If the ecological balance of plastic products is supposed to realistically be assessed, it is necessary to consider its phase of usage. Moreover, all phases need to be considered: development, production and recycling. The Disposal of plastic is also part of the life cycle and necessarily must be included in the assessment of environmental compatibility. First and foremost, in regard to the applications of industrial plastic, this idea of a holistic approach is not yet standard but mandatory.
In a two-year research project, the Technical University of Chemnitz is developing a method for the certification of plastic sliding chains as found in conveyor systems, for example in the beverage industry. The aim is to create a kind of Eco-label for such plastic components, considering the entire life cycle.