Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by recycling plastics and textiles into products

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Title: Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by recycling plastics and textiles into products
Author: Korhonen, Marja-Riitta; Dahlbo, Helena
Publisher: Finnish Environment Institute
Date: 2007
Language: en
Belongs to series: The Finnish Environment 30/2007
ISBN: 978-952-11-2795-3
ISSN: 1796-1637
Abstract: Waste management generates greenhouse gas emissions. New waste management concepts for reducing these emissions are continuously being developed. In this study the potential of material recovery to reduce greenhouse gas emissions was assessed. The study was divided into two phases. In the first phase the material recovery concepts used in Finland were identified and approximate greenhouse gas emission savings calculations were conducted for some of the concepts. In the second phase two promising concepts were chosen as case studies for a more detailed assessment, both of which are documented in detail in this report. In the first concept plastic waste is reprocessed into plastic profiles and in the second waste textile is reprocessed into oil absorbent mats. Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) methodology was used for calculating the greenhouse gas emission savings. The emission saving potential was assessed by comparing the emissions from the product made of recycled material with the emissions from the lifecycle of a reference product. The reference product is made for the same application of use but manufactured from virgin raw material. Impregnated wood was chosen as the reference product for the plastic profile and oil absorbent mat made from virgin polypropylene fibre was used as the reference product for the oil absorbent mat made from textile waste. When assessing the overall greenhouse gas emission savings from material recovery, only comparing the emissions from the recycled and the reference product lifecycles is insufficient. Thus, the emissions avoided by material and energy recovery were also included in the calculations. The results show that the greenhouse gas emission reduction potential of material recycling is highly case-specific and emission savings can not always be obtained. In this study recovery of textile waste showed the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, plastic waste recycling only generates greenhouse gas emission savings under certain conditions. The emission reduction potential greatly depends on the reference product chosen. This study concentrated solely on greenhouse gas emissions. Thus the results only highlight one aspect of the environmental impacts from material recycling.
Subject: muovi

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