Are functional fillers improving environmental behavior of plastics? A review on LCA studies
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The use of functional fillers can be advantageous in terms of cost reduction and improved properties in plastics. There are many types of fillers used in industry, organic and inorganic, with a wide application area. As a response to the growing concerns about environmental damage that plastics cause, recently fillers have started to be considered as a way to reduce it by decreasing the need for petrochemical resources. Life cycle assessment (LCA) is identified as a proper tool to evaluate potential environmental impacts of products or systems. Therefore, in this study, the literature regarding LCA of plastics with functional fillers was reviewed in order to see if the use of fillers in plastics could be environmentally helpful. It was interesting to find out that environmental impacts of functional fillers in plastics had not been studied too often, especially in the case of inorganic fillers. Therefore, a gap in the literature was identified for the future works. Results of the study showed that, although there were not many and some differences exist among the LCA studies, the use of fillers in plastics industry may help to reduce environmental emissions. In addition, how LCA methodology was applied to these materials was also investigated.
Is part ofScience of the Total Environment, 2018, vol. 626, núm. 1, p. 927-940
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