Global contamination of the oceans by waste plastics is of increasing concern. Besides being the largest emitter of CO2 in the world, China is suspected of being the largest contributor to marine plastic waste pollution. Responsible for the latter is the still inadequate management of waste in China, a significant improvement of which is necessary for addressing the issue of marine plastic pollution. Since plastics are hydrocarbons, submitting them to appropriate waste treatment/recycling technologies could contribute to mitigating the emission of CO2, indicating the possibility of addressing the two environmental issues simultaneously. Based on the combined use of waste input–output and linear programming, we investigated options for mitigating CO2 emissions under consideration of alternative waste treatment/recycling processes applied to waste plastics of China. It was found that of the nine processes considered, four could result in a net reduction in the emission: a win-win situation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas