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End-of-Life Options for Bio-Based Plastics in a Circular Economy—Status Quo and Potential from a Life Cycle Assessment Perspective

  • The bio-based plastic market is forecast to grow in the next years. With a growing market share and product range, the implementation of circular thinking is becoming more and more important also for bio-based plastics to enable a sound circular economy for these group of plastics. Therefore, it is important to assess the environmental performance for different end-of-life options of bio-based plastics from an early stage on. This review presents a comprehensive overview on the current status quo of different end-of-life options for bio-based plastics from an environmental perspective. Based on the status quo and the corresponding impact assessment results, the global plastic demand as well as the technical substitution potential of bio-based plastics, the environmental saving potential in case of the different end-of-life options was calculated. The review shows that there is a focus on polylactic acid (PLA) regarding end-of-life assessment, with studies covering all end-of-life options. The focus of the impact assessment has been set on global warming potential (GWP). With respect to GWP, the analysis of a future global potential of PLA showed, for mechanical recycling, the highest saving potential with 94.1 Mio. t CO2-eq. per year in comparison to virgin material.

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Author:Sebastian Spierling, Venkateshwaran Venkatachalam, Marina Mudersbach, Nico Becker, Christoph Herrmann, Hans-Josef EndresGND
DOI original:https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9070090
Parent Title (English):Resources
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2020
Publishing Institution:Hochschule Hannover
Release Date:2020/10/07
Tag:bio-based plastics; circular economy; end-of-life options; life cycle assessment
GND Keyword:Biokunststoff; Lebensdauer; Umweltbilanz; Kreislaufwirtschaft
Link to catalogue:1757596216
Institutes:Fakultät II - Maschinenbau und Bioverfahrenstechnik
DDC classes:620 Ingenieurwissenschaften und Maschinenbau
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International