Waste management through life cycle assessment of products

Yu V. Borodin, T. E. Aliferova, A. Ncube

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The rapid growth of a population in a country can contribute to high production of waste. Municipal waste and industrial waste can bring unhealthy and unpleasant environment or even diseases to human beings if the wastes are not managed properly.With increasing concerns over waste and the need for 'greener' products, it is necessary to carry out Life Cycle Assessments of products and this will help manufacturers take the first steps towards greener designs by assessing their product's carbon output. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a process to evaluate the environmental burdens associated with a product, process or activity by identifying and quantifying energy and materials used and wastes released to the environment, and to assess the impact of those energy and material used and released to the environment. The aim of the study was to use a life cycle assessment approach to determine which waste disposal options that will substantially reduce the environmental burdens posed by the Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) bottle. Several important observations can be made. 1) Recycling of the PET bottle waste can significantly reduce the energy required across the life cycle because the high energy inputs needed to process the requisite virgin materials greatly exceeds the energy needs of the recycling process steps. 2) Greenhouse gases can be reduced by opting for recycling instead of landfilling and incineration. 3) Quantity of waste emissions released from different disposal options was identified. 4) Recycling is the environmentally preferable disposal method for the PET bottle. Industry can use the tools and data in this study to evaluate the health, environmental, and energy implications of the PET bottle. LCA intends to aid decision-makers in this respect, provided that the scientific underpinning is available. Strategic incentives for product development and life cycle management can then be developed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering
PublisherInstitute of Physics Publishing
Volume81
Edition1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Apr 2015
EventInternational Scientific Conference on Radiation-Thermal Effects and Processes in Inorganic Materials, RTEP 2014 - Tomsk, Russian Federation
Duration: 3 Nov 20148 Nov 2014

Other

OtherInternational Scientific Conference on Radiation-Thermal Effects and Processes in Inorganic Materials, RTEP 2014
CountryRussian Federation
CityTomsk
Period3.11.148.11.14

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)

Cite this

Borodin, Y. V., Aliferova, T. E., & Ncube, A. (2015). Waste management through life cycle assessment of products. In IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering (1 ed., Vol. 81). [012085] Institute of Physics Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1088/1757-899X/81/1/012085