Life Cycle Assessment of Boatbuildning Process with Ocean Plastic
Examensarbete för masterexamen
Production engineering (MPPEN), MSc
In past decades, our ocean ecosystem was seriously damaged by increasing plastic pollution. To prevent further damage and manage ocean plastics, the 3Rs approach suggests to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle waste. Current solutions include developing waste management systems, public awareness, and waste collection projects to reduce and recycle. However, reuse of reclaimed plastic in the industry is still limited. This paper presents findings from a study as part of the project Optimists För Havet, an ocean- cleaning campaign launched in 2018 with volunteers collecting marine debris along the Swedish west coast. Five Optimists with recycled ocean plastic from the campaign were produced at SSPA. To assess whether these Optimists are sustainable, the manufacturing process was evaluated based on a simplified life cycle assessment. A conventional boatbuilding process (without ocean plastic) was used as the control group for the comparative analysis. The results show that the environmental impact of an Optimist with ocean plastic is higher than the one of the control group. Its Climate Change Ecosystems impact increases by 23.51% and for Human Toxicity, Ozone Depletion, Particulate Matter Formation categories, the respective increases are 21.51%, 32.87% and 5.57%. The energy consumed in production at SSPA is higher as well. Moreover, the Cycle Time of Optimists with ocean plastic is 230 hours, doubled compared with conventional ones. The main reasons for the negative results are the consumption of plastic consumables, increasing amount of raw material and longer lead time in the vacuum infusion process, which is required to fix ocean plastic fragments in the boat body since traditional manual lamination is unable to realize this. However, adapting processes and integrating recycled material must be highlighted as important industrial developments required to transition to more sustainable and circular production systems.
Life cycle assessment; Environmental impact assessment; Ocean plastic; , Sustainable manufacturing process; Marine pollution