Plastic with net-zero emissions
Plastic divides opinion. On the one hand, a thin plastic film, for example, keeps our vegetables fresh or protects a new product from scratches; on the other hand, it is a major burden on the environment due to the oils used, the high energy input during production and the poor recycling. Making this much-used material climate-neutral is therefore a goal of numerous researchers.
An international team led by JARA-ENERGY scientist Prof. André Bardow has now proven in a study that plastic with net zero emissions is possible. It is important to consider the entire life cycle of the material, from production to recycling. Net zero means that all GHG emissions caused by humans are removed from the atmosphere. Accordingly, the carbon footprint is zero.
Based on the study, published in the journal Science, a net-zero emissions balance of plastics requires a combination of recycling, biomass use, and plastic capture and use.
More information on the research is available on the RWTH Aachen University website: https://www.rwth-aachen.de/cms/root/Die-RWTH/Aktuell/Pressemitteilungen/Oktober/~rablv/Netto-Null-Emissionen-sind-moeglich/?lidx=1
The original publication can be read on the website of the journal Science: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.abg9853