Glossary

Bio polymers

Polymer manufactured from renewable sources, such as sugar cane, which results in lower carbon footprint during the manufacturing process. Once the raw materials are polymerised, the resulting products are the same. Bio-based polymers are identical to standard fossil based polymers and are 100 per cent recyclable with conventional waste streams.

Carbon footprint analysis

The carbon footprint of a product is the total amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases emitted over the life cycle of that product expressed as kilograms of CO2 equivalents.

Circular economy

A circular economy (make, use, reuse/repair/recycle) is an alternative to a traditional linear economy (make, use, dispose) in which the materials are recovered at the end of service life and regenerated to extract the maximum value.

Degradable polymers

Polymer which contains a degradable additive can be broken down by micro-organisms into water, carbon dioxide and other remnants, which may create toxic end products. Unlike compostable bags, degradable ones usually include an additive, which is sensitive to heat and light. This chemical, which makes the product ‘oxy biodegradable’ and can leave a toxic residue.

Design for recycling

Design for recycling is systematic approach allowing the design of more environmentally friendly products to ensure products are either reused or recycled at their end of life.

Life-cycle assessment

Also known as life-cycle analysis, eco-balance, and cradle-to-grave analysis, is a technique to assess environmental aspects and potential impact associated with all the stages of a product's life from raw material extraction through materials processing, manufacture, distribution, use, repair and maintenance, and disposal or
recycling.

Polyolefins

Family of polyethylene and polypropylene thermoplastics, produced mainly from oil and natural gas by a process of polymerisation of ethylene and propylene respectively.

Post-consumer recycling

The process of converting used consumer products into a usable material.

Post-industrial recycling

The process of converting scrap generated during plastic converting operation into a usable material.

Recycling

The process of converting a used product into a usable material.

Sustainability

The United Nation’s Brundtland Commission report defines sustainable development as "development which meets the needs of current generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs". In other words, use of renewable and non-renewable resources to satisfy current needs without depleting future availability.

Sustane

Family of sustainable polymers delivering a high level of technical performance, allowing its use across a wide spectrum of applications where previously prime polymer was used.