MBA Polymers UK are the first Plastics Recycling Business in the world to have their products achieve the Carbon Trust’s Lower CO2 label
MBA’s vision is to create a sustainable planet by eliminating plastic waste and preventing the depletion of the world’s natural resources. Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do.
Millions of tonnes of plastic are discarded each year, wasted, buried and burned. If it’s replaced with virgin polymers, that requires consumption of fossil fuels, more petrochemical extraction and processing, and more carbon released into the atmosphere.
MBA Polymers UK who are part of the EMR Group, operate the most advanced plastics recycling facilities in the world, processing complex waste streams bound for landfill, refining and compounding it into high value polymers. An innovative alternative to virgin polymers, for use in a range of applications and industries.
The Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and accompanying achievement of the Lower CO2 label certified by the Carbon Trust, compares MBA Polymers key products to the equivalent LCA of their virgin plastic counterparts as published by PlasticsEurope in their ECO-Profiles. The LCA study confirms that the key products produced by MBA Polymers UK, ABS, PP, FPP, PS and HDPE, have a 75-86% lower carbon footprint than their virgin equivalents.
Please see below the executive summary of the comparative LCA and certification completed by the Carbon Trust:
This report provides details of MBA Polymers’ Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of their key polymer products: ABS, PP, FPP, HDPE, and PS. These have been compared to the equivalent LCA of their virgin plastic counterparts, as published by PlasticsEurope in their Eco-profiles. The LCA evaluates the following environmental impact categories for the five polymer products:
- Global warming potential (GWP)
- Gross primary energy from resources
- Abiotic depletion of fossil fuels
- Abiotic depletion of elements
- Acidification potential
- Eutrophication potential
- Ozone depletion potential
- Photochemical ozone creation potential
The carbon element (GWP) of the LCA was carried out in accordance with the requirements of PAS2050, IS014067 and GHG Protocol Standards. The modelling was carried out using the oLCA software.
The functional unit is 1 tonne of unpacked polymer, and as the footprinted products are polymer granulates ready for further processing, the appropriate boundary applied to this study is cradle-to- gate.
The MBA Polymers process takes Automotive Shredder Residue (ASR) from EMR as a primary input. EMR had previously carried out footprinting with the Carbon Trust, so a supplier-specific emissions factor was available for the first part of the modelling.
The second section of the model brings in the EMR output, and then adds other plastic inputs (flake and WEEE) along with their upstream transport, as well as energy and water inputs. With the exception of flake which is only input to ABS, PS, and PP, this modelling stage is non-polymer specific.
The third section of the model is the polymer-specific extrusion of the final polymers and incorporates additives and chemicals along with their upstream transport, energy inputs, and the inputs from the previous modelling stage. The outputs from these final models form the final footprints of each of the five polymer products. A mass allocation approach was used to ensure that all inputs, outputs, co-products, and wastes were accounted for.
MBA Polymers’ products have Global Warming Potential (GWP) impacts of 300-600 kgCO2e/tonne, with larger impacts attributed to the styrenics, ABS and PS, than to the other polymers. These scores are 75-90% lower than their PlasticsEurope counterparts.
The Carbon Trust has verified these five footprints of the MBA Polymers products and has certified the products for use with the Lower Carbon Label.