Chemical recycling lowers global warming potential of rPLA
A life cycle assessment (LCA) published by PLA specialist TotalEnergies Corbion (Gorinchem, the Netherlands; regarding the chemical reclaim of its Luminy polylactic acid (PLA) biopolymer 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 bio-based and biodegradable polymer made from renewable resources.

TotalEnergies Corbion’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]
Published on 25.01.2024

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