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. This report seeks to enable the creation
of inherently sustainable plastic products by integrating sustainable chemistry thinking
in the design process. By applying a chemicals lens during the plastic material selection
process, designers and engineers can make informed decisions to incorporate sustainable
plastic during the conceptualisation phase of their products.
The report provides an integrated approach to sustainable plastic selection from a
chemicals perspective, and identifies a set of generalisable sustainable design goals,
life cycle considerations and trade-offs. At a more granular level, considerations
are identified for each life-cycle phase, which are brought together as a whole-product
assessment and optimisation taking the full life cycle into account. The report also
considers trade-offs that will need to be carefully balanced in the design phase and
reflection on implications of design choices. Ultimately, the report helps to equip
designers and engineers with knowledge of relevant chemical considerations when selecting
sustainable plastic, supporting better outcomes and a more transparent process.
With global plastic production soaring over the last 50 years, it is more urgent than ever to continue developing sustainable plastic products from a chemicals perspective. Our new report “A Chemicals Perspective on Designing with Sustainable Plastics - Goals, Considerations and Trade-offs” and its four supporting case studies (biscuit wrappers, detergent bottles, flooring and insulation) look at the plastic material selection process from a chemicals perspective to enable the creation of inherently sustainable plastic products.
Developed with country delegates, designers, industry stakeholders and NGOs, it will help designers and engineers select sustainable plastic for their products by equipping them with the right knowledge of chemicals.
WATCH THE WEBINAR REPLAY
A webinar to discuss the key findings of the reports took place on 7 December. Watch the video replay below to hear perspectives from countries and industry on the value of the initiative.