A Multi-disciplinary Assessment of Innovations to Improve Grocery Bag Circularity

Kevin Dooley, Vyom Thakker, Bhavik Bakshi, Matt Scholz, Fatima Hafsa, George Basile, Raj Buch

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

While demand for plastic increases because of its broad application base, the negative environmental consequences of plastic production must be minimized through effective value chain design. Plastic production creates GHG emissions, and its inadequate disposal can generate water or air pollution. Plastic packaging makes up over 40 percent of all plastic made, and within that category, plastic grocery bags have been a focal point for reduction of impacts. This paper explores the types of innovations needed to make grocery bags more circular, i.e., increased recycling and reuse. In similar studies, researchers have used one type of model or theoretical frame to address the question, such as life cycle assessment or economics. In this paper, we use the multi-disciplinary approach of convergence science to address this question. We consider a baseline scenario involving single-use plastic grocery bags, and then explore alternatives from the perspectives of life cycle assessment (LCA), policy, economics, and supply chain management. Integration of these perspective highlights the necessary interdependency of circular innovations needed to bring about systemic improvement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationComputer Aided Chemical Engineering
PublisherElsevier B.V.
Pages625-630
Number of pages6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameComputer Aided Chemical Engineering
Volume49
ISSN (Print)1570-7946

Keywords

  • Circular Economy
  • Packaging
  • Plastic
  • Recycling
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Computer Science Applications

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