TCoPS - 37

MODEL CALCULATIONS:
1. Market cost of plastic
● The following inputs were used to estimate the
market cost of the plastic produced in 2019:
2019 provided by Statista. ◦ Input 1: Global price of different plastic polymers for
262
◦ Input 2: Global share of production of the different
plastic types for 2018 provided by Statista. 263
◦ Input 3: Plastic production in 2019 estimated by
PlasticsEurope Market Research Group (PEMRG) and
Conversio Market & Strategy GmbH as 368 million
metric tonnes. 264
● The following steps were taken to estimate the
market cost of the plastic produced in 2019:
Step 1: To calculate the price per tonne of other plastic
polymers for 2019, the authors used the average of the
other polymer prices as a proxy. This estimated the price of
the other category in 2019 as ~US$1,020.98.
Step 2: The authors then used the production share
estimated for each plastic polymer in 2018 as a proxy
for the production share in 2019 to calculate a weighted
average cost per tonne of plastic in 2019 (for example,
PET cost in USD*PET production share + HDPE cost in
USD*HDPE production share etc.). This estimated the
average cost of plastic per tonne as ~US$1,006.67.
Step 3: To calculate the market cost of the plastic
produced in 2019, the authors multiplied the estimated
cost per tonne (US$1,006.67) by the tonnes of plastic
produced in 2019 (368 million). This estimated the
market cost of the plastic produced in 2019 as
~US$370 billion.
2. Waste management costs:
● The following inputs were used to estimate the
waste management cost of the plastic produced in
2019:
management stages provided by the Pew Charitable Trusts, ◦ Input 1: Data on municipal solid plastic waste
collected for their Breaking the Plastic Wave report.265
The
Pew Charitable Trusts provided mass and cost data for each
of the stages of the waste management process globally for
2016 for municipal solid plastic waste. This included:
● Formal collection: waste collected by the formal
sector.266
● Formal sorting: waste sorted by the formal sector, this
includes waste that was imported267
and domestic waste
that was formally collected for recycling.268
● Informal collection and sorting: waste collected
and sorted by the informal sector.269
This includes waste
that was initially informally collected, and waste recovered
from dumpsites or unsanitary landfill by informal waste
collectors.270, 271
● Disposal mass and cost: waste that was disposed of
by either engineered landfill or incineration with energy
recovery.272, 273
● Recycling mass and cost: waste that was recycled
either by open-loop or closed-loop mechanical recycling
processes. Waste that was mechanically recycled may have
come from formally sorted or informally collected and
sorted waste.274, 275
The sale prices for different recyclates
was based on a composition of high-value plastics (PET,
HDPE, and PP).
◦ Mass and cost data for these dimensions was
provided for eight different geographic archetypes. The
archetypes are divided into four groups depending on
country income, according to World Bank definitions:
high-income (HI) economies; upper middle-income (UMI)
economies; lower middle-income (LMI) economies; and
low-income (LI) economies; as well as according to United
Nations urban-rural classifications. All cost data was
reported in 2018 US$.
◦ Input 2: Proportion of the plastic produced in
2019 that becomes waste estimated as 70%. This is based
on a study by Geyer et al.276
that estimated 70% of the
cumulative plastic produced between 1950-2015 has
become waste. The authors of this report also assumed that
this proportion has remained constant over time.
◦ Input 3: Plastic production in 2019 estimated by
PlasticsEurope Market Research Group (PEMRG) and
Conversio Market & Strategy GmbH as 368 million
metric tonnes.277
● The following steps were taken to estimate the
waste management cost of the plastic produced in
2019:
Step 1: To calculate the municipal plastic waste
management cost in 2016, the authors calculated the cost
of the different waste management stages using the data
provided by the Pew Charitable Trusts and summed the
cost of all the stages together. This estimated the total
waste management cost in 2016 as ~US$26.6 billion.
Step 2: The authors converted the estimated total waste
management in 2016 in 2018 US$ to 2019 US$ using data
on the U.S consumer price index from The U.S. Labor
Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics. This estimated
the total municipal solid plastic waste management in 2016
in 2019 US$ as ~US$27.0 billion.
Step 3: To calculate the cost per tonne of municipal solid
plastic waste in 2016, the authors divided the total waste
management cost in 2016 ($27 billion) by the municipal
solid plastic waste generated in 2016 (215 million tonnes).
This estimated the cost per tonne of plastic waste as
~US$125.68.
Step 4: To estimate the total tonnes of plastic produced
in 2019 that will become waste, the authors multiplied the
tonnes of plastic produced in 2019 (368 million) by the
proportion of plastic produced that becomes waste (~70%).
This estimated that ~257.6 million tonnes of the plastic
produced in 2019 will become waste.
Step 5: To estimate the cost of waste management
attributable to the plastic produced in 2019, the authors
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TCoPS

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