Exploring sustainable market opportunities for Local Generation's mixed plastic packaging waste

Jayamani, Saravana and Goel, Aastha and Radhakrishnan, Manish Krishnan (2011) Exploring sustainable market opportunities for Local Generation's mixed plastic packaging waste. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)] (Unpublished)

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Abstract

European Union’s 2020 target by 2020 is driving all the member states towards low carbon green economy and UK is in forefront of the change. UK government is using the transition to green economy to tackle economic instability and deficit. To ease the transition, various government departments are working with businesses and supporting them through many grants and funds. Anaerobic digestion (AD) is one such green business that generates energy from food waste that would have been otherwise sent to landfill. A unique challenge in AD is the sustainable way of disposing packaging plastic waste that is generated from the process. Around the world, recycling and reprocessing mixed plastic has been a challenge. Now there are multiple technologies available worldwide to handle this issue.

We scanned for business opportunities and technologies worldwide to create a business using waste plastic. Few of the business opportunities we analysed are selling plastic to recyclers, plastic to fuel conversion, reprocessing plastic into useful products, using plastic in road construction and substitute for reducing agents in blast furnace. These options, except for selling to recyclers, are analysed in terms of technology feasibility, market attractiveness and sustainability aspect. As there is no technology or sustainability aspect involved in supplying plastic to recyclers, only the possibility of selling plastic is explored. There are companies that are ready to buy contaminated and clean mixed plastics.

Based on the technology analysis, blast furnace and road construction are not feasible options for Local Generation as the investment is huge and technology providers or companies using this technology don’t exist in UK. Market analysis was carried out on the remaining two opportunities. Both markets – construction products using Powder Impression Moulding (PIM) and plastic to fuel are attractive and expected to grow soon. In terms, of sustainability, PIM stands tall as it uses closed loop recycling but plastic to fuel is also a sustainable solution.

Scenario analysis is carried out to see how UK’s political and economical decisions impact the markets and businesses under consideration. Three scenarios used are – success of low carbon economy, failure of low carbon economy and a global economic downturn. Based on the analysis, market for both the products are attractive in all scenarios. So, our recommendations are

 Short term - Supply plastic to recyclers

 Midterm -Install cleaning and washing facility and sell clean plastic to recyclers

 Long term - Build a PIM or plastic to fuel plant in long term.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2011 09:01
Last Modified: 03 Dec 2016 02:06
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/24915

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