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Climate impacts of recycled and fossil-based plastic for the automotive industry
RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Built Environment, System Transition and Service Innovation.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2066-6371
2023 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The automotive sector has a long history of recycling and a high rate of reuse and recycling. The benefits of recycling lie in reduction of climate impacts. The challenges of recycling lie in the cost of refining and to meet the quality standards. This report present results from an environmental study and is part of a larger research project “SVE-REP” financed by Re:Source and the Swedish Energy agency. The starting point of this study was the idea is to replace fossil plastic to recycling plastic in the Swedish automotive industry (Volvo Cars, Volvo Trucks). To measure environmental benefit of recycled plastic instead of fossil-based alternatives, we performed an environmental study looking at the greenhouse gas emission of recycling compared with fossil plastic. Life cycle analysis (LCA) based data and methodology were used to measure the climate impact from the recycled and fossil-based plastic. The data collection includes different plastic companies (Rondo, Mocom, and Sabic). The results were compared between the companies and results were also compared with earlier studies in the literature. The studied recycling rates included in this study are between 25%, 30%, 50% and 70%. The recycling plastic are based on PCR and PIR. The studied plastics were PP (including TPE and PA6) and PC/ABS. The materials and processes included are based on waste to factory gate (cradle to gate). The conclusion made from this project is the following: PP based on recycling plastic are better than fossil-based plastic. Recycling content has been 25%, 30% and 50% and 67% in total. This leads to 30-40% and up to 58% and 90% reduction of GHGemissions. PC/ABS based on recycling plastic are better than fossil-based plastic. The Recycling content has been 25%, 50% and 70% for PC/ABS. This leads to 22%, 55% and 60% reduction of GHG-emissions. Plastic components have different quality and content. The quality is having effect on the recycling content. The industrial based recycled plastic (PIR) has better quality and climate impact than the consumer based recycled plastic (PCR). As a result, the plastic components show different climate effects. The research project has shown that carbon reduction due to the replacement of fossil plastic to recycling plastic in the Swedish automotive industry is possible. As a rule of thumb, % recycling rate means % reduction of climate impacts. For example, 25% recycling rate means 25% reduction climate impacts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2023. , p. 33
Series
RISE Rapport ; 2023:39
Keywords [en]
Recycling, plastic, components, automotive, Carbon footprint, LCA
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ri:diva-64273ISBN: 978-91-89757-85-1 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ri-64273DiVA, id: diva2:1745207
Available from: 2023-03-22 Created: 2023-03-22 Last updated: 2023-06-05Bibliographically approved

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Brunklaus, Birgit

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CiteExportLink to record
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