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AI Fe PETPVC PS PP PE AI Fe PET PVC PS PP PE

References:

Al, Fe: life cycle inventories for packagings. Environmental series no. 250/I. Swiss agency for the environment, forset and landscape. Berne, 1998 Plastics: actual data sets of APME (http://lca.apme.org. date: 31.05.2000)

AI Fe PETPVC PS PP PE AI Fe PET PVC PS PP PE

References:

Al, Fe: life cycle inventories for packagings. Environmental series no. 250/I. Swiss agency for the environment, forset and landscape. Berne, 1998 Plastics: actual data sets of APME (http://lca.apme.org. date: 31.05.2000)

Figure 13.4. Specific energy for the production of different materials (from R. Wittlinger, BASF, 2000).

An investigation by Fraunhofer Institute Karlsruhe in 1998 has shown that 2.0 GJ/cbm of foam energy are needed and 60 kg CO2 /cbm are emitted when producing the foam, but the annual savings when used for insulation amount to 3.7 GJ/cbm energy and 243 kg CO2/cbm. Thus, the amortization of the environmental loads occurs within less than one year [2].

Car Industry The fuel demand of a car depends among other factors also on the car weight. This can be reduced drastically by using lightweight materials such as plastics. An investigation by Fraunhofer Institute Freising in 1999 has given the following results: An average German medium-sized car uses ca. 165 kg of different plastic materials (Fig. 13.5). Out of this only 75 kg substitute alternative materials and thus save car weight. The remaining part has functions that cannot be fulfilled otherwise (airbag, seat construction, etc.).

The amount of fuel saved by reducing car weight certainly depends on the mileage of the car over its lifetime and on the efficiency of the fuel mileage. For a low car mileage of 100,000 km over the lifetime of the car there are:

165 kg

ABS 10%

165 kg

ABS 10%

All plastic parts Altemative parts made of other materials

Figure 13.5. Weight-relevant plastic parts and relevant alternative materials in a medium-sized car in Germany [3].

All plastic parts Altemative parts made of other materials

Figure 13.5. Weight-relevant plastic parts and relevant alternative materials in a medium-sized car in Germany [3].

• Primary energy savings per kilogram plastic of between ca. 10 and 60 MJ/kg plastic

• Reductions in CO2 emissions per kilogram plastic of between ca. 2 and 4 kg CO2/ kg plastic

For a higher car mileage (200,000 km), the corresponding savings are between:

• 60 and 120 MJ/kg plastic for primary energy

• 6 and 10 kg CO2/ kg plastic for CO2 emissions

These savings during the lifetime of the car have to be compared with the environmental load of producing the corresponding plastic parts and the environmental load or benefit of disposal after the use phase (Figs. 13.6 and 13.7). They were calculated together with 105 MJ/kg part for the energy and with ca. 4.5 kg CO2/ kg part. Thus the use of weight-relevant plastics in a car replacing heavier alternative materials results in one or two times the primary energy savings and CO2 emission reductions compared to the values arising from their manufacture [3].

Packaging Even packaging plastics can be resource minded. Manufacturers have substituted other materials such as paper, glass, and metals for 45% of all household packagings (Fig. 13.8). But they represent only 10% of the weight of all packaging materials. This saves four times the weight or two times the volume of alternative packaging materials as was calculated by a German Packaging Institute using the data for 1991 [4].

Another interesting aspect of packaging are the consequences for the packed material. For example, 54% of all goods in the household area is food—much

Saving by using plastics 10000 -

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