Plastic LCA

Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of Alternative Feedstock for Plastic Production – Written stakeholder consultation


This webpage hosts the documentation related to the project “Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of alternative feedstock for plastic production”, which is made available to relevant stakeholders for consultation purposes. Further details on the project, the consultation procedure, and on the provided documents is available below.

Background

In January 2018, the European Commission adopted the European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy[1], proposing a vision in which alternative materials and feedstocks are developed and used where evidence clearly shows that they are more sustainable compared to the non-renewable alternatives. The set of measures identified in the Annex to implement the Strategy includes specific actions aimed at better understanding the life-cycle impacts of alternative feedstock for plastics production, including their end of life[2]. In this context, the Joint Research Centre (JRC) was entrusted by the Directorate-General for Internal market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW) with the project “Environmental sustainability assessment comparing through the means of life-cycle assessment the potential environmental impacts of the use of alternative feedstocks (biomass, recycled plastics, CO2) for plastic articles in comparison to using current feedstocks (oil and gas)”.

The overall objective of the work is to elaborate a consistent and appropriate Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) based method for this purpose and to apply it to a number of case studies. The main project steps include: a) a meta-analysis of selected existing studies and approaches; b) the development of a draft method for comparative LCA of plastics, including aspects of indirect effects relevant to the use of biomass for plastics; c) testing of the draft method through conduction of 5 screening case studies d) a technical stakeholder consultation on main outcome from former project steps; e) refinement of the methodology, and f) conduction of 10 full LCA case studies on specific plastic articles.

Purpose and structure of the consultation

In the framework of the project, a technical stakeholder consultation is foreseen, consisting of both a written consultation process and a stakeholder workshop (scheduled for 29-30 November 2018 in Brussels –registration closed). The main purpose of the consultation process is to get input on the developed draft method and on first results from testing the draft method in screening LCAs of plastic articles.

Written technical stakeholder consultation

Two background project documents are made available to stakeholders for consultation purposes:
Report I, focusing on the meta-analysis and the draft method (download)
Report II, focusing on the screening LCA case studies and the selection of relevant plastic articles to be assessed (download)
The written consultation process has a total duration of four weeks, starting on 20 November and closing on 19 December 2018.

During this period, relevant stakeholders are given the possibility to provide written comments to the above documents, via the following template (download), and to provide additional supporting information. Also accepted participants to the workshop are strongly encouraged to send their comments and input in writing to the JRC.

Comments shall be submitted via e-mail at the following address JRC-LCA4PLASTICS@ec.europa.eu, during the consultation period.

The JRC will use the feedback received from the stakeholders to help steer the project, which is expected to be finalised in the second half of 2019.

Further questions?

For any question regarding the workshop, written stakeholder consultation, or the project in general, you may address the EC-JRC project team at the e-mail address JRC-LCA4PLASTICS@ec.europa.eu.

The European Commission and the whole JRC project team would like to thank in advance all stakeholders for their contribution to a successful stakeholder consultation.






[1] COM(2018) 28 final
[2] Annex 1 to COM(2018) 28 final, providing a list of future EU measures to implement the European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy