2022 journal article

Rethinking the use of bio-based plastics to accelerate the decarbonization of our society

Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 186, 106593.

By: A. Suarez n, E. Ford  n, R. Venditti n, S. Kelley  n, D. Saloni n  & R. Gonzalez  n

co-author countries: United States of America πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ

Contributors: D. Saloni n 

author keywords: Life cycle assessment; Smart use of materials; Bio-based plastics; Bio-PET; PLA
Source: ORCID
Added: August 9, 2022

The need to tackle the current environmental impact of plastics is driving the development of new bio-based materials. Although these bioplastics offer carbon footprint reductions, their role in a more sustainable economy is still unclear. Herein, a systematic review was performed to understand the impact of producing bioplastics. This information was used to perform a life cycle assessment considering different end-of-life scenarios. Then a Smart Use of Materials based on the assumption of only using certain materials in targeted applications was proposed. It was found that the dedicated use of bio-polyethylene terephthalate for packaging and polylactic acid for textiles can offer a carbon footprint reduction of up to 67% and 80% respectively. Therefore, we present a major opportunity to decarbonize our society using current technologies and supply chains. This concept contributes to building a society that understands the place of bio-based materials and addresses pollution from a material selection perspective.