The design flexibility and net shape formability of plastics combined with creativity in exploitation of innovative combinations of dissimilar materials and advanced technologies in product designs has facilitated virtually an explosion of traditional material replacement opportunities as well as new-to-the-world applications, contributing significantly to the phenomenal growth of the global plastics industry in the last two decades. An unintended and undesirable consequence of the growing consumption of plastics, however, is millions of plastics products discarded daily by consumers worldwide, polluting the environment. As the product life spans are getting shorter with each development cycle, product designers have a responsibility to minimize the negative impacts of their designs on the environment. This requires a commitment to environmental stewardship on the part of product designers. This paper describes a comprehensive approach to sustainable design of plastics products with entire life cycle management considerations, during each stage of product design and development, outlining best practices and specific guidelines.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.