Close menu


Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

Localised Plastic Recycling and Additive Manufacturing: Sustainability Strategy

Wu, Haishang (2022) Localised Plastic Recycling and Additive Manufacturing: Sustainability Strategy. Doctoral thesis, UNSPECIFIED.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)


Plastics bring tremendous benefits to our daily lives. Nevertheless, their nondegradable nature, processing and recycling practices of plastics negatively impact the environment, economy, and society. Studies reveal that the consumption of significant amounts of energy due to processing of primary plastics, recycling and plastic’s waste transportation are among major causes of greenhouse gas emissions that result in global warming. Furthermore, energy consumption as the result of human transport between urban and rural areas accounts for huge amounts of CO2 emissions. Therefore, reduction of CO2 emissions has become an important concern globally. The aim of this research is to find solutions for a more sustainable future by understanding and analysing the relationships of climate change, global warming and human activities associated with the use of plastics.
Environmental degradation and climate change are consequences of the desire for fast economic growth, which may result in the societal degradation of rural areas and overpopulation of urban areas due to disproportionate immigration. This study indicates that the best strategy to stop or even reverse immigration from urban to rural areas is by creating jobs and opportunities in the rural areas. This can be achieved by the advancement of additive manufacturing processes that require minimum capital investment and low skills for manufacturing plastic parts and components. This study proposes three models, collection-recycling-manufacturing (CRM), business (BM), and strategic control (SCM) of plastic waste to create the patterns and formulas supporting the relationships among recycling, transportation, and additive manufacturing towards sustainability.
The novelty of this research is the evaluation of the CRM and BM of newly developed plastic additive manufacturing (AM) processes compared with a more traditional process such as injection moulding through energy consumption, CO2 emissions of primary and recycled plastics and transportation optimization. Furthermore, the localisation strategy of the robust integration of AM and recycling of plastics is realised.
This research shows that through integration of AM technologies into the plastics industry, home-based manufacturing (HBM) may be feasible by localising the recycling and manufacturing of plastic parts and components. Ultimately, HBM minimises the reliance on supply chains and transportation, reduces energy consumption and CO2 emissions, saves costs, creates jobs and deals with sustainability challenges in the plastics industry.

[img] PDF
RC Dec - 15865.pdf - Supplemental Material
Restricted to Repository staff only
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (556kB)
PDF (Thesis)
Thesis - H Wu.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (1MB) | Preview

More Information

Uncontrolled Keywords: Sustainability, Additive Manufacturing, Plastics Recycling, Combined models approach, Localisation, Home-based manufacturing
Depositing User: Nicola Jackson


Item ID: 15865

Users with ORCIDS

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 24 Mar 2023 13:51
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2023 12:00


Author: Haishang Wu

University Divisions

Collections > Theses

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item