Plastic futures and their CO2 emissions

A circular bioeconomy can dramatically rein in the fast-growing plastic sector’s climate, pollution, and resource consumption impacts. Under current policies, global plastic production will likely triple by the year 2100. Today, the plastic sector is responsible for almost 5% of all greenhouse gas emissions. By providing a circular, bio-based plastic industry with emissions-free electricity, and by avoiding waste incineration, the sector may even grow to become a form of carbon sink.

That is the conclusion of an article in the journal Nature, published recently by researchers from the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL), Utrecht University, the Netherlands Association for Sustainable Energy (NVDE) and the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO).


PBL Authors
Vassilis Daioglou Detlef van Vuuren
Other authors
Paul Stegmann
Marc Londo
Martin Junginger


Publication title
Plastic futures and their CO2 emissions
Publication date
7 December 2022
Publication type
Publication language
volume 612, pages 272–276 (2022)
Product number