PhD defense of Xiaoyun Bing

Published on
September 11, 2014

Xiaoyun Bing will defend her dissertation on “Sustainable Reverse Logistics for Household Plastic Waste”.

Xiaoyun Bing is a PhD student in the Operations Research and Logistics Group supervised by J.G.A.J. van der Vorst and Prof. dr. J.M. Bloemhof-Ruwaard

The defense will take place on Tuesday 30 September at 11.00h at the Aula of Wageningen University.

“Sustainable Reverse Logistics for Household Plastic Waste”

Xiaoyun Bing

Thesis defense: September 30th,11.00h. 


Recycled plastic can be used in the manufacturing of plastic products to reduce the use of virgin plastics material. The cost of recycled plastics is usually lower than that of virgin plastics. Therefore, it is environmentally and economically beneficial to improve the plastic recycling system to ensure more plastic waste from households is properly collected and processed for recycling. This thesis investigates plastic waste recycling from a sustainable reverse logistics angle. The aim is to analyse the collection, separation and treatments systems of plastic waste and to propose redesigns for the recycling system using quantitative decision support models with improved sustainable performance. The plastic waste recycling problem is studied at three decision levels: municipal, regional, and global. Decision support systems are developed based on optimization techniques to explore the power of mathematical modelling to assist in the decision-making process.  Analysis results from different decision levels show that on one decision level, models can help to find the “best option”. When combining decision levels, however, it is difficult to find one “best option" that fits all, as there are contradictory results when looking at the same factor from different decision levels. Through decision support models, this research provided clear insights into the trade-offs and helped to quantify the differences and identify key factors to determine the differences.