Chemical safety and biosafety


A Chemicals Perspective on Designing with Sustainable Plastics

Goals, Considerations and Trade-offs

The development of plastic products does not systematically take sustainability, particularly from a chemicals perspective, into account. The objective of this document is to enable the creation of inherently sustainable plastic products by integrating sustainable chemistry thinking in the design process. The report focuses on the chemicals perspective of the plastic material selection process and equips designers and engineers with knowledge of how to manage the complexity of finding the most sustainable plastic for their products. The report provides an overall approach to sustainable plastic selection from a chemicals perspective, and the identification of a set of generalizable sustainable design goals, life cycle considerations and trade-offs. At the more granular level, general considerations for sustainable design from a chemicals perspective were identified for each life-cycle phase. Ultimately these considerations are brought together as a whole-product assessment and optimisation taking the life-cycle into account. These considerations also lead to trade-offs that will need to be carefully balanced in the decision-making process by the design team, but they are expected to promote transparency and reflection on the implications of making these choices. Ultimately, the report should help to equip designers and engineers with knowledge of relevant chemical considerations when selecting sustainable plastic and support better outcomes as a result.

Forthcoming, will be released on December 07, 2021