3D-Printing Based Distributed Plastic Recycling: A Conceptual Model for Closed-Loop Supply Chain Design

Abstract

Plastic use and disposal is a major issue that still to be solved on the perspective of a more sustainable development of human activities. Circular economy has been proposed as a potential solution by using materials and energy through multiple phases in a recycling flow. However, most of the studies present in the literature of plastic recycling and other wastes are mainly focused on large centralized networks that try to efficiently carry their costs and / or income. In addition, particularly the centralized plastic recycling networks should face the challenge of collection and transportation for high volume and low weight polymers, affecting its economic feasibility. The emergence and development of Open-source technologies such as 3D printing extrusion and other devices provide an opportunity to explore distributed recycling as an alternative option. Under this distributed model, users will collect domestic plastic waste themselves, which can be recycled at their nearest recycling points, such as FabLabs, in order to produce 3D plastic filament and thus contribute to the Circular Economy by reducing the plastic waste.

On despite its attractiveness, the complexity of this distributed approach represents a limit to this application. Moreover, the environmental and economical effectiveness still needs to be demonstrated. In this article, a conceptual model is developed and proposed for the collection process in a Closed Loop Supply Chain (CLSC) network of local and distributed plastic recycling in order to analyze its economic and environmental feasibility

Êtes-vous proffeseur de Lycéee/Collegue dans la région du Lorraine?

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À travers ce questionnaire (moins de 3 minutes), nous souhaitons étudier l’opportunité de recycler les matières plastiques utilisées pour l’impression 3D au sein de votre établissement scolaire.

Nous avons développé sur notre plateforme du LF2L, un système pilote permettant de revaloriser les pièces imprimées en thermoplastiques. Afin de valider l’intérêt économique et écologique de notre démarche, nous aurions besoin de déterminer le nombre d’imprimantes 3D ainsi que les déchets plastiques de type PLA (majoritairement utilisé) provenant des impressions 3D dans les établissements Lorrains. Nous vous remercions du temps consacré à ce questionnaire. Si vous souhaitez avoir plus d’informations sur ce projet, le LF2L ou l’impression 3D, n’hésitez pas à prendre contact avec nous pour échanger.