How are the CO2 emissions from soft plastic calculated?


To calculate the net CO2 emissions prevented as a result of using RecycleSmart services, we calculate the CO2 emissions involved in recycling and transporting the soft plastics and deduct it from the total CO2 emissions involved in creating new plastic. The calculations for each are below;

C02 emissions emitted when recycling 1 tonne of soft plastics

  • A plastic bag weighs around 8 grams (source: 1a)
  • One plastic bag creates 1.578KG of CO2 (source: 1b)
  • Recycling a plastic bag leads to a reduction of 35% in CO2 emissions as opposed to creating a new plastic bag. (Source: 1c)
  • There are roughly 125 HDPE bags in 1 kg, and 1,000 kg in 1 tonne.
  • 1.578 kg of CO2 x 125 x 1000 (tonne) = 197,250 kg of CO2 to create 1 tonne of virgin soft plastic.
  • Recycling 1 tonne of plastic emits: 197,250 kg - 35% ⇒ 197,250*0.65 = 128,213 kg of CO2

C02 emissions emitted when transporting 1 tonne of soft plastics

  • Transporting 2 kg over 1,000 km via freight emits 0.21 kg of CO2.
  • Transporting 1 tonne over 1,000 kms emits: 0.21*1000/2 = 105 kg CO2
  • Sydney to Melbourne round trip is 1756 km
  • Transporting 1 ton of soft plastics from Sydney to Melbourne emits: (1756x105)/1,000 = 184.38 kg of CO2

CO2 emissions for transporting 1 tonne of soft plastics and getting it recycled

  • 128,213 + 184.38= 128,397 kg of CO2


Total CO2 emissions saved by getting 1 tonne of soft plastics picked up and recycled through RecycleSmart

  • 197,250 - 128,397 kgs = 68,853 kg CO2 saved

These calculations are on the very safe side so we are probably helping you save a bit more than that. 

Oh and also: we are a carbon neutral company! + link towards our company profile with trace