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Phasing out plastics: the automotive sector

Research reports

Written by Samuel Sharp

Hero image description: Car dashboard Image credit:Viktor Theo/Unsplash Image license:Creative Commons

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.

Car dashboard
Image credit:Viktor Theo/Unsplash ~ Image license:Creative Commons
Renilde Becqué and Samuel Sharp