This data-file aims to quantify the CO2 intensity of producing plastics, across the entire value chain from oil and gas inputs, to cracking, polymerisation, extrusion and end-of-life treatment.
Granular data are tabulated on 70 chemicals facilities around the US. Most facilities are not directly comparable. However, we have derived meaningful CO2 intensity data (per ton of product) for c20 of them. We find large and integrated petchem facilities tend to be more efficient (chart below)Beneficial energy economics for plastics are confirmed in the work. For example, our numbers suggest the CO2 emissions for a single-use plastic bottle would be c90% lower than a single-use glass bottle. Numbers could be further improved by next-generation technologies turning plastic back into oil.