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ANNEX 2: METHODOLOGY
This annex describes the methodology used by the authors
to estimate the minimum lifetime cost of plastic. As noted in
the report, this model only includes those components of the
plastic lifetime that are currently quantifiable. Quantifiable
components refer to impacts of the plastic lifecycle for which
peer-reviewed publications are available and there is sufficient
data to allow a best-guess estimate. An overview of other
potential costs, not included in this model, has been provided
in the report.
Lifetime cost of plastic figures: The objective of this
model is to provide a more comprehensive view of the cost
of plastic, building upon existing publications by the Pew
Charitable Trusts, WEF, Deloitte, Carbon Tracker and
various academic papers.249, 250, 251, 252, 253, 254, 255, 256, 257, 258, 259,
260, 261
. This poses two challenges: i) for some components
of the total cost of plastic, data does not exist yet, and ii) for
other components, data exists but sometimes still needs to
be made more precise or validated with additional research.
This model incorporates several cost dimensions that have
been documented enough to allow a cost estimate (called
" quantifiable costs " in the below diagram). Dimensions for
which there is insufficient data to provide a cost estimate
(called " currently unquantified costs " in the below diagram)
have been omitted from the model. The sources used for the
quantifiable cost dimensions are either the best available data
on different impacts of the plastic crisis or provide monetary
estimations based on data that is available, often with the
caveat that they are " best-guess " estimates. Given that there
are many impacts of the plastic lifecycle that have not been
documented enough yet, the estimate provided by this
model is the minimum cost that the plastic produced in 2019
will impose over its entire lifetime, from the point the raw
materials were extracted to the point at which this plastic has
fully degraded. The approach is outlined in more detail below:
Figure 8: Overview of the dimensions that make up the minimum lifetime cost of plastic.
THE MINIMUM LIFECYCLE COST OF THE PLASTIC PRODUCED IN YEAR X
THE MINIMUM LIFECYCLE COST PER TONNE OF PLASTIC PRODUCED
MARKET COST OF VIRGIN PLASTIC
(PER TONNE OF PLASTIC PRODUCED)
Costs from production processes1
not accounted for in the market price
(per tonne of plastic produced)
X
PLASTIC PRODUCTION IN YEAR X (TONNES)
SOCIETAL LIFETIME COST
(PER TONNE OF PLASTIC PRODUCED)
Managed Waste Cost
(per tonne of plastic produced)
Mismanaged Waste Cost
(per tonne of plastic produced)
Ecosystem
Market price
of virgin
plastic
GHG costs
from
production
processes
Quantifiable costs
Currently unquantifiable costs
Lifecycle GHG impact = sum of these 3 components
1. This includes extraction, resin production and conversion processes
Health
impacts of
production
processes
Direct waste
mgmt cost
for govts
GHG costs
from waste
mgmt
Health
impacts of
controlled
plastic waste
Service costs
of Plastic
Pollution
on marine
ecosystems
Ecosystem
Service costs
of plastic
pollution on
terrestrial
ecosystems
GHG costs
from
un-controlled
plastic
waste
Health
impacts of
un-controlled
plastic
waste
WWF INTERNATIONAL 2021

TCoPS

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https://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/wwfintl/annualreview2021
https://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/wwfintl/tcops
https://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/wwfintl/60th_anniversary
https://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/wwfintl/annualreview2020
https://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/wwfintl/freshwater_fishes_report
https://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/wwfintl/ghost_gear_report
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/wwfintl/covid19_report
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/wwfintl/annualreview2019
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/wwfintl/annualreview2018
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/wwfintl/livingplanet_summary
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/wwfintl/livingplanet_full
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/wwfintl/conversation_strategy
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/wwfintl/annualreview2017
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/wwfintl/annualreview2015
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/wwfintl/annualreview2013
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/wwfintl/dalbergreport2013-de
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/wwfintl/dalbergreport2013-fr
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/wwfintl/dalbergreport2013
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/wwf_france/rapport_dactivite_2011-2012
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/wwfintl/annualreview2012
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com