“Since the early 1950s, plastics have found their way into almost every area of modern life. Between 1964 and 2014, plastic consumption increased twentyfold, from 15 to 311 million tonnes per year. Not only has environmental pollution from plastic waste increased during this time, but the amount of petroleum its manufacture consumes is large, as are the associated greenhouse gas emissions.
Researchers from ETH Zurich, RWTH Aachen University and the University of California, Santa Barbara have created a new computational model of global plastic production and disposal. The team was led by André Bardow, formerly of RWTH Aachen University and now Professor of Energy and Process Systems Engineering at ETH Zurich. With their model, the scientists demonstrate that it is possible to economically produce plastics that have a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions balance over their entire life cycle.”
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