The standards and data for carbon emission calculation are the foundation for achieving the "dual carbon" goals, especially for the recycled plastics industry. Scientific, clear and reasonable carbon accounting standards can help realize recycled plastics’ value of lowering carbon emissions, promote the development of the industry, and guide green consumption.
On October 12, the association standard Calculation Method for Recycled Plastic Product Carbon Footprint (T/CRRA 0305-2022) was published. With the support of China National Resources Recycling Association (CRRA), the development of the standard was led and initiated by the Green Recycled Plastics Supply Chain Joint Working Group (GRPG), drafted jointly by Donghua University (DHU) and Shanghai Re-poly Environmental Protection Technology Co., Ltd., and was supported by upstream and downstream industry chain companies and partners of the GRPG. DHU was the first drafting unit, and Li Bin, a senior researcher at the Center for Advanced Low-dimension Materials, and Ma Yichun, a doctoral student, participated in the drafting of the standard.
The standard provides the basic principles, scope definition, data acquisition methods, calculation methods, etc. for the calculation of the carbon footprint of recycled plastic products. It applies to the product carbon footprint calculationof recycled plastic slices or particles made from waste thermoplastics bypretreatment and physical recycling. It’s suitable mainly for plastic types such as recycled polyethylene (R-PE), recycled polypropylene (R-PP) and recycled polyethylene terephthalate (R-PET), and may serve as a reference for calculating carbon footprint of other plastic types. The release of the standard fills the gap in the calculation method of the carbon footprint of recycled plastic products, and provides strong support for the environmentally friendly and low-carbon properties of recycled plastics. The standard adopts the internationally accepted Circular Footprint Formula (CFF) to define and calculate the carbon footprint of recycled plastic products, which is in line with international practices and contributes to improving the quality of recycled plastic products and international cooperation in production capacity.
It is understood that the GRPG is led by the China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Federation and the China National Resources Recycling Association, in conjunction with the China Plastics Processing Industry Association, and jointly launched in June 2020 with leading companies in the industry chain. As the first industry chain collaboration platform established in China, it aims to address the "bottleneck" problem of the plastics industry’s circular economy through the collaboration of the upstream and downstream producers, processers, brand owners and recyclers of the plastics industry, exerting strong policy advocacy and industry influence on plastics issues. At present, it has more than 50 members that are well-known Chinese and foreign companies including manufacturers of plastic chemicals and products, brand owners and recyclers, jointly promoting the circular and sustainable development of the entire supply chain of the plastics industry. Li Bin, head of the "Carbon Neutralization of Polymer Materials" research platform and senior researcher at the Center for Advanced Low-Dimension Materials of DHU, served as the deputy group leader, leading the preparation of relevant carbon standards and the calculation and release of product carbon footprints.