Plastics and the Reduction of Greenhouse Gases

October 1, 2012 5:39 pm Published by

Plastic is one resource that can save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Plastics light weight and protective properties provide advantages for preventing losses due to damaged goods. In addition, plastic insulation saves energy by reducing energy consumption of heating and air conditioning systems. All of these benefits also reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

According to the Canadian Plastics Industry Association, a recent study claims that if alternative materials are used instead of plastic across the whole of Western Europe, there would be added 105 million tons of CO2 greenhouse gas emissions per year, which corresponds to 25 million tons of crude oil. This is equal to a third of Kyoto reduction targets for EU-15 countries.

A separate study on using plastics for packaging alone,  compared to alternative materials, would save 582.6 million gigajoules of energy per year. This amount is equivalent to 101.3 million barrels of oil. This research showed that using plastic packaging in Western Europe reduces GHG emissions 42.9 million tons of CO2 equivalents per year. This is equal to 12.3 million passenger cars per year that denoted 72 percent of all private passenger vehicles registered in Canada in 1995.

Therefore, using plastics saves energy and it’s energy can be recoverd by recycling.

Canadian Plastics Industry Association (2012), Retrieved from
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