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Plastic Recycling in Automobiles


The Center for Sustainable Systems (CSS) and The Unviersity of Michigan Office for the Study of Automotive Transportation (OSAT) undertook this project to provide an independent examination and assessment of the prospects for increased use of automotive plastics. The project was funded by contributions from the University of Michigan and a consortium of automotive resin supplier companies. A central thrust of the project is the identification and description of the resource conservation and recycling issues raised by increased plastics use. This six-part series develops information on the economic, infrastructure, and policy aspects of these issues, identifying the barriers to and facilitators of the use of automotive plastics. The project adopts a combined product and material life-cycle approach.

Project reports include:

- Life Cycle Assessment: Issues for the Automotive Plastics Industry(UMTRI 93-40-1):   an overview of the LCA approach and its implications for automotive plastics, including, as an appendix, an EPA report by Greg Keoleian and Dan Menery, Life Cycle Design Manual: Environmental Requirements and the Product System;

- Economic Issues in the Reuse of Automotive Plastics(UMTRI 93-40-2):   a general consideration of the economic barriers to and issues posed by recycling automotive plastics;

- Recycling the Automobile: A Legislative and Regulatory Preview(UMTRI 93-40-3):   describing the likely developments on the federal regulatory and legislative front that will influence the future of automotive plastics and disposition;

- Postconsumer Disposition of the Automobile (UMTRI 93-40-4):  a review of the issues and challenges over the different disposal stages posed by postconsumer automotive plastics;

- Materials Selection Processes in the Automotive Industry(UMTRI 93-40-5):   an overview of the factors and issues in vehicle manufacturers'; material selection decisions;

- Automotive Plastics Chain: Some Issues and Challenges(UMTRI 93-40-6):   a report of the OSAT survey of the automotive plastics industry, plus an appendix on types of automotive plastics.

University of Michigan - Interdepartmental Consortium
University of Michigan - Office for the Study of Automotive Transportation
University of Michigan - Transportation Research Institute
Society of Plastic Industries
Research Areas
Mobility Systems