How much CO2 do we save by eliminating single-use plastics?

21 June 2022

by Giovanni

Tempo di lettura 2 minuti

It is finally possible to know the impact of our system certification.

The research conducted in collaboration with the Department of Industrial Engineering and Economics of the University of L'Aquila on the evaluation of the Carbon Footprint of the replacement of single-use plastic has been concluded.

The research group, coordinated by Dr. Davide Di Battista, analyzed the Plastic Free Certification methodology with the aim of valorizing the emissions of equivalent carbon dioxide avoided thanks to actions of reduction, elimination or replacement of disposable plastic objects. The policies of reduction or elimination of disposable plastics of fossil origin, in fact, have an evident impact on the reduction of direct pollution of plastic waste, but also have the effect of reducing the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the cycle of life of these components.

The developed procedure started from a careful and voluminous bibliographic research of scientific articles, international reports and publications on LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) analysis and carbon footprint of disposable plastic objects. This research has made it possible to obtain the CO2 equivalent values ​​emitted during the life cycle (from when the raw materials to make it are extracted from the subsoil, up to the management of the end of life, passing through all the stages of production, assembly, transport, distribution, use, disposal) of certain products or categories of plastic products. The research has therefore made it possible to create summary matrices, where a value of kgCO2eq per kg of plastic has been identified for each category of product and material.

Subsequently, the research focused on the substitution hypothesis. Therefore, the literature analysis on product categories was repeated also considering biodegradable plastic materials (PLA, PHA, bio-PET, bio-PE, etc.), but also paper, tetrapak, kraftpaper and wood and objects in multi-use material (glass, aluminum).

This will allow each Plastic Free certified body to obtain the exact data on the impact of its reduction actions and any more sustainable replacements, and to know how many kg of CO2 equivalent are saved by applying the Plastic Free Certification certification procedure.

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