DOI: 10.3390/su151713119 ISSN:

A System Dynamic Model for Polyethylene Terephthalate Supply Chain in the United Arab Emirates—Status, Projections, and Environmental Impacts

Sameh Al-Shihabi, Mahmoud Barghash
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) water bottles are widely used in the United Arab Emirates (UAE); however, their production and disposal adversely affect the environment. In collaboration with the private sector, the UAE government has taken serious steps to reduce these impacts, including (i) encouraging people to stop using PET water bottles and to separate their waste, (ii) establishing material recovery facilities, (iii) constructing facilities for incineration with energy recovery, and (iv) creating business opportunities to downcycle and recycle PET water bottles. This paper models the PET supply chain (PSC) using system dynamics (SD) to simulate the current PSC in the UAE and to project its possible evolution from 2023 to 2050, taking greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions into consideration. For decision-makers, the SD model shows that PET reductions must equal population growth to maintain GHG emissions associated with the PSC for the coming years. In addition, the separation efficiency must exceed 33% of PET consumption to meet the current demand for used PET. Moreover, if PET consumption decreases by more than 1.5%, then businesses relying on used PET will face a supply shortage in the year 2050. As for environmental impacts, it is found that if downcycling and recycling capabilities are fully utilized, GHG emissions will decrease by 35%. Furthermore, if demand for recycled PET reaches 10,000 tons, this reduction will exceed 47%, reaching 177,861MtCO2e.

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