MO.3.C || Circularity and Life Cycle Aspects of Recycling Technologies

PALLUAU, Magali; HUGREL, Charlotte; Osset, Philippe; Garcia, Jade

The ScoreLCA association is seeking to advance the way the recycling of plastics is taken into account in LCA. The objective is to cover the downstream and the upstream perspectives. This project focuses more specifically on some common plastics found in various waste streams generated at the end of life of multi-materials consumers goods, their treatment commonly requiring several technical steps (grinding, washing, separation of plastics and metals, sorting of polymers…): –PET, PEHD, PEBD, PP from domestic and industrial packaging, –PS, PP from electric and electronic waste, –PP, PEHD from end-of-life vehicles. Contributions from this project are of several kinds. First, these works explain from a practical standpoint how plastics formulation choices, regulatory requirements, technical constraints inherent to the processes involved all along the recycling chain, as well as economical arbitration are likely to affect the recyclability of plastics. Through a literature review examining a selection of relevant LCA publications focus-ing on the recycling of plastics, these works also report on the various methodological choices that may be found in the literature and on the questions this situation raises. Finally, the core contribution of these works, which rely on a realistic description of industrial practices, to that end the organisational schemes implemented in France were considered, is on a methodological level so as to advise LCA practitioners in identifying and understanding: –The successive steps to be considered from the collection step of waste containing plastics until the production of recycled plastics. Mechanical recycling processes were considered. So-called “upstream steps” can contribute significantly to the overall environmental impacts of the recycling chain –The main foreground data to be gathered –Key technical/process aspects requiring methodological arbitrations, consistently with the objectives of the evaluation pursued.