Journal of Food Science and Agricultural Technology (JFAT)
School of Agro-Industry
Mae Fah Luang University

ISSN: 2408-1736


Carbon footprint analysis of Post-Consumer Recycled PET Value Chain of different plastic collection regions

Suphattra Kongseecha, Apichaya Lilavanichakul, Amporn Sane


The substantial growth of PET bottle consumption has increased amount of plastic waste and caused environmental impacts. PET recycling is one of potential alternatives in solving plastic waste crisis; however, the system on collection and recycling of used PET bottles in Thailand is still mismanaged. In addition, recycled PET (rPET) plastics are mostly used in non-food applications (e.g., fiber and durable household goods) with low quality post-consumer recycled (PCR) resin. This study aims to compare the environmental impacts on post-consumer recycled PET value chain (from small plastic buyer (or Saleng) to recycling manufacturer) for the geographic differences in plastic collecting regions (Bangkok and Rayong province) by using the concept of life cycle assessment (LCA) analysis. Key challenges and opportunities on using rPET for food contact packaging in Thailand using PESTEL analysis were investigated. In-depth interviews with related stakeholders of PCR value chain were conducted. Preliminary result on LCA showed that post-consumer recycled PET value chain of 1 kg of used PET bottles in Bangkok (2.222 kgCO2e) emits higher carbon footprint than post-consumer recycled PET value chain in Rayong province (1.860 kgCO2e). The differences in using electricity in plastic baling processing and the distance from medium-sized (or large-sized) plastic collectors to recycling manufacturer play prominent indicators on carbon emission. The challenges of using rPET for food contact packaging are the impractical plastic collection system and waste management, high cost of technologies of PET recycling production, the migration potential of food contact chemicals on PET bottle, misuse of refillable PET bottles, lack of awareness on waste separation, and lack of regulations on rPET for food contact packaging. Moving toward rPET for food contact packaging requires not only collaboration among stakeholders across PET bottles lifecycle, but also public awareness on waste management to ensure food contact safety of rPET and sustainable value chain.


Polyethylene-terephthalate (PET); Post-consumer recycled (PCR); Life cycle assessment (LCA); Value chain

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