LCA of plastic recycling and thermal utilisation

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Life Cycle Assessment and Eco-Efficiency Analysis of Plastics Collection Systems in Switzerland

The aim of this project was to illuminate the current disposal and recycling routes for separately collected plastics ecologically with the method of life cycle assessment and also economically, such as the various collection bag systems, disposal in disposal yards or the retail trade.

Various initiatives have been launched in Switzerland in recent years with the aim of recycling more plastics. In the meantime, even experts in the industry have hardly any overview of which institution actually collects which type and quantity of plastics, what costs are associated with this, and what actually happens with these plastics. The plastics collection systems were evaluated both ecologically using the life cycle assessment method and economically in order to obtain a basis for deciding which type of recycling is most appropriate under the given circumstances. In particular, this should provide cantons and municipalities with the necessary basis for a well-founded decision. The project was carried out in collaboration with UMTEC and ETH Zurich (Ecological Systems Design ESD), with Carbotech being responsible for project management and the life cycle assessment.


BAFU, Umweltämter der Kantone AG, BE, BL, BS, GR, SG, TG, ZH, cemsuisse, VBSA, Swiss Recycling, OKI