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Perspectives of the Circular Economy for the Plastics Industry

  • Type:
    Conference Presentation
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    Individuals

    AIChE Member Credits 0.5
    AIChE Members $19.00
    AIChE Graduate Student Members Free
    AIChE Undergraduate Student Members Free
    Non-Members $29.00
  • Conference Type:
    AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
  • Presentation Date:
    April 13, 2022
  • Duration:
    30 minutes
  • Skill Level:
    Intermediate
  • PDHs:
    0.50

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Perspectives related to the development of a circular economy for plastics are presented. Plastics play an essential role in our lives, especially in the area of packaging. Plastic waste entering into our environment is unacceptable. Plastics must be properly managed and designed so as to make it readily recoverable from waste streams for recycling and reuse. Remember, a waste is a waste only when it now longer serves a useful purpose. If we can recover, recycle, and reuse plastics, they no longer are a waste.

A circular economy restores and regenerates by design. As a result, materials constantly flow around in a “closed loop” system, rather than having a single use and then being disposed of. Therefore, the value of plastics are simultaneously valued in the economy without leakage into the natural environment.

Most industrial process are conducted in a linear economy fashion. Processing begins with raw materials and a design; afterwards, the materials move to production and manufacturing. After production, the product moves to distribution and from distribution to consumption. As consumers, we can use this product for many years. After using it until we no longer have a purpose for it, we then dispose of it. After disposal, waste is collected and what is salvageable for recycling is moved to the next step, and what is not reusable will leave the cycle and undergo disposal into landfills, etc.

In the circular economy, the economy is circular using a “repair, reuse, and recycle” philosophy which is more friendly to the environment. This technique reduces wastes to a minimum and keeps whatever materials that are usable. As a result, using recycled materials keeps further value in these products, and minimizes waste and raw material consumption.

Key ideas associated with the plastics circular economy include: reinventing packaging and sorting practices; having better informed consumers; development of policies to help drive the change to a circular economy; and collaboration across sectors developing collaboration with industries, government, associations, etc.

Benefits of a circular economy are many. The circular economy uses and reuses raw materials efficiently and in many cases, fully. This helps ensure that there is less waste with more sustainable approaches and less negative environmental impacts. This also reduces the carbon footprint associated with the use of plastics.

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Do you already own this?

Pricing


Individuals

AIChE Member Credits 0.5
AIChE Members $19.00
AIChE Graduate Student Members Free
AIChE Undergraduate Student Members Free
Non-Members $29.00
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