Bioplastics producers need to understand detailed environmental impacts

Bioplastics could play a big role in the future, but their environmental benefits depend upon the specifics of their production.

This week E4tech’s Sabine Ziem and LCAWorks’ Dr Richard Murphy presented a life-cycle assessment, water footprint and land-use change study for the Brazilian chemicals producer Braskem. As the world’s first producer of polyethylene derived from sugarcane ethanol, Braskem is keen to fully understand the environmental impacts and benefits of this new product.

The comprehensive studies, now undergoing expert review, were strongly welcomed by delegates of the 7th European Biomass Conference in Berlin, who recognised that understanding life-cycle, land-use and water impacts are increasingly important for the emerging bioplastics industry.

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