Plastics 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 Plastics Production", which is made available to interested 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, proposing a vision in which innovative materials are developed and alternative feedstock sources are used where evidence clearly shows that they are more sustainable compared to conventional non-renewable alternatives. The set of measures identified to implement the Strategy (Annex I) includes specific actions aimed at better understanding the life-cycle impacts of alternative feedstock sources for plastics production, also considering their end of life. 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 feedstock (biomass, recycled plastics, CO2) for plastic articles in comparison to using current feedstock (oil and gas)”.

The overall objective of the project is to elaborate a consistent and appropriate Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)-based method for this purpose and to demonstrate its applicability through a number of case studies on selected plastic articles.
The main project steps include:

  • a systematic review of selected existing studies and approaches;
  • the development of a draft method for comparative LCAs of plastics from alternative feedstock sources;
  • testing of the draft method through 5 screening case studies
  • a first technical stakeholder consultation on the main outcome from the former project steps (held in November 2018);
  • refinement of the method;
  • development of 10 detailed LCA case studies on selected plastic articles;
  • a second technical stakeholder consultation on the updated draft method and the 10 LCA case studies;
  • further refinement and peer-review of the method;
  • finalisation of the method and of the case studies.

Purpose and structure of the consultation

The main purpose of this second stakeholder consultation is to collect technical feedback and inputs in relation to the updated draft method and the 10 detailed LCA case studies on plastic articles. The consultation is carried out in written form (as detailed below) while no physical stakeholder meetings or workshops are foreseen at this stage.

Written technical stakeholder consultation

Two background project documents are made available to stakeholders for consultation purposes:

  • Report I, focusing on the updated draft method for comparative LCA of plastic articles (download)
  • Report II, focusing on the detailed LCA case studies on 10 selected plastic articles ( Main Report download; Annexes download)
The written consultation process has a total duration of four weeks, starting on 3 June and closing on 30 June 2020.

During this period, interested stakeholders are offered the possibility to provide written technical comments to the above documents, via the following templates ( Template for Report I download; Template for Report II download), and to provide additional supporting information (where relevant).

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

The JRC will use the received feedback and inputs to improve and finalise the documents.

Further questions?

For any questions regarding the written stakeholder consultation or the project, 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 consultation.