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From design to manufacturing: Instruments for reducing the energy consumption and carbon emissions of the polymer industry and its supply chain (ENER-PLAST)

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The European polymer industry is one of the most important sectors in the EU, however, the sector is mainly dominated by SMEs who are coming under increasing pressure from lower wage economies as well as increases in EU enforced legislation, and a rise in the price of energy and materials. The volatility of oil prices, the buoyant global demand for energy products and the rapid economic growth of China and India has resulted in testing business conditions for the industry with optimism and confidence at an all time low. ENER-Plast will provide the European polymer industry and its supply chain industries with the knowledge, justification, information resources and tools needed to reduce their carbon footprint and environmental impact. The project presents a systematic approach to energy management and climate change and cuts through the many complexities to help companies understand and manage their energy consumption.


  • A 'European Energy & Environmental Legislation Guide for the European Polymer Industry'
  • A suite of tools to lead a company through designing a product, material, mould and equipment selection, manufacturing, assembly and distribution whilst assessing the energy consumption at each stage
  • A 'Carbon Impact Calculator'
  • A guide to 'Energy Efficiency and the Mould and Tool Industry'
  • An interactive, web-based 'Guide to Energy Efficient Design and Sustainable Manufacturing with Polymers'

Lessons learned

  • The legislation survey conducted for the ‘European Energy & Environmental Legislation Guide for the European Polymer Industry’ illustrated that the industry must comply with a substantial amount of legislation, both at European and national levels. In some cases, there is also regional legislation to comply with.
  • Only 58% of respondents to the ‘Survey of Attitudes to Legislation' were aware of existing legislation covering energy in their country. Legislation covering CO2 gets more publicity, but when it comes to Government policiesy on wider energy issues, industry is not always aware of these.
  • There is a need for an industry specific ‘Carbon Impact Calculator’ - since the launch of ENER-Plast there has been a number of enquiries from companies wanting to know how to calculate their carbon emissions and where to go for further information.

Partners and coordinator

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Smithers Rapra Technology Ltd
United Kingdom
Contact point: 
Sarah Turner
0044 1939 252435
Suzanne Wilkinson
+44 1939 252435


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In brief

01/11/2007 to 31/10/2010
Contract number: 

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