ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0190.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: zero waste; plastic waste; circular economy; recycling performance
Online: 4 November 2020 (10:45:14 CET)
Despite the increase in popularity of Zero Waste (ZW) concept, the successful implementation of this concept in waste management is still facing many challenges. The plastic recycling rate in Australia is currently only about 9.4%, which could leave up to 90.6% of plastic consumption being sent to landfills. The state of Victoria (in Australia) has proposed an ambitious plan to upgrade its waste and recycling system and to divert about 80% of waste from landfills by 2030. The aim of this research is to study Victoria’s current waste management plan and to develop a simulation model to assess the feasibility of it achieving zero plastic waste by 2035. In this direction, a fundamental knowledge of global ZW implementation needs to be acquired in order to understand the challenges, obstacles, and uncertainties in achieving ZW target. A simulation model is established using a method called double baselines. This method was developed as an improvisation to address the limitation of data availability for the model development. The model will run on 4 scenarios including one from Victoria’s current plan. Outcomes from the model are produced in comparative charts covering 6 key considerations including the rates of plastic consumption, waste to landfill, diversion, recycling, relative accumulative cost and effort. The findings of this study pointed out that Victoria’s current plan are feasible for its goal and presented with opportunities for improvement especially towards zero plastic waste. Besides, study results also reveal that the Victoria’s current plan to achieve 80% diversion rate by 2030 is possible but the zero plastic waste target by 2035 is less likely to happen.