Although plastics are extremely versatile materials in a multitude of applications, there are growing concerns regarding their sustainability. Most of them are made from fossil-based resources, which are limited and their extraction and processing leads to greenhouse gas emission and other environmental concerns. Furthermore, today’s plastics are created for persistency but due to abrasion and littering plastics are emitted to the different environmental compartments where they can cause harm to human health and the ecosystems. Hence, biobased and biodegradable plastics are proposed as solutions to these problematic concerns. However, it needs to be examined whether these new alternatives are truly more sustainable, not only in the current economic setup but also within the framework of a future circular economy. To quantify the environmental performance of a plastic product, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is used as one of the most common tools. But to this day, LCA does not account for plastic emissions, and therefore the impacts of microplastics are neglected. Therefore, we are aiming to improve the accuracy of end-of-life modeling of plastic products as part of holistic LCA studies, by exploring the different end-of-life options and their modeling in LCA, specifically for textiles and food packaging as part of several case studies.
- Life Cycle Assessment modeling
- Process modeling
- Degradation phenomena and modeling
- Plastic packaging
- Plastic textiles
- BSc. in Mechanical Engineering, at RWTH Aachen University
- MSc. in Mechanical Engineering, specialised on Plastics Processing at RWTH Aachen University
Tutor in „Sustainability and social-ecological systems“ EBC2187
Pellengahr, F., Ghannadzadeh, A., & Van der Meer, Y. (2023). How accurate is plastic end-of-life modeling in LCA? Investigating the main assumptions and deviations for the end-of-life management of plastic packaging. Sustainable Production and Consumption.