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Plastics - a climate change protector Copenhagen, 11 Dec 2009 Michel Loubry CO 2.

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Presentation on theme: "Plastics - a climate change protector Copenhagen, 11 Dec 2009 Michel Loubry CO 2."— Presentation transcript:

1 Plastics - a climate change protector Copenhagen, 11 Dec 2009 Michel Loubry CO 2

2 Climate change is a global challenge Global climate protection is the answer

3 CO 2 The industry is meeting the challenge “The impact of plastics on life cycle energy consumption and GHG emissions in Europe.” Denkstatt A.G., Vienna, 2009 commissioned by PlasticsEurope Part 1: Rough quantification of effects on energy and GHGs, if plastics were theoretically substituted with other materials (an update of the comprehensive 2005-GUA/denkstatt-study "The contribution of plastic products to resource efficiency“) Part 2: Additional evidence of the beneficial aspects of plastics for energy efficiency & climate protection Critical Reviews by: Adisa Azapagic (University of Manchester, UK) Roland Hischier (EMPA Sankt Gallen, CH)

4 CO 2 4 Information on the impact of plastics on energy consumption and CO 2 emissions ProductionUseEnd of life Energy CO 2 Energy Raw materials ProductsPackagingHousingTransportation Improved production efficiency Production emissions reduction Improved product design with plastics Lighter, more efficient products with plastics Preserved food by plastic packaging Reduced land-fill Recycling operations Energy reclamation Recycle / Energy conversion

5 CO 2 Energy savings in main application sectors  Comparison of plastic products with alternative materials  …split into life-cycle phases  Energy savings (+) and additional energy demand (–) plastic packaging saves 27 million tons of oil - the equivalent of taking 25 million cars off the road

6 CO 2 Energy consumption of plastic products and their potential substitutes + : Energy consumption - : Energy credits (prevented food losses / saved primary production / saved production of electricity & heat)  Comparison of plastic products with alternative materials  split into life-cycle phases

7 CO 2 39 Mill t/a 144 Mill t/a Alternative materials x 3,7 Total mass for same funct. units 4.940 Mill GJ/a 7.230 Mill GJ/a +46% Alternative materials (incl. not subst. plastics) Energy consumption in total life-cycle All plasticproducts Subst. Plastics 46,4 Mill. t incl. not substitutable plastic products 240 Mill t/a 360 Mill t/a +50% GHG emissions in total life-cycle Alternative materials (incl. not subst. plastics) All plasticproducts Effect of Substitution of Plastics on Mass, Energy Consumption and GHG Emissions 2,300 million GJ/yr = 50 million tonnes of crude oil = 194 very large crude oil tankers = 120 million tonnes CO 2 = Total CO 2 emissions of Belgium = 38% of EU15 Kyoto target

8 CO 2 Example: Benefits of insulation As a result of all the plastics building insulation installed in one year (2004): Lifetime energy savings of 9,500 million GJ GHG savings of 290 million tonnes CO 2 Relevance of production: <1% Relevance of recovery: <0,1% 8

9 CO 2 Example: Plastics packaging When more is less Without plastics, retailers’ fleets would make 50% more journeys GLASS JARS 36% IS PACKAGING PLASTIC POUCHES 3.56% IS PACKAGING On average only 1 to 3% of the weight of a packaged product in plastics comes from the packaging: A plastic film of 2g packages 200g of cheese A plastic Bottle of 35g packages 1.5 liter of drinks Inclusive the logistic packaging, it grows up to 3.56% on average

10 CO 2 Improving quality – Increasing shelf life Vacuum packs; modified atmosphere packaging; breathable packs; confectionery flow packed bars The intelligent choice for innovative retailing

11 CO 2 Enablers of renewable energy production Wind turbine (2.5 MW) Production demand: manufacture of plastic rotor blade Use benefit due to “renewable electricity”: 33% of GHG savings allocated to rotor Use benefit 140 x higher than production needs Photovoltaic unit (1 kWp)  Production demand: production of plastic film  Use benefit due to “renewable electricity”: 25% of GHG savings allocated to plastic film  Use benefit 340 x higher than production needs

12 CO 2 Relevance of plastic products in total consumer „carbon footprint“ The average consumer carbon footprint for the EU27+2 is approx. 14 tonnes CO2-equivalents per capita. 170 kg per capita result from plastics consumption. This equals 1,3% of the total consumer carbon footprint.

13 CO 2 Plastics: Greenhouse gas balance over the product life cycle Production + Energy generation Applications Use phase End of life Recycling + energy recovery CO2

14 Carbon balance for total market of plastic products – 2007, outlook 2020 SAVE UP TO 9 TONNES OVER LIFETIME 1 TONNE IN PRODUCTION 2007 1 TONNE IN PRODUCTION 2020 SAVE UP TO 15 TONNES OVER LIFETIME

15 CO 2 Main conclusions 1 Plastics products enable significant savings of energy and the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The production & use phases are the most important. In existing applications plastics are very energy efficient materials enabling resource efficient solutions Substitution of plastic products by other materials would in most cases increase energy consumption & GHG emissions. Plastics often facilitate reduced material consumption. Plastics used for thermal insulation, for food packaging and in the production of renewable energies result in very significant benefits during the “use” phase

16 CO 2 Main conclusions 2 A “carbon balance” of the total plastics market in Europe (EU27+2; 2007) shows that the estimated use phase benefits were roughly 5 – 9x higher than the emissions from production & recovery of all plastics SAVE UP TO 9 TONNES OVER LIFETIME 1 TONNE IN PRODUCTION 2007 1 TONNE IN PRODUCTION 2020 SAVE UP TO 15 TONNES OVER LIFETIME The increasing use-benefits and associated emission reductions from plastic applications up to 2020 are much greater than the additional emissions arising from the growth of plastics production. By 2020 the estimated use-benefits could be 9-15x higher than the combined emissions from production and waste management.

17 CO 2 17 Is plastic using up our oil and gas? Plastics production accounts for just 4% of oil and gas use Other non-energy use consumes a further 4% The chemical and petrochemical industries consume around 5% Heating, electricity and energy production consumes a further 42% Transport consumes 45% of our oil & gas

18 CO 2 18 A tiny amount used saves a lot!


20 CO 2 Methodology The study: Covers the majority of applications through key class examples is limited to the investigation of energy demand and GHG emissions, as they are of prime importance for EU policies. does seek to not quantify other environmental impacts. covers whole life cycle, but is not a full LCA according to ISO 14044. is not a comparison of plastics and alternatives in single applications in detail, but rather gives a good estimation for the effects of the total market for plastic products. Gives indications and trends for application sectors rather than details for single products. should help put things into perspective, i.e. identifying important and negligible influences in the energy and GHG balance across the total life-cycle.

21 CO 2 Denkstatt versus ICCA Study ICCA study: “Innovations for Greenhouse Gas Reductions - a life cycle quatification of carbon abatement solutions enabled by the chemical industry” published June 2009 Compares the use of chemical products versus the next best alternative, (like our Denkstatt study). Methodology comparable: plastics 32 based case studies, chemicals on >100 All the case studies for plastics in the previous Denkstatt study (GUA 2005) were input for ICCA study ICCA: complete chemical industry, around the globe, while Denkstat includes only the plastics and EU27+2 ICCA has included an abatement scenario, Denkstatt hasn’t ICCA top 3: Insulation, lighting, packaging Denkstatt top 3: packaging, building, transportation Carbon ratio: Chem ind: 2007: 2.1 – 2.6; 2030 BAU: 2.7 – 3.1; 2030 abatement: 4.2 – 4.7 Plastics: 2007: 5 - 9, 2020 9 - 14

22 CO 2 Benefits of recycling & recovery for energy and GHG emissions Impacts of collection, sorting and recycling processes as well as credits due to substituted primary production and substituted primary fuels are already included up in the figures above Plastic waste is a valuable secondary resource Energy/GHG- effects of recycling, recovery and disposal processes for LDPE.

23 CO 2 Calculation procedure Plastic product (different polymers) Alternative product (different materials) mass ratio Functional Unit mass – energy kg plastic product ] Saved Energy =x market share (plastic prod.) energy kg alt. product [ weight ratio x database for production, use and waste

24 CO 2 Market data Plastics Europe Market Research Group (PEMRG) : collects data for the estimated market demand of total plastics within the EU27+2 every year data are provided “incl. others” (52.5 Mt for 2007) and “excl. others” (46.4 Mt for 2007) “others” represent “non-plastics applications”, which are polymers & thermosets used for fibres, coatings, adhesives, sealants, etc. this study is based on plastic products excluding others, as these are not recognised as "plastic products", neither in the public, in politics, or in waste analyses, etc.

25 CO 2 EU targets The EU is committed to cut Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions 20% below 1990 levels by 2020 Around half of the emissions reduction is expected to come from increased energy efficiency The plastics industry will therefore be making an important contribution 25

26 CO 2 The future for plastics The use of plastics as a material has contributed, and will continue to contribute, to energy savings in society Energy efficiency is a key driver in achieving sustainability goals and is important in all the life-cycle phases of plastics GHG emissions are often lower than those associated with products from other materials Plastics are an essential component of new innovative technologies 26

27 CO 2 Benefits of continuing innovation (2) A digital camera (SD) versus a film camera cartridge: Energy decreased by a factor 26-107X GHG emissions reduced by a factor 29-107X (Plastics an essential material for both) 27

28 CO 2 Benefits of continuing innovation (1) MP-3 players versus CD player (incl. CD’s)’s: Energy decreased by a factor 60-94X Emissions decreased by a factor 69-106X (Plastics an essential material for both) 28

29 CO 2 Diversion of plastics waste from landfill 29

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