Abstract for: Evaluating the economics and carbon footprint of recycling flexible plastic packaging

Flexible plastic packaging (FPP) is one of the rapidly increasing forms of waste generated in the United States. This category of waste includes plastic pouches, wraps, and bags which are beneficial to the packaging industry as it reduces package weight and material quantity. Despite representing 19% of the U.S. packaging industry, FPP waste does not have a large market share in the recycling industry as only 4% of these single resin types are currently recycled. To gain insight into the economics and environmental footprint of FPP recycling, a system dynamics model was created to explore the economic viability of recycling FPP and compare the greenhouse gas emissions between landfilling and recycling FPP. The model attempts to explore how different input variables or scenarios can change the market viability of the end product, rFlex.