Expect to expand your vocabulary as the plastics industry adapts to a new world of tracking, counting and reducing carbon emissions.
European firms are at the front of the transition currently as regional rules call for firms to address their carbon footprint, Karen Laird, the editor of our sister magazine Sustainable Plastics, said in the July Sustainable Plastics Live webcast.
The first two issues companies must tackle are Scope 1 emissions — greenhouse gas emissions that occur from sources controlled or owned by a company, coming from equipment they operate — and Scope 2 emissions covering indirect GHG emissions, such as those from the source of electricity, steam, heating or cooling.
Scope 3 is harder for individual companies to control, since it involves emissions from elsewhere in the supply chain.
"Apart from the fact that it's absolutely essential that this happen, it's also an added burden. It's a lot of work," she said. "I talk to a lot of people who say ... they're hiring people to do this and it's taking far longer than I ever thought it would. You could say its extra work for the companies, but they're going to have to do it anyway."
The rising push to reduce the carbon footprint of plastics is prompting leading companies to invest in alternatives like carbon capture programs.
"It's a very interesting area and it's one that's slowly also becoming reality. It sounds all very science fiction like to say we can make plastic from thin air, but there are plastics companies that are trying to do that," she said.
It's a very complicated story, and for more details, Plastics News subscribers can catch the full conversation here.