Fact Sheets

Paper and Plastic in Marine Environments

Paper products are increasingly viewed as a replacement for certain plastic products, given their biodegradability, lower floatability, and lower risk of abandonment in the environment. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is often used to compare the environmental performance of paper and plastic products, but with few exceptions, the current body of existing LCA studies generally does not include consideration of material littering in the environment.

This fact sheet discusses paper and plastic in the context of marine litter as well as the relevance of marine litter in LCAs comparing products made of these two materials.

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