Transition pathways to decouple the plastic system from fossil feedstock to achieve a circular economy of biobased plastics.

Project: PhD

Project Details


The production and use of plastics is increasing and a larger fraction of these virgin plastics are being produced in countries with electricity from coal fired electricity plants, which contributes to increased greenhouse gas emissions related to plastic production. Furthermore, the mismanagement of plastic waste is a growing environmental concern that affects biodiversity and food security. The current Dutch collection & recycling schemes for plastic waste do limit the leakage of plastic pollution but unfortunately cannot prevent it, which means that every year plastics are leaking into the natural environment. The currently used plastics should be replaced by plastics from biogenic feedstocks to limit greenhouse gas emissions related to plastic production. Furthermore, plastic objects that form a risk of leakage should be biodegradable in the natural environment. This is, however, far from simple, since there are multiple technical, legal and organisational barriers that prevent the uptake of biogenic plastics in current collection & recycling schemes. Hence, a new plastic system needs to configured. In this proposed study we will systematically study the possibilities for the implementation of such a new plastic system at three levels. 1.) The possibilities and requirements for newly designed polymers and looping strategies that can enable the new plastic system 2.) The system performance of the potential newly designed systems 3.) The transition pathways from the current situation to this newly designed plastic system.
Effective start/end date1/03/23 → …


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