Food packaging systems are designed to perform series of functions mainly aimed at containing and protecting foods during their shelf-lives. However, to perform those functions a package causes environmental impacts that affect food supply chains and that come from its life-cycle phases. Therefore, package design should be done based upon not only the issues of cost, food shelf-life and safety, as well as practicality, but also of environmental sustainability. For this purpose, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) can be applied in the packaging fieldwith the aimof highlighting environmental hotspots and improvement potentials, thus enablingmore eco-friendly products. In this context, an LCA of foamy polystyrene (PS) trays used for fresh meat packaging was performed here. The study highlighted that the highest environmental impacts come from PS-granule production and electricity consumption. In this regard, the authors underscored that there are no margins for improvement in the production of the granules and in the transport of the material inputs involved as well as of the trays to users. On the contrary, changing the energy source into a renewable one (by installing, for instance, a wind power plant) would enable a 14% damage reduction. In this way, the authors documented that alternative ways can be found for global environmental improvement of the system analysed and so for enhanced environmental sustainability of food packaging systems.

Foamy polystyrene trays for fresh-meat packaging: Life-cycle inventory data collection and environmental impact assessment

INGRAO, CARLO;RANA, ROBERTO LEONARDO;
2015-01-01

Abstract

Food packaging systems are designed to perform series of functions mainly aimed at containing and protecting foods during their shelf-lives. However, to perform those functions a package causes environmental impacts that affect food supply chains and that come from its life-cycle phases. Therefore, package design should be done based upon not only the issues of cost, food shelf-life and safety, as well as practicality, but also of environmental sustainability. For this purpose, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) can be applied in the packaging fieldwith the aimof highlighting environmental hotspots and improvement potentials, thus enablingmore eco-friendly products. In this context, an LCA of foamy polystyrene (PS) trays used for fresh meat packaging was performed here. The study highlighted that the highest environmental impacts come from PS-granule production and electricity consumption. In this regard, the authors underscored that there are no margins for improvement in the production of the granules and in the transport of the material inputs involved as well as of the trays to users. On the contrary, changing the energy source into a renewable one (by installing, for instance, a wind power plant) would enable a 14% damage reduction. In this way, the authors documented that alternative ways can be found for global environmental improvement of the system analysed and so for enhanced environmental sustainability of food packaging systems.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11369/329825
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