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Article

Ecotoxicity of Plastics from Informal Waste Electric and Electronic Treatment and Recycling

1
Department of Sciences and Methods for Engineering, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Via Amendola 2, 42122 Reggio Emilia, Italy
2
Interdepartmental Research Center for Industrial Research and Technology Transfer in the Field of Integrated Technologies for Sustainable Research, Efficient Energy Conversion, Energy Efficiency of Buildings, Lighting and Home Automation, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, 42122 Reggio Emilia, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Toxics 2020, 8(4), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics8040099
Received: 8 October 2020 / Revised: 2 November 2020 / Accepted: 5 November 2020 / Published: 8 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electronic-Waste: Management and Challenges)
Plastic materials account for about 20% of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). The recycling of this plastic fraction is a complex issue, heavily conditioned by the content of harmful additives, such as brominated flame retardants. Thus, the management and reprocessing of WEEE plastics pose environmental and human health concerns, mainly in developing countries, where informal recycling and disposal are practiced. The objective of this study was twofold. Firstly, it aimed to investigate some of the available options described in the literature for the re-use of WEEE plastic scraps in construction materials, a promising recycling route in the developing countries. Moreover, it presents an evaluation of the impact of these available end-of-life scenarios on the environment by means of the life cycle assessment (LCA) approach. In order to consider worker health and human and ecological risks, the LCA analysis focuses on ecotoxicity more than on climate change. The LCA evaluation confirmed that the plastic re-use in the construction sector has a lower toxicity impact on the environment and human health than common landfilling and incineration practices. It also shows that the unregulated handling and dismantling activities, as well as the re-use practices, contribute significantly to the impact of WEEE plastic treatments. View Full-Text
Keywords: e-plastics; toxicity; flame retardants; informal WEEE treatment; LCA; USEtox e-plastics; toxicity; flame retardants; informal WEEE treatment; LCA; USEtox
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MDPI and ACS Style

Butturi, M.A.; Marinelli, S.; Gamberini, R.; Rimini, B. Ecotoxicity of Plastics from Informal Waste Electric and Electronic Treatment and Recycling. Toxics 2020, 8, 99. https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics8040099

AMA Style

Butturi MA, Marinelli S, Gamberini R, Rimini B. Ecotoxicity of Plastics from Informal Waste Electric and Electronic Treatment and Recycling. Toxics. 2020; 8(4):99. https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics8040099

Chicago/Turabian Style

Butturi, Maria A., Simona Marinelli, Rita Gamberini, and Bianca Rimini. 2020. "Ecotoxicity of Plastics from Informal Waste Electric and Electronic Treatment and Recycling" Toxics 8, no. 4: 99. https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics8040099

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