Technological watch

Chemical recycling lowers global warming potential of rPLA

Chemical recycling lowers global warming potential of rPLAA life cycle assessment (LCA) published by PLA specialist TotalEnergies Corbion (Gorinchem, the Netherlands; regarding chemical recycling of its Luminy polylactic acid (PLA) bioplastic states that the recycling of PLA as a production process has a lower impact compared to its production from virgin feedstock. Luminy PLA is a biobased and biodegradable polymer made from renewable resources.
TotalEnergies Corbionâ??s Luminy products (Photo: TotalEnergies Corbion)
Specifically, the global warming potential (GWP) of Luminy 30% rPLA is 0.19 kg CO2/kg of PLA, considering its biogenic carbon content, whereas virgin Luminy PLA emits 0.51 kg CO2/kg of PLA, the company said. 
Related: Luminy PLA deemed sustainable under EU taxonomy regulation
The LCA considered seven impact categories, including GWP, water consumption, and land use, but emphasised the role of biogenic carbon content in PLA. Depolymerising PLA via hydrolysis allows a longer storage of biogenic carbon, which is originally from the atmosphere, the company said.
Notably, when factoring in biogenic content, the GWP of 30% rPLA is reduced by 300 kg CO2/t PLA compared to virgin PLA, marking a significant step towards achieving global climate targets, the company added.25.01.2024 [254435-0]

Publication date: 25/01/2024



This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870292.