Replacing single-use plastics with biomaterial packaging in Thailand and impacts on the water-energy-climate Nexus

This study evaluates the options for replacing single-use plastics with biomaterial packaging, with a focus on plastic bags, foam food boxes, and plastic trays and cups, considering their volume of consumption and end-of-life management in 2020 as a base case. The effects of this replacement of plastics with biomaterials on water scarcity, energy consumption, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions throughout the life cycle, and the reduction of waste mismanagement were also evaluated. The findings from the study reveal that an optimal approach to manufacturing biomaterials and managing their end-of-life phase can lower GHG emissions by 1980 kt CO2-eq per year, reduce landfill waste by 490 kt per year, and decrease mismanaged waste by 987 kt per year as compared to the 2020 baseline (conventional plastics). The use of biomaterials in packaging can be an effective way to decrease plastic waste and its related environmental impacts. The analysis of the study highlights the need for proper waste management, and policymakers should take into consideration the environmental impacts and resource security implications of bio-based packaging.

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Microplastics in the environment: A critical overview on its fate, toxicity, implications, management, and bioremediation strategies

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