MO.3.D || Addressing Marine Litter Within Life Cycle Assessment and Management

Vázquez-Rowe, Ian; Ita-Nagy, Diana; Kahhat, Ramzy

Mainstream abiotic resource depletion impact categories tend to focus on the extraction of resources (e.g. crude oil) from nature obviating their use in the technosphere, when they are temporarily unavailable, or after their end-of-life, when they are either recirculated in the economy or mismanaged and usually released to the environment (Schulze et al., 2020). These approaches have been recently referred to as Type A perspective impact categories for abiotic resource depletion. However, Zampori and Sala (2017) suggest an alternate perspective, Type B, in which resources are considered unavailable when released to nature due to mismanagement or littering. In this context, marine plastic releases are considered to generate an ultimately unavailable stock of abiotic resources to the environment, that affects the availability of future stocks of these materials, and reducing the possibility of circularity in the economy. Hence, the objective of this study is to provide a methodological framework in which characterization factors for marine plastics are included in a Type B resource depletion impact category. For this, we focus on dissipation of mismanaged waste, namely plastic, to the environment occurring when loss is irreversible and it affects the global accessible stock. Characterization factors, which are currently being modelled at an endpoint level, follow the main abiotic depletion potential principal in which a ratio between dissipation potential of a material or element i and the total accessible stock in the environment and technosphere (material or element). References Schulze, R., Guinée, J., van Oers, L., Alvarenga, R., Dewulf, J., & Drielsma, J. (2020). Abiotic resource use in life cycle impact assessment—Part II–Linking perspectives and modelling concepts. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 155, 104595. Zampori, L., Sala, S., 2017. Feasibility Study to Implement Resource Dissipation in LCA.

Categories: Sustainability and Impact Assessment
Tags: Oral