Danish Plastic Mass Flows Analysis

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Abstrakt

In this paper, material flows and resource potentials for plastics at a national level in Denmark are mapped using an Environmentally Extended Multiregional Input-Output (EE-MRIO) database. EE-MRIO offers an operative improvement to current and prevalent methods for assessing the industrial and societal metabolism of resources, including plastics. The Exiobase is applied to map (1) the major sources, (2) calculate the total supply, (3) uses of plastics and waste generation, and (4) end of life pathways in order to indicate the potentials of plastics in the circular economy in Denmark with a focus on recycling. Furthermore, it elaborates how and why this method for performing Mass Flow Analysis (MFA) differs from mainstream assessments of material flows and from default uses of national statistical data. Overall, the results are that Denmark has a total supply of ≈551 kilotonnes (Kt) of plastics, out of which ≈522 Kt are used domestically and ≈168 Kt of plastic waste are generated annually. Out of the yearly amount of plastic waste, ≈50% is incinerated and 26% is recycled. These results indicate significant potentials for applying circular economy strategies and identify relevant sectors for closing the plastic loops. However, other initiatives are necessary, such as improvements in product design strategies, in the collection and sorting systems as well as in cross-sectoral collaboration.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
Artikelnummer9639
TidsskriftSustainability (Switzerland)
Vol/bind12
Udgave nummer22
Antal sider22
ISSN2071-1050
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 19 nov. 2020

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