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Phasing out plastics: the automotive sector

Research report

Written by Samuel Sharp

Research report

Plastics account for about 15% of the weight of the average passenger car today. They are increasingly being used to replace steel in car bodies and chassis, as well as for hundreds of other components, including lights, bumpers, engine components, dashboards and internal furnishings. This report explores the technical feasibility of phasing out fossil-fuel plastics in the automotive industry by 2050.

This analysis is part of a broader research project investigating the technical potential for phasing out virgin plastics made from fossil fuels. The study compares a business-as-usual scenario for automotive plastics in 2050 with a low-plastic consumption scenario that is compatible with pathways towards a 1.5°C maximum rise in average global temperature.

Renilde Becqué and Samuel Sharp