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


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

For more details:
Pavlo, S., Fabio, C., Hakim, B., & Mauricio, C. (2018). 3D-Printing Based Distributed Plastic Recycling: A Conceptual Model for Closed-Loop Supply Chain Design. In 2018 IEEE International Conference on Engineering, Technology and Innovation (ICE/ITMC) (pp. 1–8). IEEE.

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Hello, through this questionnaire (less than 3 minutes), we would like to study the opportunity to recycle the plastic materials used for 3D printing in your school. We have developed a pilot system to upgrade printed thermoplastic parts on at LF2L. In order to validate the economic and ecological interest of our approach, we would need to determine the number of 3D printers as well as the plastic waste of the PLA type (mainly used) coming from 3D printing in Lorraine establishments. Thank you for your time and attention to this questionnaire. If you would like more information about this project, LF2L or 3D printing, please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss it.