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Used polyethylene terephthalate bottles (PET) dumped indiscriminately onto bare lands and water bodies constitute an eyesore. This problem is viewed as a serious impediment to the flourishing tourism industry in Mauritius. Currently, over 100 million PET bottles are generated annually and the only fully operational disposal route is through the sole sanitary landfill. There is no formal segregation of waste and therefore used PET bottles are disposed of commingled with domestic waste. Despite a satisfactory waste collection system, a considerable amount of used PET bottles unfortunately end up in water bodies and on bare lands. An appreciable amount of PET bottles is now being collected separately for flake production prior to export to South Africa. This paper investigated the environmental impact of five waste management scenarios (100% landfill; 100% incineration with energy recovery; 50% incineration and 50% landfill; 34% flake production and 66% landfill; 100% flake production) for used PET bottles in Mauritius. Comparison of the five scenarios was based on the life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology described in ISO 14040 and ISO 14044. SimaPro 7.1 software was used to analyse the data. Comparison of the five scenarios showed that the highest environmental impacts occurred when 100% of used PET bottles were sent to the landfill. The comparison also indicated that there were least impacts on the environment when all used PET bottles were incinerated with energy recovery.

Citation

Rajendra Kumar Foolmaun, Toolseeram Ramjeeawon. Disposal of post-consumer polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles: comparison of five disposal alternatives in the small island state of Mauritius using a life cycle assessment tool. Environmental technology. 2012 Feb-Mar;33(4-6):563-72

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PMID: 22629630

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