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A case study of the open-loop recycling of mixed plastic waste for use in a sports-field drainage system

Lookup NU author(s): Tom Williams, Professor Oliver Heidrich, Dr Paul Sallis


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The management of plastic wastes is important owing to the high levels of embodied fossil fuel energythey contain. Although the environmental benefits of closed-loop recycling of plastics have been establishedthrough a number of life cycle studies, the benefits of open-loop recycling of plastics have not beenexamined for many substituted materials. This paper compares two equivalent sports-field drainage systems,one based on conventional sand and aggregate drainage materials, the other incorporating a noveldrainage material produced from mixed plastics waste. The scope is confined to an analysis of primaryenergy consumption and global warming potential. It was found that the novel drainage system hadlower global warming potential and primary energy consumption than the conventional system. Theseresults were robust to sensitivity analyses of electricity mix and transportation distance to installation.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Williams TGJL, Heidrich O, Sallis PJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Resources, Conservation and Recycling

Year: 2010

Volume: 55

Issue: 2

Pages: 118-128

Print publication date: 15/09/2010

ISSN (print): 0921-3449

Publisher: Elsvier BV


DOI: 10.1016/j.resconrec.2010.08.002


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