancer. Environ HlthPerspect 107(8):687–689Google Scholar
  14. Colomban P (2005) “Glasses, glazes and ceramics—recognition of the ancient technology”, Raman spectroscopy. In: Edwards HGM, Chalmers JM (eds) Archaeology and art history. Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, pp 192–206Google Scholar
  15. Cotzias GC, Horiuchi K, Fuenzalida S, Mena I (1968) Chronic manganese poisoning: clearance of tissue manganese concentrations with persistence of the neurological picture. Neurology 18:376–382CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Cutter CN (2002) Microbial control by packaging: a review. Crit Rev Food Sci 42(2):151–161CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Daniels L, Belay N, Rajagopal BS, Weimer PJ (1987) Bacterial methanogenesis and growth from CO2 with elemental iron as the sole source of electrons. Science 237(4814):509–511CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Dankovich TA, Gray DG (2011) Bactericidal paper impregnated with silver nanoparticles for point-of-use water treatment. Environ Sci Technol 45(5):1992–1998CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Das KK, Das SN, Dhundasi SA (2008) Nickel, its adverse health effects and oxidative stress. Indian J Med Res 128(4):412Google Scholar
  20. Davis TA, Volesky B, Mucci A (2003) A review of the biochemistry of heavy metal biosorption by brown algae. Water Res 37:4311–4330CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Denison R, Ruston J (1990) Recycling and incineration: evaluating the choices. Island PressGoogle Scholar
  22. Dexter SC (1993) Role of microfouling organisms in marine corrosion. Biofouling 7(2):97–127CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Dhakar S, Ali N, Chauhan RS, Yadav V (2015) Potentiality of acidithiobacillus thiooxidans in microbial solubilization of phosphate mine tailings. J Degraded Mining Lands Manage 2(3):355–360Google Scholar
  24. Dickinson WH, Caccavo F, Lewandowski Z (1996) The ennoblement of stainless steel by manganic oxide biofouling. Corros Sci 38(8):1407–1422CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Ehrlich HL (1996) Geomicrobial processes: a physiological and biochemical overview. Geomicrobiology. Marcel Dekker, New York, pp 108–142Google Scholar
  26. Elinder CG, Sjögren B (1986) Aluminium. In: Friberg L, Nordberg GF, Vouk VB (eds) Handbook on the toxicology of metals, 2nd edn. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 1–25Google Scholar
  27. Ensley BD (2000) Rationale for use of phytoremediation. In: Phytoremediation of toxic metals: using plants to clean up the environment. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  28. European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) (2001) European standard EN 10202:2001 cold reduced tin mill products–electrolytic tinplate and electrolytic chromium/chromium oxide coated steel. CEN, BrusselsGoogle Scholar
  29. European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) (2004) EN 602:2004 aluminium and aluminium alloys—Wrought products—chemical composition of semi products used for the fabrication of articles for use in contact with foodstuff. CEN, BrusselsGoogle Scholar
  30. Fellows P, Axtell B (2002) Packaging materials. In: Fellows P, Axtell B (eds) Appropriate food packaging: materials and methods for small businesses. ITDG Publishing, Essex, pp 25–77Google Scholar
  31. Fomina M, Gadd GM (2014) Biosorption: current perspectives on concept, definition and application. Bioresource Technol 160:3–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Ford T, Mitchell R (1990) The ecology of microbial corrosion. Springer, New York, pp 231–262CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Gackowski D, Kruszewski M, Banaszkiewicz Z, Jawien A, Olinski R (2002) Lymphocyte labile iron pool, plasma iron, transferrin saturation and ferritin levels in colon cancer patients. Acta Biochim Pol 49:269–272Google Scholar
  34. Graedel TE, Allwood J, Birat JP, Buchert M, Hagelűken C, Reck BK, Sibley SF, Sonnemann G (2011) What do we know about metal recycling rates? USGS Staff—Published Research. Paper 596.
  35. Gramatyka P, Nowosielski R, Sakiewicz P (2007) Recycling of waste electrical and electronic equipment. J Achievements Mater Manuf Eng 20(1–2):535–538Google Scholar
  36. Grandjean P, Satoh H, Murata K, Eto K (2010) Adverse effects of methylmercury: environmental health research implications. Environ Health Perspect 118(8):1137–1145 Google Scholar
  37. Greene B, McPherson R, Darnall D (1987) Algal sorbents for selective metal ion recovery. In: Metals Speciation, Separatio Fomich J E (2011). A History of Packaging CDFS-133, Ohio State University Fact Sheet, Community Development, Columbus, Ohio.
  38. Gu JD, Ford TE, Mitton DB, Mitchell R (2000) Microbial corrosion of metals. The Uhlig Corrosion HandbookGoogle Scholar
  39. Gu JD, Mitton DB, Ford TE, Mitchell R (1998a) Microbial degradation of polymeric coatings measured by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. Biodegradation 9(1):39–45CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Gu JD, Roman M, Esselman T, Mitchell R (1998b) The role of microbial biofilms in deterioration of space station candidate materials. Int Biodeter Biodegr 41(1):25–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Hanaa M, Eweida A, Farag A (2000) Heavy metals in drinking water and their environmental impact on human health. Paper presented at international conference on environmental hazards mitigation, Cairo University, Egypt, pp 542–556Google Scholar
  42. Henderson ME, Duff RB (1963) The release of metallic and silicate ions from minerals, rocks, and soils by fungal activity. J Soil Sci 14(2):236–246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Holdsworth SD, Simpson R (2007) Thermal processing of packaged foods. Springer Science & Business MediaGoogle Scholar
  44. Hook P, Heimlich JE (2011) A history of packaging CDFS-133. Ohio State University Columbus, Ohio. Accessed 28 May 2015
  45. Johnson DB, Mc Ginness S (1991) A highly efficient and universal solid medium for growing mesophilic and moderately thermophilic, iron-oxidizing, acidophilic bacteria. J Microbiol Meth 13(2):113–122CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Jones PT, Geysen D, Tielemans Y, Van Passel S, Pontikes Y, Blanpain B, Hoekstra N (2013) Enhanced Landfill Mining in view of multiple resource recovery: a critical review. J Cleaner Production 55:45–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Joseph B, Patra RR, Lawrence R (2007) Characterization of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria associated with chickpea (Cicerarietinum L.). Int J Plant Prod 2:141–152Google Scholar
  48. Krebs W, Bachofen R, Brandl H (2001) Growth stimulation of sulfur oxidizing bacteria for optimization of metal leaching efficiency of fly ash from municipal solid waste incineration. Hydrometallurgy 59(2):283–290CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Kruszewski M (2004) The role of labile iron pool in cardiovascular diseases. Acta Biochim Pol 51:471–480Google Scholar
  50. Kumar V, Behl RK, Narula N (2001) Establishment of phosphate-solubilizing strains of Azotobacter chroococcum in the rhizosphere and their effect on wheat cultivars under greenhouse conditions. Microbiol Res 156:87–93CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Kumla J, Suwannarach N, Bussaban B, Matsui K, Lumyong S (2014) Indole-3-acetic acid production, solubilization of insoluble metal minerals and metal tolerance of some sclerodermatoid fungi collected from northern Thailand. Ann Microbiol 64(2):707–720CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Ma W, Fang Y (2006) Experimental (SERS) and theoretical (DFT) studies on the adsorption of p-, m-, and o-nitroaniline on gold nanoparticles. J Colloid Interface Sci 303(1):1–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Maurice C (1998) Landfill Gas Emission and Landfill Vegetation. Lulea University of Technology, Lulea, SwedenGoogle Scholar
  54. McCutcheon SC, Schnoor JL (2003) Overview of phytotransformation and control of wastes. Transformation and control of contaminants, Phytoremediation, p 987Google Scholar
  55. Mocchegiani E, Giacconi R, Cipriano C, Muzzioli M, Fattoretti P, Bertoni-Freddari C, Isani G, Zambenedetti P, Zatta P (2001) Zinc-bound metallothioneins as potential biological markers of ageing. Brain Res Bull 55:147–153CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Nannoni F, Protano G, Riccobono F (2011) Uptake and bioaccumulation of heavy elements by two earthworm species from a smelter contaminated area in northern Kosovo. Soil Biol Biochem 43:2359–2367CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Navarro R, Guzman J, Saucedo I, Revilla J, Guibal E (2007) Vanadium recovery from oil fly ash by leaching, precipitation and solvent extraction processes. Waste Manage 27(3):425–438CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Negi R, Suthar S (2013) Vermistabilization of paper mill wastewater sludge using Eiseniafetida. Bioresource Technol 128:193–198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Nishida Y (2001) Recycling of metal matrix composites. Adv Eng Mater 5(3):315–317CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Olesen BH, Avci R, Lewandowski Z (1998) Ennoblement of stainless steel studied by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (No. CONF- 980316). NACE International, Houston, USAGoogle Scholar
  61. Orhan G (2005) Leaching and cementation of heavy metals from electric arc furnace dust in alkaline medium. Hydrometallurgy 78(3):236–245CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Orhan Y, Buyukgungor H (1993) The removal of heavy metals by using agricultural wastes. Water Sci Technol 28:247–255Google Scholar
  63. Paneque A, Cháfer C, Pacheco B, Hortal M, Capuz S (2008) Análisis de la situación de la generción y gestión de residuos de envaseenEspaña. In: 12th international conference on project engineering, Zaragoza, SpainGoogle Scholar
  64. Pathak A, Dastidar MG, Sreekrishnan TR (2009) Bioleaching of heavy metals from sewage sludge: a review. J Environ Manage 90(8):2343–2353CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Phi Q-T, Park Y-M, Seul K-J, Ryu C-M, Park S-H, Kim S-H, Ghim S-Y (2010) Assessment of root-associated Paenibacillus polymyxa groups on growth promotion and induced systemic resistance in pepper. J Microbiol Biotechnol 20:1605–1613Google Scholar
  66. Pinto RJB, Marques PAAP, PascoalNeto C, Trindade T, Daina S, Sadocco P (2009) Antibacterial activity of nanocomposites of silver and bacterial or vegetable cellulosic fibers. Acta Biomater 5(6):2279–2289CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Plum LM, Rink L, Haase H (2010) The essential toxin: impact of zinc on human health. Int J Environ R Public Heal 7(4):1342–1365CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Ramelow GJ, Fralick D, Zhao YF (1992) Factors affecting the uptake of aqueous metalions by dried seaweed biomass. Microbios 72(291):81–93Google Scholar
  69. Reddy MA (2014) Toxic metals and environmental pollution. In: national seminar on impact of toxic metals, minerals and solvents leading to environmental pollution-2014. J Chem Pharmaceut Sci. 3:175–181. (Special issue)Google Scholar
  70. Rozaslin A, Fauziah CI, Rasidah Wan W, Rosenani AB (2010) Presented paper at 19th world congress of soil science, solutions for a changing world, Brisbane, Australia, 1–6 Aug 2010. Accessed on 25 April 2015
  71. Rybicki E, Swiech T, Lesniewska E, Albinska J, Szynkowska MI, Paryjczak T, Sypniewski S (2004) Changes in hazardous substances in cotton after mechanical and chemical treatments of textiles. Fibres Text East Eur 12:67–73Google Scholar
  72. Sahariah B, Goswami L, Kim KH, Bhattacharyya P, Bhattacharya SS (2015) Metal remediation and biodegradation potential of earthworm species on municipal solid waste: a parallel analysis between Metaphireposthuma and Eiseniafetida. Bioresource Technol 180:230–236CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Sakaguchi T, Burgess JG, Matsunaga T (1993) Magnetite formation by a sulphate-reducing bacterium. Nature 365:47–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Sauni R, Linna A, Oksa P, Nordman H, Tuppurainen M, Uitti J (2010) Cobalt asthma—a case series from a cobalt plant. Occup Med 60(4):301–306CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Schiewer S, Volesky B (2000) Environmental microbe—metal interactions. In: Lovley D (ed) ASM Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  76. Schiewer S, Wong MH (2000) Ionic strength effects in biosorption of metals by marine algae. Chemosphere 41(1):271–282Google Scholar
  77. Schnoor JL (2000) Phytostabilization of metals using hybrid poplar trees. In: Raskin I, Ensley BD (eds) Phytoremediation of toxic metals: using plants to clean up the environment. Wiley, New York, pp 133–150Google Scholar
  78. Semple AB, Parry WH, Philips DE (1960) Acute copper poisoning: an outbreak traced to contaminated water from a corroded geyser. Lancet 2:700/701Google Scholar
  79. Swain G, Adhikari S, Mohanty P (2014) Phytoremediation of copper and cadmium from water using water hyacinth, Eichhornia crassipes. Int J Agric Sci Technol 2:1–7., doi: 10.14355/ijast.2014.0301.01 Google Scholar
  80. Tateda M, Ike M, Fujita M (1998) Heavy metal extraction from municipal solid waste incineration fly ash using a sulfur oxidizing bacterium. Resour Environ Biotechnol 2(2):137–151Google Scholar
  81. Tempelman E (1999) Sustainable transport and advanced materials. Ph.D. thesis, Delft University of Technology, March 1999, NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  82. Terry N, Zayed A, Pilon-Smits E (1995) Bioremediation of selenium by plant volatilization (No. CONF-9509139–). In: Abstract of the 7th on ACS special symposium: emerging technologies in hazardous waste management, Atlanta, GA (United States), 17–20 Sep 1995Google Scholar
  83. Trasande L, Landrigan PJ, Schechter C (2005) Public health and economic consequences of methyl mercury toxicity to the developing brain. Environ Health Persp 590–596Google Scholar
  84. UNEP-International Resource Panel (2011) Metal stocks in society: scientific synthesis recycling rates of metals: a status report UNEP, Nairobi, Kenya. Accessed 28 May 2015
  85. US-Environmental Protection Agency (2010) Municipal solid waste generation, recycling and disposal in the United States: facts and figures for 2010. Accessed 17 June 2015
  86. Valix M, Usai F, Malik R (2001) Fungal bio-leaching of low grade laterite ores. Miner Eng 14(2):197–203CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Vasilyev F, Virolainen S, Sainio T (2015) Synthesis of hydrometallurgical processes for valorization of secondary raw materials using ant colony optimization and key performance indicators. Hydrometallurgy 153:121–133CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Vazquez P, Holguin G, Puente M, Lopez-cortes A, Bashan Y (2000) Phosphate solubilizing microorganisms associated with the rhizosphere of mangroves in a semi-arid coastal lagoon. Biol Fertil Soils 30:460–468CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Videla HA (1996) Corrosion inhibition by bacteria. In: McCombs K, Albert W, Starkweather Jr (eds) Manual of biocorrosion, USA, pp 121–135Google Scholar
  90. Vlot (2001) Historical overview. In: Vlot A, Gunnink JW (eds) Fibre metal laminates, an introduction. Kluwer Academic Publishers, London, pp 3–50Google Scholar
  91. Vogelsang LB, Marissen R and Schijve J (1981) A new fatigue resistant material: aramid reinforced aluminum laminate (ARALL), Report no. LR-322, Delft University of Technology, Department of Aerospace EngineeringGoogle Scholar
  92. Volesky B, Naja G (2005) Biosorption: application strategies. In: Harrison STL, Rawlings DE, Petersen J (eds) Proceedings of the 16th international biotechnolsymp. cape Town, South Africa, pp 531–542Google Scholar
  93. Wani PA, Zaidi A, Khan AA, Khan MS (2005) Effect of phorate on phosphate solubilization and indole acetic acid (IAA) releasing potentials of rhizospheric microorganisms. Annals Plant Prot Sci 13:139–144Google Scholar
  94. Winge DR, Mehra RK (1990) Host defenses against copper toxicity. Int Rev Exp Pathol 31:47/83Google Scholar
  95. Workman ML, La Charity LA, Kruchko SL (2013) Understanding pharmacology: essentials for medication safety. Elsevier Health SciencesGoogle Scholar
  96. Wu D, Fang Y (2003) The adsorption behavior of p-hydroxybenzoic acid on a silver-coated filter paper by surface enhanced Raman scattering. J Colloid Interface Sci 265(2):234–238Google Scholar
  97. Yam KL (2009) Encyclopedia of packaging technology. Wiley, New York. ISBN:978-0-470-08704-6Google Scholar
  98. Yokel RA (2000) The toxicology of aluminium in brain: review. Neurotoxicology 21(5):813–828Google Scholar
  99. Zweben C (1992) Metal-matrix composites for electronic packaging. J Min Met Mat S 44(7):15–23Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Meenu Gautam
    • 1
  • Divya Pandey
    • 1
  • Madhoolika Agrawal
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratory of Air Pollution and Global Climate Change, Department of BotanyBanaras Hindu UniversityVaranasiIndia

Personalised recommendations