Renewable materials and energy: the solution to zero-waste plastics?: The transition to zero-emission plastics is critical, as plastic consumption is expected to triple by 2050.


According to a new report from Covestro’s Markus Steilemann, the technology is in place to make the switch, but “all we need is the will.”


According to the report, the primary cause of plastics’ negative impact on the environment and climate change is due to both their production and how they are handled by consumers and that this is the key to change.


It is estimated that by 2030, the chemical and plastics industries will emit the same amount of greenhouse gases(GHG) as 300 coal-fired power plants.


It also reveals that plastics account for 4-8 percent of global annual oil consumption, with crude oil serving as a key component in their production. According to the study, this figure could reach 20% by 2050, at a time when the majority of the world is aiming for net zero emissions.
In terms of consumer treatment, the study found that between 1950 and 2015, 80 percent of plastic waste ended up in landfills or polluting the environment.  It emphasises that this is not a plastics-only issue; only 8.6 percent of the 100 billion tonnes of material in circulation worldwide is recycled.


According to the report, extracting carbon from sources other than crude oil, such as waste, biomass, and carbon dioxide, will significantly reduce the environmental footprint it leaves behind.


This allows carbon to be circulated rather than released into the atmosphere, and it allows oil to be stored underground.

“Research shows how the raw material combination of biomass, carbon dioxide and recycled waste (with an effective recycling rate of 70%) can be used to produce plastic with net zero emissions. However, emission-free wind power must be added.” Writes Mr Steilmann.

Renewable raw materials plus renewable energy: this is the successful duo for a future-oriented plastics production.”

Renewable materials and energy: the solution to zero-waste plastics?

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