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Microplastic emissions from laundry in Sweden: An actor analysis including the drivers, barriers, possibilities and responsibility of actors upstream and downstream Mimbly AB towards reducing the microplastic emissions.
Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för ekonomisk och industriell utveckling, Industriell miljöteknik.
Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för ekonomisk och industriell utveckling, Industriell miljöteknik.
2021 (Engelska)Självständigt arbete på avancerad nivå (masterexamen), 20 poäng / 30 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
Abstract [en]

The usage of plastic is continuously growing with an increasing amount spreading to the environment. This entails potential negative effects on both the human health and on animals, for example by animals starving due to mistaking plastic for food. A concerning issue is that larger fragments of plastics break down to microplastics (< 5 mm) by which the impact is yet to be fully established, but studies have shown that there is a potential harmful impact on the environment. In Sweden, the largest sources of microplastics, created by abrasion, are tyres followed by artificial turf, laundry and road markings. Laundry is however the largest source in connection with sewage water. The EU commission has set a target to reduce the amount of microplastics released into the environment by 30 % to 2030. It is thus called for to implement measures to reduce microplastic emissions from laundry.Based on a Swedish context, this thesis aims to identify what actors can reduce the microplastic emissions from laundry as well as what their potential drivers, barriers, possibilities and responsibility are. This way it is possible to fill the knowledge gap concerning what barriers needs to be overcome before it can be expected of actors to implement measures and regarding tendencies on which actor/-s should take responsibility. The aim is fulfilled by conducting an actor analysis where the actors, who affect and, in some cases, are affected by microplastic emissions from laundry in Sweden are mapped, and their perspectives and context are analysed. This analysis is centred on the company Mimbly AB, including actors either downstream or upstream the company. The data used for the analysis is gathered from interviews and a survey.The study identified eight different types of actors that can affect, and who in some cases also are affected by, microplastic emissions from laundry in Sweden, namely: designers, textile producers, retailers, consumers, washing machine producers, industrial laundries, filter solutions and wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). Some actors had already implemented measures, the identified drivers for these measures were categorised as knowledge, health & environmental concerns, organisational/mindset, stakeholder encouragement, technical or economic. The most common driver was organisational, e.g., that actors have sustainability strategies. The result showed that all actors have some possible measures to implement but have not done it yet due to that their barriers are too significant and drivers too weak. The barriers identified in the thesis were categorised as knowledge, environmental, organisational/mindset, stakeholder resistance, technical, economic, temporal and legislative. The most mentioned barriers were knowledge and technical, e.g., lack of standardised methods for sampling and analysis of microplastics as well as a lack of measures. Overall, designers and WWTPs have among the highest number of already implemented measures, barriers, drivers and possibilities. The reason for this could be that they are conducting more research on the topic as a response to being increasingly viewed as the actors that can provide the most proactive and reactive solution. In turn, the research they have conducted has led them to identify more measures to implement and more barriers than other actors. It is, however, difficult to conclude if this is due to that they simply have more knowledge or that other actors do have more barriers but are not aware of them since they lack knowledge. This further justifies for the need of establishing more knowledge.The perception of all actors was that designers should be allocated most responsibility for reducing the microplastic emissions since they place the garments on the market. However, the thesis concludes that it is of priority to enable further technical innovations and to establish more knowledge before actors can be blamed for not acting. Continuing, the thesis concludes that the filter solution offered by Mimbly AB will most likely be needed in the future.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
2021.
Nationell ämneskategori
Teknik och teknologier
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-177370ISRN: LIU-IEI-TEK-A--21/03999—SEOAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-177370DiVA, id: diva2:1574533
Externt samarbete
Mimbly AB
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Examinatorer
Tillgänglig från: 2021-07-26 Skapad: 2021-06-28 Senast uppdaterad: 2021-07-26Bibliografiskt granskad

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