Facts and questions

Our climate is the future for us, our children and the coming generations. This is why smart choices are important. To choose the right material for the right purpose.

We have collected some questions below that our experts are often asked. Such as:

  • Are there climate-smart alternatives to plastic?
  • How can my company reduce its product-related environmental impacts?
  • Are recycled materials always the best alternative?
  • Which packaging material is the most climate-smart?

If you cannot find the answer to your question, please contact our experts, who will be happy to help you.

Our experts can also help your company reach its environmental objectives by giving you information about the CO2 footprint of your products when our materials are used.

climate smart alternatives to plastic

Why material-smart?

Today’s discussions about companies’ climate impact are very much centred around energy and fuels, but we also need to consider how different products affect our environment even when they are being produced. The choice of materials is essential.

For us, using the right material for the right application is given. When we talk about the right material, we mean the correct choice for each specific application, achieving a long service life and keeping the climate impact as low as possible. In most cases, this is also the most cost-effective alternative, which helps the company reach its environmental goals. It is good for you, good for your customers and good for our climate. In other words: a material-smart choice.

Which choices can my company make to reduce the environmental impact of its manufacturing?

You can choose the right material for the right product. We work with customer-adapted materials, and by modifying the properties of the materials to match the actual requirement profile of the product, we can provide an alternative that is both cost-effective and better for the climate.

What approach should I take when selecting materials?

Start by asking yourself: Do you adapt the material according to the design or the design according to the material? The earlier you decide which properties in particular are the important ones for your product, the easier it is to find the optimal solution with us.

climate smart alternatives to plastic

Are there climate-smart alternatives to plastic?

Of course there are climate-smart alternatives to plastic, but it is not always necessary to replace plastic with another material to achieve a climate-smart solution. Replacing plastic with another material can even give worse long-term results. Major environmental impact reductions can instead be made by replacing one sort of plastic with another, with the same high quality and properties, but also a lower climate impact.

Can plastic replace other materials such as metal, wood, fibres or paper?

Absolutely. Plastic can replace all of these materials and fulfill the same function. In terms of the climate impact that the product has from when it is manufactured, plastic is a much more climate-smart alternative than many other materials.

We have always chosen aluminium because it lasts long.
Is it the right choice?

Not always. Replacing an aluminium profile with extruded ABS plastic reduces the CO2 footprint by more than 80%. The lower stiffness can be compensated by using higher material thicknesses, and up to five times as much material can be used, without increasing the climate impact. Depending on the product, there are extensive opportunities to use less material than that, resulting in a positive impact on the climate. With extruded ABS, you potentially also avoid painting, saving both time and costs.

Which packaging material is the most climate-smart?

Choosing the right material for your packaging is not easy. You have to consider several aspects, such as appearance, food waste, functionality, seeling, recycling and climate impact. There is no universal answer to the question, but one thing is certain: the first and most important task when it comes to packaging is to protect its contents.

In the vast majority of cases, the content has a much greater impact on the climate than the packaging itself; the packaging often saves more CO2 than it causes. Choose a packaging material that protects the contents well, then consider the other features that are of course also important.

How can I calculate our products’ CO2 footprint?

If you contct us, we can use our calculation tool to give you information about which CO2 footprint is left by the material choices for your products.

We use the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA ISO 14040) methodology for quantifying the environmental aspects of existing or planned products. Through the LCA of a product, we can create an extensive, scientific basis which is applicable in many areas.

climate smart alternatives to plastic

Can I choose a recycled material?

Definitely! We are happy to provide you with the best options. Polykemi Group has for more than 50 years developed and produced both customer-adapted virgin plastic and high-quality recycled plastic. We are experts in both. For example, we helped a customer in the heavy vehicles industry to lower their CO2 emissions with more than 300 tonnes a year, by optimizing its materials’ climate impact without compromising quality or material properties. This roughly equals the annual emissions of 200 cars.
More information about the case here →

Do I have to choose recycled material to be material-smart?

No you don’t. You can achieve great results both financially and environmentally by choosing a virgin material that is better adapted to your product. You can also get an optimal result by combining a virgin material with recycled raw material, based on your product’s specific needs. Talk to our experts, they will help you make the right choice.

Should I only use bio-based materials?

No, bio-based materials are not necessarily better than fossil materials, either in terms of the climate or the environment.

What does the letter “E” in CO2-e stand for?

CO2-e means carbon dioxide equivalent, a unit of measurement for greenhouse gas emissions. This metric considers the different global warming potential that various greenhouse gasses have.

climate smart alternatives to plastic

What does the calculator do?

The calculator enables you to see for yourself what impact your different material choices have on the climate footprint. It allows you to compare various materials and see how the climate impact decreases if you replace a material with a more climate-smart alternative.

Do you want to see exact figures for your specific project? Our experts can analyze your material choices with our detailed calculation tool and together with you make your products more material-smart.

To the calculator

How can I get help?

You are always welcome to contact us. Our experts are happy to help you find the right material for the right product. This is what we call material-smart!

Contact us
climate-smart alternatives to plastic
climate smart alternatives to plastic