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The Fate of Synthetic Polymers - an Analysis on the Future of Plastic Waste

EasyChair Preprint no. 9594

11 pagesDate: January 19, 2023


Synthetic polymers have been indispensable since the 1950s and have long been under scrutiny from an environmental perspective. However, there is a lack of reliable global information, especially on the fate of plastics at the end of their life. By identifying and aggregating scattered data on the production, use and disposal of polymer resins, synthetic fibres and additives, the first global analysis of all plastics ever produced was conducted in 2017 by Roland Geyer, Jenna Jambeck and Kara Lavender Law. It is estimated that between 7.3 and 8 billion tons of plastics have been produced to date. Disposal, however, remains problematic. Different studies speak of a global recycling rate of mere 9%. This paper examines the amounts of waste, the amounts of plastic added to the different recycling methods. After a short review of polymer history this paper analysis global waste management systems, waste treatment in compliance with production data, life cycles of synthetic polymers and raises pressing questions for the future.

Keyphrases: live-cycle of synthetic polymers, Micro plastics, Plastic Waste Management, primary plastics, Recycling, secondary plastics

BibTeX entry
BibTeX does not have the right entry for preprints. This is a hack for producing the correct reference:
  author = {Volker Jansen},
  title = {The Fate of Synthetic Polymers - an Analysis on the Future of Plastic Waste},
  howpublished = {EasyChair Preprint no. 9594},

  year = {EasyChair, 2023}}
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