Purpose The importance of glass in the production of food packaging has stimulated the assessment of its impact. This study evaluates the environmental performance of hollow glass production in a manufacturing plant operating in Apulia (Italy), compares baseline and two alternative scenarios based on the life cycle assessment (LCA) method and proposes more environmentally friendly options. Methods The LCA study was performed on primary data provided by a company for 2017 and secondary data retrieved from databases. The LCA was conducted according to ISO 14040:2006 and 14044:2018 with product category rule (PCR) basic module CPC 37. A midpoint approach was chosen. The software selected for the analysis was GaBi thinkstep AG version 8.7.0.18. The study was performed from cradle to grave, and the functional unit considered was 1 kg of finished hollow glass. Results and discussion A comparative analysis of the different scenarios was conducted considering seven environmental impact indicators. The results highlight major improvements in the environmental impact indicators: in particular, the replacement of raw materials with cullets would yield significant improvements if all of the cullets are recovered in the regional territory. These improvements, as confirmed by the results of Scenario 2, could be further increased both by the use of renewable energy such as photovoltaic (PV) energy and by technological improvements such as lightweighting. Conclusions Through the LCA, the authors quantified the potential environmental impact associated with the production of hollow glass, thereby identifying solutions and formulating suggestions to reduce the environmental impacts associated with food packaging. The evaluation of the different scenarios could help managers in the decision-making process, thus improving the environmental performance of both the process and final product.

Environmental performance scenarios in the production of hollow glass containers for food packaging: an LCA approach

teodoro gallucci;giovanni lagioia;annarita paiano
2020

Abstract

Purpose The importance of glass in the production of food packaging has stimulated the assessment of its impact. This study evaluates the environmental performance of hollow glass production in a manufacturing plant operating in Apulia (Italy), compares baseline and two alternative scenarios based on the life cycle assessment (LCA) method and proposes more environmentally friendly options. Methods The LCA study was performed on primary data provided by a company for 2017 and secondary data retrieved from databases. The LCA was conducted according to ISO 14040:2006 and 14044:2018 with product category rule (PCR) basic module CPC 37. A midpoint approach was chosen. The software selected for the analysis was GaBi thinkstep AG version 8.7.0.18. The study was performed from cradle to grave, and the functional unit considered was 1 kg of finished hollow glass. Results and discussion A comparative analysis of the different scenarios was conducted considering seven environmental impact indicators. The results highlight major improvements in the environmental impact indicators: in particular, the replacement of raw materials with cullets would yield significant improvements if all of the cullets are recovered in the regional territory. These improvements, as confirmed by the results of Scenario 2, could be further increased both by the use of renewable energy such as photovoltaic (PV) energy and by technological improvements such as lightweighting. Conclusions Through the LCA, the authors quantified the potential environmental impact associated with the production of hollow glass, thereby identifying solutions and formulating suggestions to reduce the environmental impacts associated with food packaging. The evaluation of the different scenarios could help managers in the decision-making process, thus improving the environmental performance of both the process and final product.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11586/309643
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