Systems analysis for PET and olefin polymers in a circular economy
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Polyethylene terephthalate (PET #1) and polyolefin plastics such polyethylene (HDPE #2, LDPE #4) and polypropylene (PP #5) are major products from the chemical industry, and they comprise a significant fraction of municipal solid waste that ends up in landfills or as litter and marine debris. The reuse of these polymeric materials can be optimized through systems analysis with a view on materials flow analysis, techno-economics, environmental life cycle assessment, and consequential societal impacts. This contribution will present the overall research approach for this exploratory project within the DOE- and industry-funded REMADE Institute and end with a proposed systems analysis framework.