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LCA of plastic waste recovery into recycled materials, energy and fuels in Singapore

Khoo, Hsien H.
Resources, conservation, and recycling 2019 v.145 pp. 67-77
ecosystem services, energy, fuels, life cycle assessment, plastics, recycled materials, recycling, waste treatment, wastes, Singapore
In Singapore, 822,200‚ÄČtonnes of plastic waste was generated in 2016, with only 7% recycled. Due to the complex nature of plastic waste mixtures, mechanical recycling is often inefficient, leading to a majority of waste being incinerated. In this article, alternative solutions are introduced to address the waste problem, such as recovering valuable fuels from plastics via thermochemical methods. Life cycle assessment (LCA) was adopted to investigate 8 scenarios of plastic waste management options. In a nation with land scarcity, the scales and sizes of each plastic waste recycling/recovery method is also taken into consideration. The results demonstrated how different combinations of four plastics valorization technologies, and associated capacities, affected the potential environmental benefits and drawbacks of plastic waste treatment systems. In order to enable selecting the best option among the 8 scenarios, normalization and weighting was carried out.