According to the circular economy and sustainable development concepts, this chapter aims to analyze the sustainability issues about agro-food by-products valorisation in order to obtain bio-based compounds as material for food packaging. The overview focuses on experimentations in which bio-polymers were processed and tested with the purpose of evaluating the characteristics and properties in terms of food preservation and active functions. Despite a lot of data about technical features were provided from these studies, in many cases, information on sustainable aspects were missed. This represents a crucial issue because any solution to be really sustainable needs to be assessed in an overall perspective with a life cycle approach. However, in the evaluation of the sustainability of bio-based compounds coming from the valorisation of agro-food by-products it is fundamental to consider elements such as availability in time and space, transports, impacts of processes, as well as, hidden costs along the chain and impact on local communities. At the same way, indirect effects of the packaging, such as the capacity of reducing food waste, should be also taken into account. In the chapter, a simulation about the possible way to assess sustainability of bio-based material was purposed by using life cycle assessment with a consequential approach. First of all, due to the fact that agro-food by-products derive from the same system of production of main agro-food product, the importance of setting an allocation procedure was highlighted from the study as a crucial issue before calculating impacts. Successively, the sustainable performances are accounted by including the avoided impacts related to the production of petroleum-based packaging material.

Environmental and Socio-Economic Sustainability of Packaging from Agricultural By-Products

De Pilli, Teresa;Baiano, Antonietta;Lopriore, Giuseppe;Russo, Carlo;Cappelletti, Giulio Mario
2021

Abstract

According to the circular economy and sustainable development concepts, this chapter aims to analyze the sustainability issues about agro-food by-products valorisation in order to obtain bio-based compounds as material for food packaging. The overview focuses on experimentations in which bio-polymers were processed and tested with the purpose of evaluating the characteristics and properties in terms of food preservation and active functions. Despite a lot of data about technical features were provided from these studies, in many cases, information on sustainable aspects were missed. This represents a crucial issue because any solution to be really sustainable needs to be assessed in an overall perspective with a life cycle approach. However, in the evaluation of the sustainability of bio-based compounds coming from the valorisation of agro-food by-products it is fundamental to consider elements such as availability in time and space, transports, impacts of processes, as well as, hidden costs along the chain and impact on local communities. At the same way, indirect effects of the packaging, such as the capacity of reducing food waste, should be also taken into account. In the chapter, a simulation about the possible way to assess sustainability of bio-based material was purposed by using life cycle assessment with a consequential approach. First of all, due to the fact that agro-food by-products derive from the same system of production of main agro-food product, the importance of setting an allocation procedure was highlighted from the study as a crucial issue before calculating impacts. Successively, the sustainable performances are accounted by including the avoided impacts related to the production of petroleum-based packaging material.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11369/405106
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