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Increased plastic consumption has resulted in high amounts of plastic waste ending up in the environment. Recently, the European Commission (EC) has identified a list of single-use plastics, including plastic bags, most commonly found in the European beaches. As a response, alternatives for plastic carrier bags have been more of a concern. Many life cycle assessment (LCA) studies have been performed to evaluate the environmental profile of different carrier bags; however, without considering the possibility of contribution to the littering problem. Therefore, in this study, an indicator has been introduced, based on an LCA study of carrier bags which was performed in Spain. The indicator is influenced by parameters such as: number of bags to fulfill the functional unit, weight, surface, fee, and biodegradability. In this paper, a comparative LCA of HDPE, LDPE, PP, paper and biodegradable plastic bags is presented. Following that, a littering indicator is introduced to allow a comparison of the risk of littering of the different carrier bags in marine environment. The results given by the Littering Potential indicator rank the bags oppositely to the results given by the LCA as usual. Further research is needed to refine the model and include additional contributing variables.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: The Science of the total environment
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Multinucleate cells or a stage in the development of sporozoan protozoa. It is exemplified by the life cycle of PLASMODIUM FALCIPARUM in the MALARIA infection cycle.
Seasonal suspension of insect growth development. It can be either induced by environmental cues (e.g., PHOTOPERIOD) or as a facultative part of the life cycle in order to time development with seasonal changes.
The continuous sequence of changes undergone by metamorphosing insects and other animals during the post-embryonic development process.
The origin of life. It includes studies of the potential basis for life in organic compounds but excludes studies of the development of altered forms of life through mutation and natural selection, which is EVOLUTION.
An enzyme of long-chain fatty acid synthesis, that adds a two-carbon unit from malonyl-(acyl carrier protein) to another molecule of fatty acyl-(acyl carrier protein), giving a beta-ketoacyl-(acyl carrier protein) with the release of carbon dioxide. EC 184.108.40.206.